Management Tips | June 3, 2024

What Should a New Manager do on the First Day?

image representing What Should a New Manager do on the First Day?

Congratulations, you’ve been promoted to a leadership position within your organization 🎉! 

Even though you're likely over the moon about your promotion, a new role always comes with new changes and obstacles. Becoming a new manager and getting comfortable in a different position can be challenging, and it’s easy to overlook some simple things that will make the transition a lot smoother. 

If you’re wondering what to do as a new manager, this list of tips for your first day is a great place to start!

Why Your First Day as a Manager Matters

We all know how important first impressions are. Your first day as a manager is an important opportunity to make a positive impression and begin building credibility and relationships with your new direct reports. While you’re not new to the team, you’re new to your leadership role—which means you’re still making a first impression. 

No pressure, but everyone will be watching, from your team members to your boss and peers 👀. So, you want to have a strong start and make the most of your first day as a manager! How can you do it? 

4 Things a New Manager Should do on Their First Day

Here is a new manager checklist of four simple things you should always do on your first day as a new manager:

1. Get to Know Your Direct Reports in a New Way

If you’re wondering what new managers need to know, the #1 thing isn’t a skill—it’s their team 🧑‍🤝‍🧑! Even though you already know the people in your organization, your relationships and responsibilities as a leader will be different than they were in your previous role. So, it’s important to start establishing those manager/direct report relationships (which are much different than relationships amongst coworkers) from the get-go. 

Now that you’re a manager, it’s essential to know what each employee’s strengths are, what challenges they’re facing in their job role, what their career development goals are, etc. These are things you likely haven’t uncovered as their team member, but will definitely need to know as their manager.

This is why 1:1s are so important. You shouldn't rely on random messages and interactions to listen to your reports: prioritize spending time with them weekly to focus on their projects, issues, and feedback. Communication is a cornerstone of higher employee engagement.

Your willingness to meet with, listen to, and learn from your new direct reports shows that you respect them and truly want to help better the company—plus helps you to build deeper personal relationships that can translate into better work 😃. Be sure to take good notes during these meetings, jotting down any issues you notice, areas for opportunity, or ideas you have 📝. Then, once you have your lay of the land and feel comfortable in your new role, you can get to work making those changes and improvements! 

2. Start Looking Beyond Your Own Team

As a first time manager, your own direct reports aren’t the only important people in the organization that you should get to know better. It’s also important to have a firm understanding of what other departments do and how they operate. This will give you an awareness of the role your team plays in the bigger picture of the organization 🤝. It also helps you learn who to go to in different situations or if you need something. As a team member, you may not have had to deal with leaders or employees from other departments, but as a manager, you definitely will. 

However, there’s simply no way you could meet with every single person and have a firm understanding of everything that’s going on from your first day as a manager alone. What you can do is start setting up meetings over the next couple of weeks with people from various departments 📅. Get a meeting on the books with HR so you can gain a deeper understanding of your company culture—and how to be an example of it to your direct reports. Ask for the opportunity to attend meetings with other teams and departments so you can listen in and observe. Hearing about opportunities and challenges across the organization can give you deeper insights and ideas that people on your own team may not have thought of before 💡.

3. Keep it Positive 

Another important new manager tip is to remember that your new direct reports are used to the way they’ve been working. So, if you notice processes that are inefficient or areas where improvements could be made, your very first day as a manager isn’t the right time to tell them everything they’ve been doing is wrong. You'll have plenty of time to make changes and improvements, so resist the urge to make criticisms and keep your first impression all about the positives 😌. 

While you’ll probably feel excited to hit the ground running 🏃‍♂️ as a first time manager, it’s important to take the time to build a strong foundation and knowledge base. After all, you can’t help your teams improve or fix inefficient processes if you have no idea that a problem exists or what it means. Plus, if you come in with a negative attitude, your direct reports likely won’t feel comfortable voicing their problems or raising concerns to you—which means you’ll never be able to help fix them 😔. 

4. Find a Mentor

Mentorship is a valuable thing to have in any position and especially important when you’re in a brand new role. As a first time manager, having a reliable person you can go to for guidance, advice, and support will be crucial to your success 👏! So, on your first day as a manager, scope out the other successful managers in your organization and identify one you’d like to observe and learn from. 

Don’t be stubborn here—being a manager is harder than it looks. Pick someone to learn from and ask them to be your mentor. Beyond just helping to ease the transition into your new role and make you feel more comfortable as a first time manager, you’ll be able to learn a whole lot 🤓! Having an experienced role model to look up to, answer your questions, and lead you on the right track with new manager training can help you become a better manager to your own teams down the road. 

Use the Right Tools to Manage Your Team

While these new manager tips are valuable, implementing them all on your own can be tricky. You need access to the right tools and technologies to make it happen 🛠️.

Luckily, there are lots of modern tools out there that first time managers can use to streamline the day-to-day tasks of being a manager, freeing up time for bigger-picture tasks and new manager training. 

If your organization uses Microsoft Teams, the tool you need is Strety.

Strety lives inside Microsoft Teams to help new managers keep track of workload, timelines, projects, performance goals, communication, and more -- without having to switch tools. It's a system to help you stop sweating the details 💦 and start focusing on being the best possible manager to your team. 

With Strety, you'll be able to: 

  • Automate and document your all-important 1:1s
  • Set and track employee, team, and company goals 
  • Send and store team announcements
  • Ask recurring questions
  • Set automated reminders for more streamlined project management 

Do you want a smooth, seamless transition into your role as a new manager? If so, you’re ready to Strety! Contact us today to learn more about our tool and how it can make your first day as a manager—and every day after that—effective and enjoyable.


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