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Ten signs you are ready to manage people

Do you see people management as the next rung on your career ladder, but not sure if you’re ready for the additional responsibility? If so, you may be wondering whether you have the right skill set for managing people as part of a new role. After all, the idea of managing employees can seem a bit daunting, and if you plan to stay within your existing company you may need to readjust your working relationships with your colleagues.

So, how can you tell if you are really ready to take a step up and start managing a team? Here are ten signs that suggest you’re already on your way.

1. You are starting to delegate

To some people, the idea of delegating work may seem like laziness or a sign of being unable to cope with work levels. In fact, successful delegation is a very important skill to have in a workplace because it enables smooth workflow. It is not an easy option – working late to finish a project or meet a deadline is actually simpler than explaining the work to someone else and ensuring that they are familiar and confident enough to complete it. Careful, planned delegation not only enables you to get on with other tasks that are in need of your attention, it also fosters a trusting relationship between you and your colleagues and empowers others.

If you already view delegation as an investment of your time, then you are already in the management mind-set.

2. You set a good example for the rest of the team

If you are good at your job and go the extra mile to ensure that your work is done properly, your colleagues may already look up to you. They therefore will be more likely to adjust to your new found seniority if they know how hard you worked to get there and respect you for that.

3. You find yourself coaching and training others in your team, and enjoy doing so

Enjoyment is the key word here. If you feel burdened or annoyed by the need to help colleagues improve their work or to gain vital skills, then you won’t necessarily feel any better about doing so as a manager, you will just be better paid for it.

On the other hand, if you find yourself feeling a real sense of accomplishment when a colleague grasps a new concept or makes real progress on a piece of work because of your input, then management is a natural step for you.

4. You find yourself becoming more and more focused on the bigger picture

If you find that you are no longer simply going to work to pay your bills, but actually care about how the business performs and want to play a part in shaping its future, then you are ready to take on a more senior position.

5. You actively take pride in your team successes

Do you feel proud about the outcome of a collective effort? If so, are you simply pleased with your own work, or are you pleased about the fact that you were part of a successful team? If you think it is the latter, imagine how much stronger this feeling will be if you were to be in charge of that team.

6. People from all areas of the business come to you for advice

Have you made yourself an expert in a particular field, through hard work and perseverance? Are you naturally approachable and have strong communication skills? Do colleagues and managers often seek your advice? Being able to teach and inform others is an extremely useful management skill, especially when training junior staff.

7. You are confident in your ability to build relationships with stakeholders

Being able to communicate effectively with your peers is one thing – being able to do so with senior figures in your organisation is quite another. Many new managers find the prospect quite intimidating, particularly if giving advice or information to your superiors. If you have good relationships with stakeholders, or at least have confidence in your abilities to develop these, then you may be ready to rise through the ranks.

8. You find yourself observing other managers to see what they are doing right and wrong, and take mental notes

How often have you listened and observed a manager and thought “I wouldn’t have done that” or “Surely, we would have a better outcome if it was done this way…”? If you are already thinking like a manager and imagining how you would act in that position, then you may be ready for that promotion.

9. You stay calm and are able to make decisions quickly

If you are already known to be reliable and trustworthy, you are probably less closely supervised than others on your team. Having a track record of making sound decisions under pressure, and being trusted to do so by superiors, suggests that you are already seen to be management material.

10. You go above and beyond for the good of the team and the business

Being a manager will mean making difficult decisions and facing new challenges. If you have found yourself stepping out of your comfort zone; taking on new challenges with a diligent, team spirited attitude, then you are likely to thrive in a more senior role.

Next steps

If these signs sound familiar, then it’s time for you to take on the task of people management. Ask yourself, could your existing company offer you the experience and development that you deserve? If so, then be prepared to adapt your working style and relationships with your colleagues. If not, then don’t be afraid to take your strong skill set and apply it elsewhere.


About this author

Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand and Hays IT Australia & New Zealand, began working at Hays in 2001 and during this time has held significant leadership roles across the business including responsibility for multiple specialisms in various locations across Australia & New Zealand.

In 2018, he was appointed to Hays ANZ Management Board and made Managing Director for Hays New Zealand.

Adam is also responsible for the strategic direction of the Hays Information Technology business across Australia & New Zealand including driving growth across Digital Technology, Projects & Business Change and IT Operations & Support.

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