14 Common Challenges for New Managers & How to Overcome Them

As a new manager, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next but don’t worry, this is completely normal.

There are many common challenges that first-time managers face, and it can be difficult to know how to overcome them.

However, by understanding the most common challenges faced by new managers and the best ways to overcome them, you can find success in your new role while maintaining your values and professional responsibilities as a manager.

What qualifies as a new manager?

New managers are defined as people who are new to their roles and have not yet held the position of a manager. They can come from any background and hold a variety of degrees, certifications, or work experience.

What are the most common challenges for new managers?

From understanding your new role as manager to delegating tasks effectively there are a number of common challenges that new and first-time managers face, including:

  1. Becoming peers with former superiors as a new manager
  2. Defining your day-to-day as a new manager
  3. Navigating the new workload as a new manager
  4. Managing former peers as a new manager
  5. Hiring new employees as a new manager
  6. Effective communication as a new manager
  7. Managing difficult personalities as a new manager
  8. Holding others accountable as a new manager
  9. Mentoring and developing others as a new manager
  10. Creating a team culture as a new manager
  11. Delegating tasks effectively as a new manager
  12. Prioritizing competing deadlines as a new manager
  13. Resolving workplace conflicts as a new manager
  14. Continuing to grow as a new manager

Becoming peers with former superiors as a new manager

While it may feel strange at first to interact with a former superior as a peer, it is important to remember that you are now on the same level.

It is important to create a professional relationship, while still respecting both of your positions.

Defining your day-to-day as a new manager

Your role as a manager will be different than any job you’ve had before and it’s important to define your day-to-day.

Take the time to understand your responsibilities, set clear expectations for yourself and your team, and prioritize tasks to maximize productivity.

Naturally, being a manager comes with more responsibility so it’s important to manage the extra workload effectively.

Create a plan of action and delegate tasks to your team so that you can focus on the most important tasks at hand.

Managing former peers as a new manager

Managing people who used to be your peers can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that they are now employees under your management.

In these instances, it’s important to maintain strong relationships and create a positive work environment to establish trust with your team.

Hiring new employees as a new manager

As a new manager, it can be difficult to navigate hiring someone for the first time and avoid making a bad hire.

It is important to take the time to review resumes and interview potential candidates. Once you hire someone, provide clear expectations and a timeline for success.

Effective communication as a new manager

Communication is key when it comes to managing a team and being successful in your role.

Be sure to be clear and concise when communicating with your team and practice active listening techniques like paraphrasing and reflecting, to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Managing difficult personalities as a new manager

Managing people with difficult personalities can be challenging, but it is important to remain professional and consistent in your approach.

Focus on their good qualities and try to find an effective way to motivate them without losing your authority or compromising your values.

Holding others accountable as a new manager

Being able to hold your team accountable is an important part of being a successful manager.

Be sure to set clear expectations and create an environment that encourages productive work and collaboration — and don’t be afraid to let someone know when they’re falling short.

Mentoring and developing others as a new manager

As a first-time manager, it’s important to recognize the needs of your team and provide guidance and support when necessary.

Be sure to give constructive feedback, reward good work, and provide ongoing opportunities for learning and development.

Creating a team culture as a new manager

Creating a positive team culture is essential in order for your team to function effectively.

Provide consistent support, guidance, and direction to your team, acknowledge successes and challenges, and create a culture of inclusion where everyone feels valued.

Delegating tasks effectively as a new manager

As a manager, it’s important to be able to delegate tasks appropriately so that everyone has an equal workload.

Take the time to assess each task, understand who would be the best fit for it, and clearly communicate expectations.

Prioritizing competing deadlines as a new manager

When managing multiple tasks or projects, it’s important to prioritize competing deadlines effectively.

By breaking down large goals into smaller ones and delegating tasks accordingly, you can ensure that everything gets done on time and with the quality you expect.

Resolving workplace conflicts as a new manager

Managing people effectively requires good relationships.

Be sure to cultivate positive relationships with your team by actively listening, giving constructive feedback, and rewarding good work. You should also be proactive in seeking out potential problems and addressing them quickly before they turn into conflicts.

Continuing to grow as a new manager

No matter how experienced you may be, continuing to grow in your role is essential.

Make time for professional development and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Don’t forget to seek feedback from colleagues or mentors who can provide valuable insight into your performance as a manager.

How to overcome the challenges of being a new manager

By understanding the challenges faced by many first-time managers and approaching them with an open mind and a growth mindset, new managers can find ways to thrive in their new roles.

Perform a personal SWOT Analysis

Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to gain a clear understanding of where you can focus on improvement.

By performing a personal SWOT analysis and getting familiar with your strengths and areas for improvement you can lead by example and gain more clarity on how what type of manager you’d like to be.

Understand that being a new manager is a process

It takes time to become an effective manager, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes.

Be patient with yourself and others as you navigate the transitional period of moving from being an individual contributor to a manager.

Learning and development for new managers

Take advantage of learning and development opportunities, either through formal training or less structured methods like reading books or attending workshops.

Continuous learning helps you to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and become a better manager for your team.

Seek feedback as a new manager

Feedback is essential for growth, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

You can ask for feedback from your peers, mentors, or managers. Be sure to listen to the feedback you receive and use it to make changes and improvements.

Be honest and transparent as a new manager

Be honest and open with your team about challenges and successes.

By seeing the challenges you and the company face, your direct reports can better understand how their work contributes to the company’s success.

Show your team that you trust them by being transparent and open with them, while also encouraging initiative and creativity.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as a new manager

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help or guidance.

Find mentors who have been in the same shoes before and seek their advice.

Consider joining professional development programs as well, which will provide you with resources and support from experienced managers.

Remain authentic to who you are as a new manager

It can be easy to lose sight of yourself when you move from being an individual contributor to a manager.

Make sure to remain authentic and true to your values, while also committing yourself fully to the tasks at hand.

Work with a staffing agency as a new manager

A staffing agency can be a great resource for new managers to find the right people who fit your team’s goals and culture.

They have experience in hiring candidates at all levels and can provide you with valuable insights on the job market or advice on how to optimize your recruitment process.

Challenges of new and first-time managers

Being a new manager can be overwhelming at times, but understanding these common challenges and taking the steps to overcome them will help you become an effective leader for your team.

Remember to be open and honest, communicate clearly, and lead by example to build an environment of trust and collaboration.

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support when needed. With strong leadership skills and the right resources, you can become a successful manager.

Looking to hire top-tier Tech, Digital Marketing, or Creative Talent? We can help.

Every year, Mondo helps to fill over 2,000 open positions nationwide.

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