13 New Manager Problems and Tips for Overcoming Them

Many people work hard for a promotion into management. Unfortunately, many of those same people aren’t prepared for how hard they’ll have to work after they’ve achieved that coveted promotion in order to be perceived as a manager by their staff, peers and senior management. Not surprisingly, the transition from individual contributor to manager can be stressful, as numerous studies have found. According to one study by an HR consultancy, nearly six out of ten managers rated the stress level of being promoted to manager as second only to dealing with a divorce.

Having the title of manager doesn’t automatically confer power, privilege or respect. But the title of manager can secure such recognition and launch a rewarding career for those who are prepared for the challenges that accompany their new role. A world leader in professional development for nearly a century, American Management Association (AMA) has identified seven challenges new managers commonly face and offers tips to help overcome them:

2. Establishing credibility Amidst all the stress, it’s easy for new managers to feel insecure and question their own ability. As a new manager, it’s important to remember: You got the promotion because you earned it. Find confidence by taking stock of your past leadership experiences and your outstanding skills. To be seen, heard and believed as a manager, bring your expertise to the job every day.

3. Balancing technical and management expertise Being a manager requires a new set of skills. As a manager, you are no longer responsible for producing—now, your job is to get things done through and with other people. Your success isn’t just measured by what you do, but by what your staff is able to achieve. Avoid the pitfall of micromanaging your staff’s work, and instead give them the guidance and space to succeed.

4. Finding rewards in different places As a new manager, you might at first miss being recognized for your individual contributions and achievements. You may not always feel the same sense of accomplishment you felt as a staff member. For your own job satisfaction, look for other rewards—perhaps in how you’ve helped your staff work through a conflict or improved your team’s ability to work together.

5. Managing time As a new manager, you still have to manage your own time efficiently. But now, you rely on your staff’s ability to make efficient use of their time as well. Be aware of how the demands you place on your staff affect your own time management. Work to make it easier for them to meet deadlines and give you the information you need on time.

6. Managing change Yes, change can be stressful. Yet, it’s unavoidable and pervasive. As a manager, one of your new roles will be that of a change agent. So, get comfortable with change. Not only will you be called on to implement change—sometimes exciting, sometimes unsettling—but you must be prepared to help your staff accept change and support them through it.

A new manager’s job is stressful. Being aware of and ready to handle common challenges if and when they arise will help ease that stress and smooth the transition. Above all, do not expect too much too soon. As a new manager, give your staff and upper management time to adjust and see you in a new way. Be patient with yourself too.

American Management Association (AMA) is globally recognized as a leader in professional development. For nearly 100 years, it has helped millions of people bring about positive change in their performance in order to improve results. AMA’s learn-by-doing instructor-led methods, extensive content, and flexible learning formats are proven effective—and constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of individuals and organizations. To learn more, visit www.amanet.org.

The 12 Most Common Challenges Faced by New Managers
  1. Adjusting to Managing People and Displaying Authority. …
  2. Developing Managerial and Personal Effectiveness. …
  3. Leading Team Achievement. …
  4. Managing Internal Stakeholders and Politics. …
  5. Motivating Others. …
  6. Managing Performance and Accountability.

Problems New Managers Face

Why is it important to overcome new manager problems?

Its important to overcome new problems as a manager because these problems can affect the productivity and performance of an entire team. Recognizing and overcoming these challenges enables you to manage a team and your own tasks more efficiently. Since a managers success affects the success of their team, its essential to strategies that allow you to overcome challenges efficiently. Such strategies include effective communication and delegation, which can help you lead your team to success.

13 new manager problems

Here are some of the common problems new managers experience and tips on how to overcome them:

1. Managing former peers

If youre promoted to a managerial position, you may manage former peers. You likely have had a friendly relationship with some of them, and some may have even competed against you for the new position. The change in these relationships and team hierarchy can present no issues when employing helpful strategies. For example, consider hosting a meeting with your team members to discuss the change in roles. In this meeting, you can address their doubts and queries genuinely. You can also emphasize that you plan to remain available to them and they can communicate with you at any time.

2. Shifting from a contributors to a leaders mindset

You may have secured a promotion because you excelled in your previous role as an individual contributor, but a managers role involves leading others to perform and securing group results, requiring you to develop a leaders mindset.

To accomplish this, consider the skills that made you successful in your previous role and focus on developing additional ones that can help you become an effective leader. A helpful way to start your new role is to develop strategies for your team and provide members with necessary tools and resources. You can also request human resources personnel to arrange a leadership development program or provide you with a mentor at the beginning.

