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Promotion to People Manager Process Template

Use this process template to accelerate manager success and teach the skills employees need when moving into a people manager role for the first time.

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Promotion to People Manager Process Template

Use this process template to accelerate manager success and teach the skills employees need when moving into a people manager role for the first time.

This process was created in partnership with Executive Coach and Founder of Everleader, Megan Galloway


The Importance of This Transition

Congratulations on your promotion to your new manager role! You’ve been exceeding expectations as an individual contributor, and it’s time for you to embark on the next part of your career development — becoming a people manager.

Now, you’ve probably realized that the skills that made you successful as an individual contributor don’t all translate to being an exceptional people leader. And if you’re a little nervous, you’re not alone. Most people aren’t born with managerial skills — in fact, one McKinsey study suggests that only 10% of people naturally have the ability to be a good manager. 

Good managers are crucial to the success of the business and the satisfaction of our employees. And with the right training and preparation, we strongly believe in your ability to develop the skills necessary to be an amazing manager. 

This transition is an opportunity for growth, allowing you to influence your team positively, drive performance, and contribute to the organization's success on a broader scale. Through targeted training and a personalized development plan, you'll acquire the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of leadership, from effective communication and conflict resolution to strategic decision-making and team motivation. Embracing this transition is the first step toward becoming a leader who empowers and elevates those around you.

What Changes When You Get Promoted to Manager?

Transitioning to a manager fundamentally shifts your definition of success. It evolves from individual accomplishments to empowering the collective achievements of your team. 

Your daily responsibilities will extend beyond personal tasks to include: 

  • Mentoring your team. 
  • Strategizing for team goals. 
  • Managing resources effectively. 

And success in this role hinges on a diverse skill set — leadership, empathy, strategic planning, and effective communication are paramount. You'll need to master the art of delegating tasks while maintaining accountability, resolving conflicts with a balanced approach, and inspiring your team towards continuous improvement. Moreover, your role as a manager involves cultivating a supportive and inclusive team environment that creates psychological safety and fosters professional growth. 

Embracing these changes and honing these skills are crucial steps in your journey to becoming a successful manager. And recognizing the breadth of new skills and responsibilities that come with your managerial role, we are committed to providing comprehensive training and support to ensure your success. 

In the following sections, we'll detail the structured training programs and development plans designed to equip you with the essential tools and knowledge. This holistic approach to your development as a manager ensures you're well-prepared to meet the challenges ahead and lead your team with confidence and effectiveness.

Reminder: Prioritize Your Work-life Balance

Transitioning to a managerial role often comes with an increased workload and the challenge of juggling multiple responsibilities. It's natural for new managers to find this adjustment demanding, as the pressure to perform and bring out the best in others mounts. However, a crucial, albeit sometimes overlooked, aspect of effective leadership is prioritizing work-life balance — not only for your team, but for yourself as well.

Learning to take care of yourself first might seem counterintuitive, especially for those who naturally prioritize the needs of others. However, it's essential to understand that being your best self is the foundation for inspiring and leading your team effectively. Neglecting your well-being can lead to burnout, affecting your ability to support your team's development and overall performance.

Embrace strategies that promote a healthy balance between work and personal life, such as setting clear boundaries, delegating tasks effectively, and making time for activities that rejuvenate you outside of work (you can find more information about our work-life balance philosophy here). 

By demonstrating the importance of self-care, you not only enhance your leadership but also set a positive example for your team, encouraging them to adopt similar practices. Remember, fostering a culture where work-life balance is valued starts with you.

Your Development Plan

What is a Manager Development Plan?

A Manager Development Plan is a strategic roadmap designed to enhance a new manager's skills and competencies, essential for effective leadership and team management. It outlines specific areas for growth, goals to be achieved, and a timeline for accomplishing these objectives. Key components include:

  • Leadership Skills: Developing the ability to inspire, motivate, and guide team members toward achieving collective goals.
  • Communication Skills: Enhancing verbal and written communication for clear, effective team and stakeholder interactions.
  • Conflict Resolution: Learning strategies to address and resolve workplace conflicts constructively in a way that builds trust.
  • Time Management: Mastering the art of prioritizing tasks and delegating effectively to balance team workload.
  • Decision-Making: Cultivating the ability to make informed, strategic decisions that benefit the team and organization.
  • Performance Management: Acquiring techniques for setting clear expectations, providing both positive and constructive feedback, and fostering employee development.
  • Timeline: A structured timeline, typically spanning the first 6 to 12 months in the managerial role, with milestones for achieving specific skill development goals.

