Starting a New Job

How To Succeed on Your First Day as a Manager in 9 Steps

July 1, 2021

Becoming a manager can be an exciting and important milestone in your career. You can set a positive tone for your tenure as a manager starting on your first day. Learning about the goals you can set and actions you can complete on your first day can help you find long-term success with your team and the company. In this article, we explain why it's important to succeed on your first day as a manager and provide steps as a guide.

Why is it important to succeed on your first day as a manager?

It's important to succeed on your first day as a manager because you can use the positive momentum to continue excelling in the following months and years. You can develop strong, lasting relationships on your first day that may be beneficial throughout your career. If your supervisor or employer sees that you're trying hard on your first day, they may be more likely to consider you for more leadership responsibilities.

Related: What Is a Manager?

How to succeed your first day as a manager

If you're about to start your first day as a manager, here are a few tips to transition into your new role:

1. Study

Once you accept the offer, learn everything that you can about the position requirements and company history. Use this time to educate yourself about the company culture to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of your role and how it fits within the organization. Consider asking the hiring manager or an HR representative about the company's mission and goals and the day-to-day responsibilities of your new role. You can also perform some research on the company's website to learn more about the culture and environment.

2. Dress professionally

As you complete your research about the company and its culture, make a note of any dress code requirements. Dressing professionally and according to the company's code can help you make a good first impression on your team and supervisor. You can also ask a company representative about the dress code before your first day to ensure you choose the appropriate apparel.

Related: What To Wear On Your First Day of Work

3. Meet with your team members individually

Consider connecting with your team members before your start date to introduce yourself. Check with human resources to see if this is possible or if you need to wait until your official start date. If allowed, a brief email could be a simple way to communicate with your new team.

When you begin your first day, start or continue that email conversation with short one-on-one meetings. Start with a sincere greeting and share what motivates you as a manager. Consider asking your staff what their passions are outside of work to build a rapport. Set the standard for regular individual meetings to help lead your team to ensure future success.

4. Host a team meeting

Once you have made time to connect with the team individually, schedule a group meeting. Reintroduce yourself and share your enthusiasm for the new position. Set expectations and share how you might measure them. Build trust so that your team feels comfortable coming to you with any concerns.

You may find that asking questions could help facilitate discussion. Try a few of these questions to get your team meeting started:

  • What department processes are working?
  • What department processes are not working?
  • What motivates you?
  • How can I help you?
  • What is your preferred method of communication for team updates?

Do more listening than talking on your first day to show you value your team members' opinions. Discover what challenges exist and brainstorm ideas as a team to solve any issues. While it may only be your first day, you can start researching solutions for ongoing obstacles within your department.

5. Meet with your supervisor

It's important to meet with your direct supervisor on your first day to establish a working relationship. When you meet with your supervisor, ask what the preferred method of communication is for day-to-day updates. Use an online chat, face-to-face meetings or emails to stay up to date on important work goals. Consider using this time to share your short-term goals to see if they can provide feedback that you can incorporate.

Related: 22 Important Questions To Ask Your Manager

6. Introduce yourself to other managers

Connecting with other managers can help you learn what other company leaders do to succeed. Building relationships with other managers is also useful for creating open lines of communication among different departments. If you can, find time to meet with other managers briefly and ask about their experience with the business. You can also send emails to quickly introduce yourself and ask if they have time to meet with you in your first week.

7. Set expectations

Use your first day to set metrics for success and create goals for 30, 60 and 90 days. By designating a method to measure your success, you can stay focused as a new employee. It's helpful to try to prepare general goals for these milestones before your first day. When you meet with your team and supervisor, you can add actionable and measurable details that can serve as clear guides.

Consider creating specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals to be as detailed as possible. SMART goals can also be useful when you examine your performance with your supervisor during reviews.

Read more: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

8. Look for a mentor

To show dedication to your new role and your desire to learn more about the responsibilities of the job, look for a mentor as soon as you can. Someone has been in your position before and probably has insight into the day-to-day operations. Your mentor could be your hiring manager or someone else on the management team. Try to form a relationship with the person first before asking them to mentor you to ensure you're compatible.

Related: How To Find a Business Mentor

9. Establish professional relationships

Working with a new team can be an exciting opportunity to meet people. Since you're a manager, it's crucial that you create professional relationships between you and the employees on your team. While it's important to have good working relationships with team members, it's also critical to focus on helping the team meet its goals. Creating clear objectives and working standards on your first day can show your intent as a new manager.

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