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It’s All About The People: Advice For New Managers

By Emilie Shoop (1074 words)
Posted in Management on April 25, 2013

There are (4) comments permalink

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By Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting

People are the key to getting anything done within an organization.  It doesn’t matter if you make widgets or sell magic spells.  Without the people, none of it is possible. One of the biggest challenges for new managers is making the shift from ‘It’s all about the work’ to ‘It’s all about the people’.  Many new managers, if not all, struggle with this shift.  From what I’ve seen it’s not for a lack of trying, but really a lack of knowing exactly how to make the shift.


Unsuccessful managers generate some staggering results.  According to Gallup research, 69% of US employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.”


To me, that number is shocking.  Yes, we’ve all been to offices where it seems like there are some people that are disengaged.  But was it really 69%?  In a 10 person office, that means that about seven of the employees aren’t giving it their all.  Or, three people are doing almost all the work.  Wow!  These managers are certainly doing something wrong.


What about the office of 100 people?  You would think in a larger organization it might not be as noticeable, right?  Wrong!  If 70 people aren’t engaged, only 30 of them are.  And who’s to say they are the 30 people who are empowered to get real results?


As you move into your new role as manager or supervisor, remember, it’s all about the people.


Stepping into management requires a shift in your thinking.  Up until now, you were likely rewarded for producing. 

  • If you were in sales, you sold a lot. 
  • If you were in production, you made a lot of items. 
  • If you were an analyst, you identified problems and solved them.

Now it is your responsibility to ensure your team is not part of the 69% statistic.  Your success and your team’s success are dependent on your ability to make the mental shift from your own work to managing the work of others.


Here are a few ways to begin to make the shift successfully.


Encourage Development

Not only do you have a team to manage, you have individuals to manage.  And no two teams are ever the same.  Find out what work each individual is required to accomplish as part of your team.  Then, find out what each individual’s and the team’s strengths are. 

  • Is there any realigning that needs to be done? 
  • Is everyone working within their natural strengths? 
  • How can you help your team continue to develop their strengths and shine?

The more your team sees you as the leader of their development, the more they will trust you in your new role.  Your team will be willing to give more, be more creative, and be innovative in their solutions.



Always remember, people leave managers, not companies.  Work to show that you care about your team members.  In the past, your role may not have given you the opportunity to show this side of you.  Now, it’s imperative for success. 

  • Is anyone struggling at work or at home?
  • Are there any activities outside of work that should be celebrated?
  • What do you do to encourage people to interact with you on a regular basis?

As your team sees you as someone who cares about them, they will in turn care more about their job.  When your team cares about their job, they care about the success of the team!



Each day, work to recognize that your employees are doing their jobs well.  It is much easier as a new manager to try to correct mistakes and draw attention to where work could be done better.  However, as you begin to lead your team, seek opportunities to applaud good work instead. 

  • Aim for praising each employee once a week.
  • Look for the behaviors you enjoy in one individual that you would like to see in others.
  • Mix up public recognition and private recognition.

When your team knows you are watching, in a good way, they will internalize your expectations of them.  People naturally work to the expectations set for them naturally raising the bar when they see what a “good job” looks like.  Over time, what you are recognizing and rewarding for will grow as your team steps up!


Focusing on the people IS how the work gets done.  Remember that as a new manager.  You will be pulled in different directions that will make it seem like it would be so much easier to just correct behavior, do the work yourself, or focus on the work only.  Don’t let those distractions get the best of you and pull you off track.  Your job is to lead your team and ultimately your results will be there…and then some!


{#/pub/images/20120913174147_DSC_14831small.jpg}Written by Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting A sought after Coach, Mompreneur, Strategist, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Trainer & Business Consultant, Emilie works with people who are ready for that next level of success, and realize how they work with people is KEY.  Her coaching will help you lead, delegate, sell, collaborate, perform, influence, and relate with people to launch your success to the next level. She provides clients, teams and organizations the skills and tools for leadership and professional excellence.

Do you have a management question for Emilie?  Post it in our First Time Manager/Supervisor Community and she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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Here are some related articles you may be interested in: 

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: How to Develop Yourself & Your Team

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ManagingAmericans.com is a community of Business Professionals & Expert Consultants sharing knowledge, success tips and solutions to common job issues.  Our objective is to mentor and develop professionals to be better leaders, managers, team players and individual contributors. Ultimately, helping people succeed in their careers.  

Comments (4)

Karen Reed posted on: April 28, 2013

It is probably indeed true that 69% of employees are disengaged from their work, but it is not necessarily true that disengagement is due to lack of good management. This concept is also expressed as the '80-20' rule that seems to occur across the board, in many types of organizations. 80% of the work that gets done is done by 20% of the people. It is the human condition, and may be related to internal motivation, or the way we're wired.

Absolutely there is a problem of lack of good management; we've all heard about "bad" bosses. However, not all employees want to be super-achievers. Some are very content to be mediocre, or have other agendas than that of their work life. Let's temper our expectations of total employee engagement.

Ultimately, however, I do agree 100% with these methods of how to treat employees and to motivate them, and believe it is our responsibility as managers to provide that environment.

Angela Martin posted on: May 1, 2013

I agree with the comment that.."people leave managers, not companies." With so much individualism in the workplace I believe the focus is lost. Business schools teach "team building." Stronger together for the greater good of the company, I believe, has more influence and drives the bottom line.

Michelle Lewis posted on: May 1, 2013

I agree that the recognition aspect is so very important. People need to hear what they are doing right as well as what can be improved. Knowing that you appreciate their strengths motivates them to work harder on those areas that need improvement.

Jodi Wilson posted on: May 1, 2013

I work with so many people who love their jobs but leave because of the management does not understand the people factor.

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