This plan acts as a guide for the manager's professional development journey, ensuring a comprehensive approach to acquiring the skills necessary for successful leadership.

Crafting Your Own Plan

Crafting your own development plan as a new manager is crucial for setting a clear path for growth and success in your new role. This personalized plan helps you align your goals with the expectations of the company and navigate the transition with confidence. A key step in this process is having a detailed discussion with your own manager, who can provide valuable insights and expectations for your first 90 days and beyond.

Ask your manager about the benchmarks for success in the first 90 days of your new role. Understanding these early goals will help you prioritize your efforts and focus on impactful areas. Additionally, seek clarity on the company's values and the specific behaviors expected from managers, as these are the guiding principles that should inform your decision-making and leadership style.

And don't hesitate to ask for personal advice. The answers to these questions will not only aid in crafting a development plan that's tailored to your success but also enrich your approach with the wisdom and experience of those who have navigated similar paths. This dialogue is instrumental in laying a solid foundation for your growth as a manager within the company.

Manager Training

In the next topic, you’ll find meticulously designed training to cover the essential managerial skills necessary for your success in this new role. From effective communication and leadership to strategic decision-making and team development, this training provides a solid foundation for your managerial journey. 

However, we recognize the value of personalized growth and the unique aspirations of each manager. Therefore, we encourage and support new managers in pursuing additional external training opportunities that align with their individual development goals and areas they wish to enhance further. Whether it's specialized leadership workshops, industry-specific seminars, or courses on advanced management techniques, we're committed to facilitating access to these resources. 

This approach ensures that while our training equips you with the core competencies of successful management, you also have the flexibility to tailor your learning experience to meet your specific professional objectives.

New Managerial Skills

Defining Your Managerial Style

Finding your own managerial style is a crucial step in your development as a new manager. Recognizing that effective leadership is not a one-size-fits-all proposition is key. 

A good manager understands their unique strengths, values, and personality traits, and molds their management style to align with these attributes. This process involves a combination of self-reflection, feedback from peers and mentors, and practical experience leading teams. 

By identifying a style that resonates most with you — be it transformational, democratic, coaching, or another — you can leverage your natural tendencies to motivate and inspire your team more effectively. Embracing your distinctive style allows for genuine interactions, builds trust among team members, and fosters a positive work environment. Remember, the best management style is one that is authentic to you and adaptable to the needs of your team and the situations you face together.

You’ll find that there are many different managerial styles — check out this chart below to see if one of these common leadership styles resonates with you! 

Lastly, remember that leadership styles are not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you can mix and match parts of styles that best fit your values, the team’s culture, and your own authenticity.

Common Leadership Styles graph

Project Management

Taking on project management as a manager entails a multifaceted approach to planning, executing, and overseeing projects to ensure they are completed efficiently, on time, and within budget. Training in project management equips you with the necessary tools and techniques to break down complex tasks into manageable parts, set realistic timelines, allocate resources effectively, and monitor progress.

Key areas of focus include understanding project scope, defining clear objectives, risk assessment, and stakeholder management. As a manager, you'll learn how to create detailed project plans, set milestones, and use project management software to track progress and communicate with your team. Leadership skills are also crucial, as motivating your team, resolving conflicts, and making decisive adjustments are integral parts of managing any project successfully.

Effective project management training will also emphasize the importance of flexibility and adaptability, teaching you how to anticipate challenges and pivot strategies when necessary. This training not only enhances your ability to lead projects successfully but also strengthens your overall leadership and management capabilities, preparing you to tackle complex challenges with confidence and strategic insight.

Project Management Tips

  • Get to know Asana (our project management tool).
  • Set due dates and priorities —  always.
  • Delegate to those with the skills/expertise to carry out your task.
  • Follow up and set check-ins to make sure your project stays on track.
  • Communicate progress.
  • Remove roadblocks.
  • Celebrate the wins.
  • Check out our project management process.

