You are the coach, the mentor, the motivator and often a trainer ...
After you're done with the mental adjustment, the settling in and the preliminary learning processes, there are a few questions about your responsibilities you must answer. These questions hinge on your core duties and responsibilities as a manager in your organization.
So ask yourself, what is the job description of a manager? What do managers do? Yes, yes, yes — everybody gets you're supposed to manage operations and staff. However, you'll need to be more specific about what is going to be your actual day to day activity in our new role.
First-time managers often believe that their responsibility would be purely directive. They believe their new role is only about identifying what needs to be done, telling others how to do it and making sure they do it. This is indeed part of a manager's responsibility, but your core duties encompass a lot more than that.
Irrespective of where you're working or whom you work for, your managerial responsibilities include hiring and firing employees, training employees, planning, organizing, communicating, evaluating and monitoring. By executing these responsibilities, you effectively become a coach, a trainer, a motivator and a mentor for those you're assigned to manage.
Only telling people what to do is not an effective management style. An effective management style involves helping your employees become self-directed and able to take actions that align with your requirements, even without your supervision. This means that you must share power with them. Provide them with the necessary support, motivate them and remove any perceived obstacles on their path to carrying out their responsibilities.
To help you better understand, I'll make a simple illustration. At company XYZ, there are two managers. One at Human Resources and one at the IT department. Now, the Human Resources Manager is very detailed in laying out what he requires of his employees. He goes as far as supervising them through their respective tasks to ensure the employees do exactly what needs to be done. The Human Resources Manager is hailed for his discipline and eagle-eyed supervision. However, soon, he calls in sick. He is not able to come to work for five days. As it turns out, these five days are the most chaotic five days the Human Resources department has ever seen. The entirety of the department is not used to taking initiatives. They are conditioned to take actions solely based on the directives of the manager, who then supervises these actions all the way through. As much as the Human Resources manager is a great disciplinarian and supervisor, without his directives and operational guidance, the whole department is just a dormant windmill — zero productivity.
On the other hand, the IT Department manager does a bit of what the Human Resources guy does, but with a little more devolution of power. The manager of the IT Department doesn't just issue out directives but structures. He operates in a way that allows employees to make their own decisions. And organize their work without always being told what to do and how to do it.
While the first manager looks like the big deal, it's the second one who does the job precisely the way it should be done. Unfortunately, many managers fail to recognize this fact.
As a manager, you'll need to become proficient at cultivating your employee's abilities and helping them get better at what they do. Your aim shouldn't always be how you can guide your team through the day's or month's work; your big picture should be to make your employees self-directed.
To do this, you'll need to be able to coach, train, mentor, and motivate them...