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Mistakes New Managers Make At Work

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Mistakes New Managers Make At Work

Landing your first management job is a big deal. You’re moving up in the world and getting recognized for all of your hard work and accomplishments. However, it takes more to be a top-notch manager than just experience and a phenomenal resume.

At different points in our career, we’ve all had managers that were honestly, not the best at management. That’s alright that they weren’t, not everyone is cut out for a management position, even if they’re in one. It’s never too late though, if you recently landed a job as a manager at your company, you probably want to be the best manager you can be.

Here are some mistakes new managers make at work that you should try not to succumb to.


Acting Too Hastily

A lot of new managers frequently believe that they need to change things around. They place their mark on their own ideas on every policy, procedure, and rule. If there are no policies and rules, they’re often ready to immediately make new ones. They act on poor performance appraisal data. They immediately favor co-worker friends for key assignments, schedules, etcetera.

Acting Too Slowly

On the other hand, some managers act too slowly. Buying into the way of thinking of, “We’ve always done it that way.” can be very true of a new manager with no management experience or very little experience with the company.

Failing To Assess Properly

Failing to assess properly is a mistake in its own right. New managers need to assess situations within an organization, follow expectations handed down by senior management, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each employee (with a focus on strengths). New managers are typically charged with solving some specific problems, and you cannot ignore them. You also need to meet with each subordinate to get to know them personally, and get to know their strengths and their inputs.

Acting On Old Performance Data

Performance data is fundamentally flawed by the bias of the rater(s). This data reflects more on the performance of the previous manager than it does on the employees being rated. Spending hours reviewing old performance ratings of employees is a waste of time.

If the previous manager was promoted because of his or her successful management of your team, ask the manager some simple questions about each member of your team. You can ask “Would you always pick (or rehire) this person for your team?”.

Not Focusing On Strengths

Many new managers focus on the weaknesses of their employees rather than their strengths. If you have no way to measure their strengths, then interview team members about their strengths. Ask each one where they see themselves best contributing.

Poor Communication

Often, new managers lock into a learning mode to read policies and procedures. They want to understand everything before saying anything to their new team. To rectify this, just communicate with your employees and communicate with them often. Give them an opportunity to learn about you as you learn about them. Learn their work styles, and let them learn yours.

Doesn’t Ask Questions

Many new managers fail because they are afraid to ask questions. It shows that they don’t know what to do. Some of the most successful managers don’t have that mentality. They ask questions of their bosses, other managers, and members of their team. Don’t forget to ask why.

A Strict Ruleset

New managers often believe they have to know the answers to everything about the company and the team. They often fail to realize their job is to actually coach people to be their very best and not be the manager that can ‘do it all by themselves’. In today’s environment, a manager is likely to be the least knowledgeable in terms of specific job and technical knowledge. The solutions are communicating, asking, and listening.

That’s That

The solution to all of these problems is management training. We wish you the best of luck in your managerial endeavors, and hope you seek out the training you need to be the very best manager you can be.


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Mistakes New Managers Make At Work
Jake Tilk

Jake is the Digital Marketing Manager for OptyConnect and Healthcare Consultant. He holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Business from Western Michigan University and has a certification in Software Development.