Decision-making and Problem-solving

Training in decision-making and problem-solving equips new managers with the frameworks and approaches necessary for strategic thinking and innovative solutions. Central to this training is the development of critical thinking skills, enabling managers to analyze situations comprehensively, anticipate the implications of various actions, and make informed decisions.

Frameworks for Strategic Thinking and Decision-making:

  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats): A tool for assessing a situation and making decisions based on internal and external factors.
  • Decision Matrix: A quantitative method to evaluate and prioritize different options based on predefined criteria.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Evaluating the potential costs and benefits associated with each decision to determine the best course of action.

Approaches to Problem-solving and Innovation:

  • Design Thinking: A human-centered approach to innovation that encourages empathy with users, creative idea generation, and iterative testing of solutions.
  • Root Cause Analysis: A technique for identifying the underlying causes of problems to prevent recurrence rather than just addressing symptoms.
  • Brainstorming and Ideation: Facilitating creative thinking within teams to generate a wide range of ideas and solutions, fostering an environment where innovation can thrive.

By mastering these frameworks and approaches, managers can approach decision-making and problem-solving with a structured methodology, leading to more effective leadership and innovative outcomes for their teams and projects.

Building Trust

Building trust within your team, among fellow managers, and with upper management is foundational to effective leadership. 

Here are some great ways to start building trust with your connections:

  • Start by consistently demonstrating integrity; let your actions reflect your words, and uphold your commitments. 
  • Transparency is key — openly communicate your decisions, the rationale behind them, and any organizational changes that may affect your team. 
  • Listen actively to concerns and feedback, showing that you value others' perspectives and are open to constructive dialogue. 
  • Recognize and celebrate the achievements of your team members, providing credit where it's due, which reinforces their value to the team and organization. 
  • Be approachable and available, fostering an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and challenges. 
  • Invest time in getting to know your team and colleagues on a personal level, as understanding individual goals and motivations can strengthen professional relationships and trust.


Delegating effectively is a critical skill for managers, enabling you to maximize team productivity while fostering growth and development among your direct reports. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effective delegation:

  1. Identify Tasks to Delegate: Assess your workload and identify tasks that can be delegated. Look for tasks that offer development opportunities for team members.
  2. Choose the Right Person: Consider the skills, interests, and workload of your team members. Assign tasks to individuals whose capabilities align with the task requirements and who will benefit from the experience.
  3. Clearly Define Expectations: When delegating, be clear about what success looks like. Define the task objectives, deadlines, and any relevant guidelines or constraints. Ensure the team member understands the task’s purpose and its importance.
  4. Provide Necessary Resources: Make sure your team member has the tools, information, and authority needed to complete the task. Offer access to any required resources or support.
  5. Empower and Trust: Delegate responsibility along with the task. Trust your team members to take ownership, make decisions, and come up with solutions.
  6. Offer Support and Feedback: Be available to provide guidance and answer questions. Encourage progress updates and offer constructive feedback throughout the process.
  7. Recognize Effort and Accomplishment: Acknowledge the hard work and success of your team member upon completion. Recognition motivates and builds confidence for future delegated tasks.

By following these steps, you can delegate effectively, enhancing team capacity and individual growth, while ensuring tasks are completed efficiently and to a high standard.

Conflict Resolution

Effectively managing conflict is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Conflict is going to happen. We can’t avoid it. We can embrace conflict in healthy ways that build trust and create more psychological safety. Here’s a guide to conflict resolution that can help new managers navigate disputes professionally and constructively:

  1. Acknowledge the Conflict: Recognize that a conflict exists and address it directly. Ignoring it can lead to escalation and affect team morale.
  2. Understand All Perspectives: Invite all parties involved to share their viewpoints in a neutral setting. Listening actively without judgment allows you to fully understand the root causes and the emotions at play. Get curious and ask lots of questions.
  3. Identify Common Goals: Shift the focus from individual grievances to shared objectives. Finding common ground can transform the conflict into a collaborative problem-solving effort.
  4. Explore Solutions Together: Encourage open dialogue about potential resolutions. Brainstorming together fosters cooperation and can lead to innovative solutions that satisfy all parties. It also increases a feeling of buy-in from all parties.
  5. Agree on Action Steps: Once a solution is identified, outline clear action steps that all involved parties agree upon. Define responsibilities and deadlines to ensure accountability.
  6. Monitor Progress and Follow-Up: Check in periodically to assess how the resolution is working and make adjustments as needed. Following up demonstrates your commitment to a long-term resolution and the well-being of your team.
  7. Reflect and Learn: After resolving the conflict, reflect on the process and outcomes. Identify lessons learned to improve conflict management strategies in the future.

