Moving from general staff to management, especially in finance jobs can be daunting. No longer are you just responsible for your work, you are now responsible for a whole team of people – in some cases people who used to be your peers. It’s a transition that, while difficult, is critical to your success as a leader for your employees.
The same challenges also face seasoned managers. Pressure from work and many other factors can cause a manager to fall into bad boss habits causing your department’s quality of work to drop. Here are 5 tips to follow to either make a great first impression or to put the shine back into your step as a great manager.
Maintain a Professional Tone
Whilst this might sound simple it’s a lot harder than you think in finance jobs. Supervising friends and former peers is difficult and maintaining a professional tone establishes you as a leader. Whilst this doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly towards colleagues, one needs to understand that a little bit of distance is required. When it’s time to put the hammer down or support your team it needs to come from the right place. Avoid oversharing details of your personal life and treat all staff equally to avoid the perception of having favourites.
In a profession where you are working with highly-trained professionals, most staff will not need much direction once they have been assigned their projects. All they need is feedback and recognition. Constantly asking for updates will cause friction and lower their standard of work. Trust your team to do what they do best.
This isn’t a statement that applies to all staff members, some will require more attention and assistance to deliver their work but the trick is to find the line between micro & macro managing.
Delegate when Possible
Learning to delegate is hard. As a new manager you have come from a space where you relied mostly on your hard work, but handling all the new responsibilities you have means you cannot work the same way. Focus on higher-level tasks that only you as a manager can do. The rest should be delegated to your team. As long as you clearly communicate what each delegated task requires you should get the results you want.
Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team. You will be able to prioritise which of your team members are best suited to handle these delegated tasks. Finally, be sure to offer constructive criticism of your staff’s work as well as praise them for work that is well done, this will only improve.
Encourage Work-Life Balance, Especially with Finance Jobs
Maintaining a work-life balance is difficult for you and your staff. Whilst we are encouraged to give 110% all the time we all have personal lives. Help your staff manage their work so that they don’t get overwhelmed. Try and put together a flexible work schedule. This will help your team work at their best without sacrificing their time. In the end, you’ll see them reach higher productivity. Ultimately you also need to set a good example. Try not to work late yourself and encourage your employees to use their vacation days. A culture of workaholism only results in burn out and you may end up losing the most valuable team members you have.
Expand Your Network
Make an effort to get to know the other department managers in your business. You will likely be working with them often so a good relationship is vital to ensure any cross-departmental projects are successful. You’ll also find that especially with more senior managers you will be able to learn a lot when it comes to team management or just general advice on how to get the best out of those around you. In the end, these relationships can also lay the groundwork for future promotions.
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