3 Sure Ways to Solve New Manager Struggles

Every new manager I know has faced a moment when they or their team is not performing at their peak or at the level they want to be.  Sales Targets seem hard to achieve, the daily operational structure feels disorganized and it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the week. A sense of doom or drowning may ensue. What did you get yourself into when you accepted this job.

When you as the new manager step back, and really look at what is happening, you notice short cuts have crept into everyone’s routine and consistency has fallen by the wayside. You tried to be nice and let people “do it their way” but now it seems out of control. Your day to day activities focus on reacting to what comes up rather than being proactive. How did you end up here?

3 ways for a new manager to get back on track?

First, I am a firm believer that in order for you as a new manager to move forward effectively, you have to look back. Take a moment and think about when you felt on top of your game. It does not have to be in this job but in order to have been promoted to this position you had to have had some success. Remember a time when it seemed effortless to achieve whatever you wanted to.

Now focus on what you DID as you achieved those goals. Identifying that behavior is the key to aiding you to get back on track.

Some people will respond that they don’t know exactly what they did to be effective, the individual pieces are confusing to identify from the whole. Others will say that they don’t like to reflect; they live in the moment and just want to look forward.

This means trouble. New managers that can neither identify their own effective or ineffective behaviors and those managers that choose to ignore their past performance as a learning curve for the future will stay inevitably stuck.  Ignoring ineffective behavior leads to repeating ineffective behavior and thus continuing to get ineffective results.

Secondly, successful managers have consistent active behaviors that guide their day-to-day performance on the job and with their teams such as:

  • Following a checklist of tasks or plan of action.
  • Finishing one project before moving on to the next.
  • Focusing on what was in front of them. Giving it their full attention instead of trying to do 3 things at once.
  • Crossing things off their to do list when they were done.
  • Writing things down so they do not have to try and remember everything.

The list could go on and on but everything on the list refers to ACTIONS, not REACTIONS.

Lastly, remember that just because you SAY you want to change, that does not mean it will happen.  Start simply with the following few steps:

  • Write down 3 things that you will DO differently.
  • Remind yourself and apply the new actions daily.
  • Monitor your progress closely over a determined time period (2 weeks / 4 weeks/ 6 weeks) to examine how your new routine is working and if you are getting the results you want.

Being a new manager that is facing their first hurdle can be overwhelming. Using these few steps will allow you to use your skills to improve performance and set up a plan that you can follow for success.

Getting back on track is not as hard as people think but it does take work and time.

Glenn Pasch
About the author: 

Glenn Pasch is the Chief Executive Officer at PCG Companies, an agency based in northern New Jersey, with six divisions focused on digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media advertising and web design. Prior to PCG, Glenn served in SVP and President roles with two other marketing and advertising companies, and he is currently a Guest Professor at Northwood University.  Follow Mr. Pasch on Twitter.