Many young professionals long for managerial positions in their careers. You look at your boss and say to yourself, “I can do that work.” As much as a promotion comes with more money, it also comes with a lot more work.
Management requires a strong desire to generate output that is beneficial to the collective organisation. You could be a high performing employee, but without the ability to influence others to collaborate and achieve results, your promotion could be your ticket to unhappiness.
So, if the promotion came and you have to manage a team, know that you have to get comfortable doing some not-so-comfortable things.
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Put your biases aside
At some point in your career, you will — if you haven’t already — encounter a colleague who irritates you. Being a manager means that you have to treat your juniors fairly in spite of some tending to get under your skin.
It is natural for our personalities to conflict with others and present this unique challenge at the workplace. Sometimes, you are obligated to hire and train someone who initially rubbed you the wrong way.
Your work is to help them succeed without showing any form of bias. You have to remain an impartial leader who does not allow the annoyance and the mismatch in personal values to interfere with work.
When you have to fire someone
There are many reasons why employees get fired. Most of them are either redundant — not bringing anything new to the workplace, guilty of wrongful conduct like fraud or plainly not performing.
Firing someone is not easy even after they have been previously reprimanded for wrongdoing. The one on the receiving end could be struggling to offset loans, keep his or her children in school and battling many other life issues.
But if all efforts to improve performance fail, such an employee has to go. You have to balance between being stern and fair for the job.
Letting go an innocent worker
A good number of companies downsized recently due to financial constrains brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Others found ways to get by through slashing employees’ salaries with the promise to get back to “normal pay” when the bite of the pandemic eases.
The discomfort of firing an employee gets worse when you have to let them go, knowing that they never did anything wrong. Managers have to be psychologically strong, not to let the guilt of downsizing pull them down.
Longer hours without overtime pay
Promotion to management is normally accompanied by a bigger salary and bigger responsibilities. It also means you may have to commit extra time. Sometimes, the extra time does not translate to additional cash. Be prepared that you may have to work overtime at some point without additional compensation.
The ultimate responsibility is yours
Part of the managerial role is to delegate duties to competent people. Delegating means that you need to have the skin to take responsibility for your mistakes and those of your subordinates.
The responsibility increases with employees working under your direct authority. It is for you as the leader to cultivate a sense of responsibility at the workplace.
Mistakes do happen, but they are minimised when you instill accountability by training and offering examples. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you.
Giving constructive criticism to your junior, who is in the wrong, will help them do a better job next time. Being boss means you have to take a leap of faith and charge the same employee with another assignment with expectation they benefited from your criticism and will do the project justice.
You have to give your juniors the opportunity to grow even if they disappointed you previously.
Tactfulness in standing up for your subordinates
Leadership entails standing up for your subordinates especially when they are falsely accused. Coming to your subordinate’s defense takes a lot of wisdom especially when you have to stand up to your own boss.
Many dread the idea of standing up to a higher ranking official, more so when you are doing so on behalf of someone else. However, when the process acknowledges authority and connects the concern with the company’s mission, it enhances respect and communication at the workplace.