Suddenly a Manager: 6 Tips to Support New Managers in Their Role 

30 Jan ‘23
3 min
Work performance
Editorial Board OpenUp
Gecontroleerd door Psychologist Eva Rüger
suddenly a manager
Anybody who becomes a manager or team lead faces a big, exciting new challenge. You don’t become a good manager overnight: it takes time and practice. The learning process is often accompanied with feelings of doubt or uncertainty. What can you as an HR professional do to support first-time managers in their new role?


It’s often the case that somebody who performs well is promoted to management. But just because you’re good at your core duties doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a good people manager. Management is a different kettle of fish. This means that the correct guidance and support is necessary to help first-time managers to hit the ground running.


Here are 6 tips to help them transition into their new role.


What mindset shifts do new managers experience?


Becoming a manager is a rewarding experience. You learn a lot about yourself and about others whilst gaining more responsibility And with that responsibility comes a new set of challenges. 


It can be particularly stressful at the beginning, when major changes take place.First-time managers have to handle shifting relationships (they’re suddenly “superior” to their colleagues), additional responsibilities, more stakeholders and other company politics, and learning to delegate tasks.


This means that certain mindset shifts take place. We often see first-time managers encountering the following mental health challenges:


  • Insecurity about their qualities as a manager. It sometimes even develops into “imposter syndrome“: the feeling that you’re under-qualified for your role.
  • Feelings of isolation: because their relationships with their colleagues have suddenly changed. It can take time for first-time managers to find their place – and develop new relationships with their colleagues.
  • Big changes require a lot of brain power and energy. For many people, big changes are also stressful.
  • What’s more, taking a step back from tasks that the first-time manager was responsible for in their previous role can also be difficult A tendency to micromanage can then put pressure on their relationships with colleagues.
  • Managers have to keep juggling multiple projects. This means we often see managers who are overworked and exhausted.


How can you support new managers in their roles?


To put it simply: you want to offer the correct mental health support to anybody who has just become a manager. Our psychologists have set out what you can do to guide these leaders to-be.


1. Schedule regular check-ins


Promote open communication about possible challenges new managers might encounter. During conversations, let them know that challenges aren’t a sign of failure, but actually a sign of growth. You could also  ask them exactly what they need from you to carry out their new role successfully.


Schedule these conversations in advance. This way, new managers will have time to think about potential challenges or discuss what they need. Make sure these check-ins take place regularly to begin with – for example, weekly. You can reduce the frequency when they’ve settled into their new role.  


2. Offer appropriate training


Sign new managers up for (external) training sessions where they can discover and improve leadership skills. The appropriate training courses can provide the right tools to help someone develop their own leadership style. And don’t forget to offer additional training sessions in things like stress management, time management and effective communication.


3. Encourage them to work on their resilience


Mental resilience is what you need to navigate everyday challenges. OpenUp teaches managers and employees different ways to become more mentally resilient.


Think of it as a toolbox that they can pull from when they need to. This toolbox includes things like mindfulness, masterclasses and group sessions related to topics such as stress, self-confidence and building relationships.

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4. Promote the idea of taking time and space for yourself


Managers are partially responsible for the happiness and mental health of their employees. However , this shouldn’t make them lose sight of their own happiness and mental health. Managers may have a desire to prove themselves that might get in the way of their own mental health.


Remind managers to establish boundaries, take plenty of time off, not work (too much) in the evening or at weekends, and make plenty of time for hobbies and social activities.


5. Encourage them to develop good relationships


Just like all employees, managers also need someone to turn to. This allows managers to discuss the obstacles they’re encountering and to ask for help so that they can improve.  To enable this kind of discussion, you could establish an internal buddy scheme or mentorship programme for your managers.


6. Reassure them that making mistakes is part of the process


Making mistakes is human. And new managers are inevitably going to make mistakes. Encourage failing – and learning from these failures.


Make it clear that it’s okay for people to not get things perfect right away; that it’s okay not to know everything, to feel overwhelmed, and that it’s important to seek support in these situations – either from HR, a mentor or buddy, or from OpenUp.


Keen to learn more about how to support your (first-time) managers?

👉🏼 Book a no-obligation demo. We’ll talk you through how we can support your organisation.

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