4 Essential Tips For New First Line Managers

By Anita Jaynes on 5 August, 2021

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Management structures have many tiers for the leadership roles, all of which play essential parts in helping a company to carry out the day-to-day objectives. The first rung in the managerial structure is a first line manager, who play a vital role in supervising team members and ensuring all teams are held accountable for their work. First line managers have many crucial responsibilities that ensure a business continues to perform and thrive within their industry. In this guide, we outline what a first line manager is, what their role entails and essential tips for how to be successful as a first line manager.

What Is First Line Management?

First line management is the entry-level to the management structure, and they perform what is often referred to as ‘on-the-ground’ management duties. These managers have the closest proximity with first line workers and are typically responsible for ensuring that employees carry out the business goals on a daily basis. First line managers have a vital role to play in interfacing with staff and reporting to senior managers about the day-to-day operations. Often referred to by other titles you may be more familiar with, such as assistant managers, team leaders, shift managers and office managers, first line managers are an integral part of every business.

First Line Manager Duties

The primary responsibility for first line managers is overseeing a department or a team of employees; they ensure that their staff fulfils the daily and overarching goals of the company. As they typically work closely with the staff directly below them, these managers are deeply connected to business operations. A first line manager needs to understand how to track targets, motivate their employees, develop schedules and ensure all teams are focused on the company targets. Depending on the industry and company that a first line manager works for, their daily duties may differ slightly; however, there are some tasks that remain the same:

  • Liaising with middle and upper management
  • Managing the workflow by assigning tasks
  • Regular reviews of employee work
  • Performance evaluations
  • Hiring and training of new staff
  • Creating staff schedules
  • Solving inefficiencies within the business
  • Setting deadlines in line with company goals
  • Budget management
  • Creating and maintaining all procedures in their departments

How To Become A First Line Manager

Suppose you haven’t become a first line manager yet but have your sights set on a promotion or career change. In that case, there are some initiatives you can use to accomplish your goal in order to convince your employer that you should move into a managerial position.

The first step to show your employer that you can succeed in a managerial capacity is to ensure that you’re accomplishing goals and exceeding the expectations set for you in your current role. This will show your employer that you have initiative and a high competency which are skills often coveted for managerial positions. When you are continuously performing to a high level within your current role, it is time to communicate your goals and aspirations with your employer. Without adequate communication, your employer may not be aware that you’re looking to further your career by joining the management team. Ensuring you are vocal about your desires can help your employer guide you in developing the necessary skills to become a successful first line manager.

The most challenging task you will face in your journey to become a successful first line manager is learning how to teach and lead others effectively. Once you have communicated your goals to your employer, they can help guide you on this path by delegating leadership responsibilities in your daily tasks and by offering first line manager training to provide you with further development. Through collaboration, you should aim to improve the productivity and work of other team members where you can develop new processes to streamline your efficiencies. This commitment to growth alone can provide your employer with enough evidence that you are ready to become a first line manager, as well as offering the perfect opportunity to learn how to teach and lead your team.

Training courses for first time managers is a fantastic way to learn how to be adaptable and flexible as a manager while staying oriented towards career growth. A first line management course is essential on the journey to becoming a successful manager. It is often the perfect place to receive advice and guidance from other successful managers and team leaders. First line management training courses are not just for during your path to promotion but is something you should strive to continue throughout your career as taking a regular first line manager training course will keep your skills fresh. Maintaining the mindset for growth can help you to lead your teams effectively as well as further developing your career. Companies like The BCF Group offer a range of first line management training tailored to those new to management and supervisory positions, so that you can find the first line manager course that is right for your career development.

What Skills Does A First Line Manager Need?

As well as ensure you keep up to date with regular training, it is essential that a first line manager understands what skills they need to be successful in their role. Motivating your team to focus on objectives and succeed in the company goals is the first part of becoming a great first line manager. To have the highest performance as a first line manager, there are some vital skills that you will need to hone to maintain a growth-oriented mindset.

  • Communication: First line managers need to be expert communicators who outline the company’s goals in a way that their teams can understand, relate to and envision. They also use these skills to keep their teams motivated and on target.
  • Problem-Solving: A first line manager holds meetings for their team’s performance with upper management regularly. During these meetings, a first line manager must present the progress of their team’s work and identify solutions to address any potential productivity gaps.
  • Analysis: It is vital that a first line manager can analyse business metrics and essential concepts to draft proposals and procedures to help their staff flourish effectively.
  • Time Management: A first line manager must not only manage their own time adequately but the time of their staff as well; they are directly responsible for teaching others how to manage their time efficiently.