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Nine Things Every New Manager Needs To Do In The First 90 Days Of Their Role

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Landing your first management position can be as daunting as it is exciting. You may feel pressure from superiors to perform well or wonder how you’ll best lead your new employees.

It’s important to take early action to establish your leadership style and set yourself up for success. That’s why nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council each shared the most critical thing they believe first-time managers should do within the first 90 days of their new role. Follow their tips to give yourself a head start on your new leadership position.

1. Set Priority Projects

What are the one to two top priorities that will generate the biggest impact for those first 90 days? When you start a new job, everything feels urgent and important, but some stuff is just important or not urgent. Knowing your priority projects will help you focus your energy when so much will be asked of you. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

2. Get Curious

One thing to do in the first 90 days is to commit to curiosity. Sounds simple, but the ego is a powerful thing. Many managers come into a role and want to show their value by doing things, changing things and exacting their expectations. But to truly build a team foundation that is driven by empowerment, accountability and commitment, a manager is best staying open and curious. This is not to say that a manager cannot have ideas and opinions, but management is not about telling people what to do. Rather, it is about guiding a group of people with different points of view on a shared journey toward a shared goal. – Russell Benaroya, Stride Services

3. Learn More About The Team

Any new manager should get to know their team, collectively and as individuals, whether they are a new outside hire or a promotion from within. You need to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Figure out how your skills mesh with others and how you can lend a hand to congeal your team together. If one person is better at one aspect of the job, can they be paired up with someone who struggles in that area to learn from their co-worker? Those first 90 days are critical, and it will be apparent even at 30 days in if the path to success is being paved or if some blasting dynamite is needed. Self check-ins at 30, 60 and 90 days for yourself, as well as check-ins with team members, are crucial. This creates transparency and trust. – Jeff Keenan, LeadsRx

4. Create A Plan

Most employers do not have a great onboarding and management process and would appreciate a self-managed manager. Come up with a detailed 90-day plan that goes over objectives, key results and KPIs for the next 12 weeks and then share that with your employer for review and validation. Confirm with them that those 90-day objectives if achieved will make the most impact for the business, and be open to feedback and changes. Doing this alone will not only set you apart from previous people in that position, but it will also set you up for long-term success. Once you accomplish this 90-day plan, it would be the perfect time to bring up the topic of your probation and raise too. – Devesh Dwivedi, Idea2Inception

5. Set Clear Expectations

Give your team permission to screw up as long as they write it down and make it better. Clear expectations will prove to have long-lasting effects! Communication is at the core of all success in any position. Clear expectations have three major components: Reverence for where the person came from will help to prepare them to accept the ultimate goal. Recognize and respect who they are as a person—this will help them to feel important and engaged with the vision. Encourage who they can become. This will give them wings and unlock their full potential! When people feel seen, understood and valued, they will become evangelists of your brand. – Kelly Cardenas, Kelly Cardenas Salon

6. Be Willing To Listen

I think any professional starting a job as a manager for the first time should be willing to listen. I think they should set expectations that the beginning (give or take 30 days) is for absorbing and getting the lay of the land. This lays the groundwork for their team to feel heard and then the decisions they make thereafter will be more informed. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya

7. Delegate Work

Start learning to delegate work. This is one of the most common traits that new managers lack. Being able to delegate work means trusting the people you are overseeing and properly prioritizing the work—neither of which are easy or familiar to people who just became managers. However, this is one of the most important traits to become a successful manager. When you become a manager, many responsibilities come with the role, including attending multiple meetings. With such limited time, making sure to properly prioritize the tasks and delegate to the proper people is a must. Needless to say, you need to ensure the tasks are getting done correctly with checks after the delegation. It might be easier or faster to get the task done yourself at first, but in the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone. – Meeky Hwang, Ndevr, Inc

8. Identify Your Values

Identify your values because when push comes to shove and you find yourself in a hard position to make tough choices, your values are what will guide you. My values are integrity, compassion, efficiency and tenacity. When I find myself losing sleep about an issue at work, I ask myself if I’m being honest with myself and having integrity with my team. I then ask if the proposed solution is the most effective one. I also ask myself if the solution can be more simple. Then I take a step back and ask myself if the decision I make is compassionate toward the people it affects. And when I get burned out trying to figure it out, I remember to stay tenacious.  Identify your values. They will be your compass in hard times. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

9. Get Employee Feedback

Have one-on-one meetings with all employees you’re managing and ask for input. What better way to learn what “success” looks like than by asking those who have been in the company for a while? When you schedule the one-on-ones, keep it informal. Let them know you’re on a “listening tour” and nothing needs to be prepared or stressed about. Ask them how they view the company’s mission and success, what they would like to be more involved in or what their long-term aspirations are. Listen to them as complete human beings and really get to know them. This helps them feel like collaborative members of the company. It also helps you understand how each employee feels about the company and how they feel about their contributions to its success. – Shu Saito, Godai Soaps



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