Prioritizing Your Duties As A New Manager
To be effective and deliver high levels of performance as a Manager, especially in the face of changing regulations and low morale among some staff in banking and financial services firms, newly-appointed Managers and Team Leaders need to have both a ‘change in mindset’ and clarity on the priorities for their team.
The change in mindset required of you as a new manager will enable you to focus on ensuring that jobs get done, rather than doing the jobs yourself. Managing other peoples’ time and the financial resources of your organisation is not an easy role for some new managers. This is even more difficult if managers spent many years previously measuring their success and effectiveness by the number of tasks they completed alone. In considering priorities for your team, therefore, you should take into consideration immediate/short-term ones and longer-term priorities. The latter will affect not just you and your team but the business as a whole.
A useful place to start is having clarity about your priorities. It is essential that such priorities be communicated to your team. When this is done at the outset, you are able to get support/ ‘buy-in’ for a common or shared team goal. Failure to communicate priorities at the start of assuming duty as a new Team Leader or Manager can result in you being head of a group, rather than leading a team. You may even find yourself faced with the scenario of having multiple agendas and priorities among sub-groups in ‘the team’. The likelihood of this occurring is higher when changes form part of the new priorities and pockets of resistance have developed.
Below are seven pivotal questions you should ask of yourself as a manager, especially if it is your first time ever to manage a team or you have stepped up to performing duties for management of a larger and multi-region team, as part of a global business.
What are my priority/most urgent tasks this week? This should have been planned at least in the previous week and merely updated for any subsequent changes.
What are my plans for the department/team over the next quarter, six months, year,…? Ideally this should be done not only through discussions with your Director/Line Manager but through discussions with members of your team.
Where are the greatest risks to attaining a high level of performance by everyone on my team? In essence, how can I build capability and empower my team to even higher levels of performance.
How do I set common goals and lead/get others to achieve their goals also?
How do I and the team prepare for business/organisation changes over the next year?
What non-financial incentives can I use to reward my team? Financial incentives may not always be the ones valued most highly.
What time management tools can I use most fruitfully to ensure I am effective in performing my duties and meet, if not exceed, all targets?
It is essential that you ask yourself these questions even before you begin your new role. While you may not have all the answers before you start managing your team, you should strive to have those answers within the first 30 days of assuming your managerial role.
The answers you provide to those questions would go a considerable way to helping you get greater depth of clarity in understanding the demands of your role as a team manager and how you can manage the talent in your team and improve your own personal effectiveness and creditability as a Manager or Team Leader.