3. Micromanaging

Micromanagement refers to a style of managing a team in which a supervisor closely observes and monitors their team members. This may result in members feeling as though they have little input. To overcome this problem, try to shift your focus to larger details of a project. Team members can handle details if you delegate well, and its important to offer suggestions while not demanding members perform too particularly.

4. Setting clear goals

Its essential for an effective leader to let their team members know whats expected of them. Sharing organizational goals and objectives with your team members helps them understand the impact of their individual contribution in achieving the overall goals of their employing company. Setting clear goals requires skills, experiences and strategies such as SMART goals, which emphasizes on establishing goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

5. Multitasking and managing your time

As a manager, you are usually responsible for overseeing your team and collaborating with other departments. In addition to daily duties such as training and performance evaluation, you may also prepare various reports and give presentations. This sudden increase in responsibilities may be easier to handle if you learn how to multitask and manage your time effectively. Consider dividing your responsibilities into individual tasks and scheduling time for each. Consider also establishing a daily schedule and sharing your calendar with your team so team members know when youre available.

6. Initiating difficult conversations

A managerial position often requires you to initiate difficult conversations. You may have to address issues such as employee performance and discipline for unmet goals. When attempting to overcome this issue, try to understand each problem in detail and ask for each involved persons point of view before determining a solution. If an issue becomes too large for you to handle or you dont possess the tools or knowledge to solve it, you may also request an HR or senior leader to participate.

7. Implementing rapid change

Before securing a promotion at a company, you may have been wanting a change in organizational processes for a long time. When you become a manager, you may secure the authority to make such changes. Sometimes, your motivation in the new role may tempt you to introduce changes as a means to increase efficiency and productivity. Its often important to gauge team member opinions on potential changes and ensure that you resist implementing too much change too quickly.

8. Understanding the impact of decisions

As a new manager, you may want to secure the trust and satisfaction of your team. When making decisions that impact members of your team, its important to consider how it affects each member, rather than how a decision affects a single member. When you make an exception for an employee or make any other decision, its essential to consider its impact on other employees. Try to determine how they may react and assess the possible effects of your decisions on the overall company work culture.

9. Addressing performance issues

Addressing performance issues on a team is an integral part of a managers role. You may often have to meet with your team members and discuss their successes or failures in a clear manner. Balancing achieving results and maintaining cordial relationships with your team can be difficult but manageable with the right strategies. Its important to communicate expectations clearly and ask members frequently whether they need any help or resources to achieve given targets. Try to monitor performance on a regular basis and provide constructive feedback when you notice problems.

10. Communicating effectively

A team often comprises several employees who have different personalities. This may increase the chances of team members potentially interpreting messages in different ways. To be effective as a manager, its essential to develop effective communication skills. For example, if you state that something is urgent, let your team know the reason behind the urgency. It may also be helpful to determine a consistent mode of communication to use with your team, such as a standard messaging platform.

11. Not asking for help

Many new managers may aim to perform tasks without seeking help. Its essential to understand that you dont have to serve as an expert solely because you received a promotion to a managerial role. Consider asking human resources personnel for any help you require in terms of training yourself or your team. You can also try to find a mentor with whom you can discuss new challenges.

12. Firing a team member

New managers may find it difficult to terminate an employee. One way to handle this problem is to ask for your teams feedback. If members are vocal about another member not meeting their tasks, it may help you make the right decision about letting a team member go. If you believe a team member is trending toward a termination, consider frequently communicating the need for them to complete their tasks so theyre not surprised when a termination may arise.

13. Resisting delegation

New managers may be reluctant to delegate tasks to team members, as they may find it difficult to assign a project to someone and let them execute it independently. As a manager, its crucial to develop and trust your team members abilities. Try to involve your team in the decision-making process and offer them a sense of ownership. When you delegate an assignment, try to explain its importance and how it helps the team or the organization as a whole.


What are the most common mistakes new managers make?

Research conducted by CEB shows that 60 percent of new managers fail within the first 24 months of their new position. And according to Steve Smith, the author of Managing for Success: Practical Advice for Managers, the main reason why most new managers fail is because they were never properly trained to manage.

What are 7 challenges managers face?

6 Biggest Mistakes New Managers Make
  1. Not Gathering Feedback. Are you listening to your employees? …
  2. Not Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries. …
  3. Failing to Delegate. …
  4. Not Setting Clear Goals. …
  5. Neglecting to Develop Leadership Skills. …
  6. Not Offering Recognition.

Do and don’ts for new managers?

The 7 Biggest Challenges of a Manager
  1. Achieving a Stretch Goal. …
  2. Bringing Out the Best in Your Employees. …
  3. Dealing with Underperforming Employees. …
  4. Dealing with Outstanding Employees. …
  5. Hiring the Right People. …
  6. Responding to a Crisis. …
  7. Continuous Improvement.

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