The first step to being a successful manager by admitting you don't have all the answers. Your co-workers know that you can't solve all the problems by yourself, so they will be watching to see what you do.
Top management at your company also knows you won't have the answers and are looking to see how you find them. Be yourself and remember that your failures will be forgiven if you are honest and tried to do the right thing.
- Stay focused. Your job is to manage the department, not become friends with your employees or do their jobs if they can't. Make sure you have a clear job description and then sit down with your supervisor and find out exactly what expectations he or she has for you.
- Go through the job description line by line. Prioritize the tasks and find out what any vague wording exactly means. Then it is the time to ask questions and to point out any tasks that you feel aren't under your control.
- Involve your staff. Chances are your older employees have seen it all. They will be able to tell you what's a potential problem and what isn't. If you're asked to solve a problem, go to them for advice before you try to come up with anything on your own.
- Don't make massive changes all at once. New managers frequently want to come in and totally redesign processes and systems to show how smart they are. There may be some necessary but for the first few months, keep things the way they are. Chances are the systems and processes have a history and have good reasons for being in place. If there are major areas you could change right away, you'll still look like a more thoughtful manager if you ask for advice and get input from others, then propose a change in a reasonable timeframe.
- Be a good communicator. Employees respect a manager who tells them what they did wrong without laying blame - you'll go far with your employees if you admit a mistake you made before you talk to them about mistakes they've made. Employees also look for a leader who knows when to pass on important company information, when to go to the next level with a concern, and when to crack down on the rumor mill.
Remember, your job is to facilitate the work of your employees,but not to do it for them!