Adopting a structured approach to conflict resolution not only resolves issues more effectively but also turns challenges into opportunities for team growth and cohesion.

Setting Expectations for Your Direct Reports

Setting clear expectations and objectives for direct reports is fundamental to effective management. It establishes a framework for accountability, performance, and success within the team. Begin by defining the roles and responsibilities clearly, ensuring that each team member understands what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the broader team and organizational goals.

  1. Communicate Objectives Clearly: Start with a clear articulation of the goals and expectations for each role. Be specific about the outcomes you expect, the quality of work required, and the timelines for delivery. As bestselling author and professor Brené Brown says, “Clear is Kind!”
  2. Empower with Authority: Equally important is empowering your direct reports with the authority to make decisions within their scope of work. This autonomy encourages initiative and innovation, allowing team members to bring their own clarity and creativity to the role.
  3. Provide Resources and Support: Ensure that your team has access to the necessary resources, training, and support to meet their objectives. This may involve regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and opportunities for professional development.
  4. Foster Open Communication: Encourage an environment where direct reports feel comfortable seeking clarification, expressing concerns, and suggesting improvements. This two-way communication enhances understanding and alignment on expectations. Ask for feedback regularly from your team members so they know it’s okay to bring ideas and thoughts to you.
  5. Review and Adjust as Needed: Objectives and expectations should be revisited regularly. This allows for adjustments based on performance feedback, changing priorities, and the professional growth of your direct reports.

By setting clear expectations and giving your team the authority and support to fulfill their roles, you create a culture of accountability and empowerment. This not only drives performance but also enables your direct reports to develop and excel in their careers.

Delivering Feedback and Praise

Delivering feedback effectively is crucial for the development and motivation of direct reports. Being direct and addressing feedback immediately ensures that it is relevant and actionable. When providing feedback, focus on specific behaviors rather than personal traits, and tie your observations to tangible outcomes or objectives. This approach clarifies expectations and provides a clear path for improvement.

Immediate feedback, given in the context of day-to-day work, reinforces positive behaviors and corrects any missteps in real-time, rather than waiting for formal reviews. This timely approach allows for quicker adjustments and fosters a dynamic learning environment. (Check out our feedback training for more information.)

Even more important is the delivery of praise. Recognizing achievements and positive contributions should be done openly and frequently. Praise, when specific and sincere, boosts morale, reinforces desired behaviors, and contributes to a positive workplace culture. It shows your team that their efforts are noticed and valued, which can significantly enhance motivation and engagement. When you have a baseline of trust and recognition, delivering challenging feedback becomes much easier. They know you’re coming from a place of care and mentorship instead of being authoritarian and scolding them.

Balancing constructive feedback with genuine praise creates an atmosphere of trust and respect. It encourages open communication and continuous improvement, laying the foundation for a team that is resilient, adaptive, and high-performing. Remember, effective leaders use feedback and praise as tools to inspire and drive their team's success.

Meeting with Your New Team

Growing Together

Meeting your new team marks the beginning of a collective journey of growth and development. As you settle into your managerial role, it's vital to communicate openly that you don't have all the answers — and that's perfectly okay. Embrace the notion that leadership is not about knowing everything but about leveraging the collective strengths and knowledge of your team. 

Acknowledging this not only humanizes you in the eyes of your team but also fosters a culture of collaboration and mutual respect. It encourages team members to step forward with their ideas, expertise, and solutions, creating a dynamic environment where everyone contributes to problem-solving and innovation. 

Remember, your role as a manager is to guide, support, and harness the capabilities of your team. By admitting that you're on a learning path too, you set the stage for a journey where you and your team grow and succeed together.

