Conversion to manager

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Making the conversion to the position of manager can bring its challenges. One minute you are a team member working alongside your peers, the next you find yourself approving their holidays, delegating work and managing performance. Some of your ‘then’ peer group may have applied for the promotion and feel unjustly pipped at the post by you! This can sometimes display itself as resentment, lack of respect or passive aggressive behaviour.

Most managers find themselves in their first management position because they are technically good at their job, they stand out, they get results. However, the skills that get people noticed aren’t necessarily the skills needed to manage and this can impact on individual’s ability to lead, develop and motivate the team.

How can managers make the transition without losing friendships, respect and trust?

Clarify expectations of managers

Newly promoted managers are not mind readers, you need to be clear on what is expected of you in your role. What are the role model behaviours required? Where are the lines of accountability and responsibility drawn? What authority levels do you have?

Consider the skills needed

Review the skills needed to perform well in a manager role, for example, delegation skills, honest conversations, communication, developing the team and so on. In your 1:1 with your line manager, discuss and identify areas for your development.

Build a development plan

Next build a realistic development plan. Prioritise the plan and seek support and guidance from others. Keep two-way communication open, seek honest feedback and review your development plan at regular interviews.


Consider engaging with a mentor who can provide guidance and act as a sounding board for you to test your thinking. This way you can develop confidence in your decision making and approach to managing.

Take time to connect with team members

Take the time to connect with team members on an individual basis. Have regular 1:1s and honest conversations to understand what’s working for your team members and what’s getting in their way.

Did you know, 62% of people leave their job because of their manager!

Through our employee engagement reviews we often find that line managers are a contributing factor for people feeling less engaged in their work. Research supports this, reporting that 62% of people leave their job because of their manager! Don’t let that be you.

A solution for you – First Line Manager Programme

In response to the issues we are finding, we have developed a First Line Manager Programme which explores essential elements of management and leadership to help new and aspiring managers become more effective in your role. If you would like to know more, then click here for more information.