Getting to know your team

Connecting with your team is perhaps the most crucial component in building a productive and efficient workplace. "Knowing your team members and showing a real appreciation for them and their personalities, wants, needs, and work styles will build a sense of trust and community within your organization." (Business Marketing Engine).

That means going beyond your weekly 1:1 meetings and getting to know your new team members as people!

Relationship-building goes beyond a weekly 1:1 and requires a genuine interest in who your employees are as people. Here are some fun ways to connect:

Fun Ways To Connect With Your Employees 

  • Plan a virtual coffee chat to check-in (no work convo needed).
  • Take them out to lunch one-on-one to show your appreciation.
  • Plan fun team bonding events at least once a quarter 
  • Meet their families by planning an event or attending an event where families are welcome 
  • Ask a question in your 1:1s to get to know them better.
  • Take a genuine interest in their lives beyond work.

Setting 1:1 Meetings

Setting regular 1:1 meetings with direct reports is crucial for building strong relationships and ensuring open lines of communication. Weekly 1:1 meetings are highly recommended as they provide a consistent opportunity for both the manager and the team member to discuss progress, address concerns, and strategize for upcoming tasks. These meetings should be a forum for open dialogue, where feedback flows both ways.

To tailor the cadence and format of these meetings to your team's needs, actively seek feedback from your direct reports. Ask them how often they feel team meetings and individual check-ins should occur to best support their work and professional development. Inquire about their preferred methods of communication and what they expect from you in terms of guidance, feedback, and information sharing on a regular basis. This collaborative approach ensures that your leadership style and the structure of your interactions meet the unique needs of your team, fostering a productive and supportive environment.

To learn more about leading effective 1:1 meetings, check out our training here.

Helping Your Direct Reports with Career Development

Supporting the career development of your direct reports is a fundamental responsibility of being a manager. It involves understanding their professional aspirations, strengths, and areas for growth, and actively working to provide opportunities that align with their goals. Begin by having open and honest discussions about their career objectives, both in the short and long term. This dialogue should inform the creation of a personalized development plan for each team member, outlining specific steps, learning opportunities, and milestones that will help them advance towards their goals.

Encourage your direct reports to pursue relevant training, workshops, and certifications that can enhance their skills and knowledge. Facilitate their involvement in stretch projects that challenge them and allow them to showcase their capabilities. Offer regular, constructive feedback that focuses on their professional growth, and recognize their achievements and contributions to the team.

Moreover, advocate for their advancement within the organization, whether through promotions, lateral moves, or new projects that expand their experience. By investing in your team's career development, you not only boost their engagement and job satisfaction but also contribute to building a skilled, motivated, and loyal workforce.

Avoiding the Trap of Micromanagement

One of the key challenges new managers face is striking the right balance between providing guidance and falling into the trap of micromanagement. It’s essential to understand that effective leadership is about managing the 'what'—the outcomes and objectives—rather than the 'how'—the specific methods your team uses to achieve these goals. Your role as a manager is to set clear expectations, provide the necessary resources, and then trust your team to execute the tasks in their own way. This approach not only fosters innovation and creativity but also empowers your team members, giving them the confidence and freedom to apply their skills and knowledge.

Refraining from micromanagement doesn’t mean taking a hands-off approach; it means being a supportive leader who provides direction and support when needed while avoiding unnecessary interference in the day-to-day execution of tasks. Remember, you’re not creating robots programmed to follow instructions to the letter. You’re leading a team of capable individuals with unique talents and perspectives. Encouraging autonomy and self-direction within the framework of clear objectives allows your team to grow, innovate, and take ownership of their work, leading to more meaningful and satisfying outcomes for everyone involved.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, transitioning from an individual contributor to a managerial role is a significant milestone in your career. It requires the development of new skills, a shift in mindset, and a commitment to fostering the growth and success of your team. 

Remember, this journey is both a challenge and an opportunity — to lead, inspire, and make a meaningful impact within your organization. As you navigate your new responsibilities, keep in mind that you can reach out to our dedicated HR team and your own manager for support. 

Whether you have questions about training, need advice on handling specific situations, or simply seek guidance as you grow into your role, don't hesitate to reach out. Together, we're committed to your success as a manager and the continued success of our team.

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