12 Management Challenges and Tips To Overcome Them

Change is never easy. People are naturally resistant to change, as described in the classic book Who Moved My Cheese? written by Dr Spencer Johnson.

Yet, here you are: working hard has finally paid off. You are now a manager! 

Taking a step up the management ladder is a big challenge, personally and professionally. Forget the impostor syndrome: you earned this position!

But while this progression can come with rewards – it brings its fair share of difficulties too.

Managers can lead team members to success. But it is not all plain sailing. When you are responsible for the development and success of your team, there are heavy moments along the way. 

So before you start moving the cheese, you will want to review these tips to overcome the most common management challenges. 

1. Shift your mindset to a leader

In your previous role as an employee, your focus was on accomplishing your tasks and helping your team reach objectives. Now your mandate is to help others by nurturing their growth and strategizing from the sidelines. 

Great leaders focus on setting up the right path for employees. The team needs to know they can look to you for guidance during times of complexity and conflict.

Tip: Look for available resources, tools, and apps to help you navigate your new role. From how to hire and onboard new employees to how to promote team performance!

2. Get to know the members of your team 

New managers require time to get to know everyone. Discovering your team’s unique skill set, personality, struggles, and goals is a process. Task yourself with learning about each of your employees – trust us, it is time well spent. Team meetings help build camaraderie, but not everyone feels comfortable voicing their concerns publicly.

Tip: Set up recurring 1-on-1 meetings with each employee to thoroughly get to know them as people, not just workers.A good team leader sets up intentional quality time to build relationships, develop open communication, and learn about personal and professional aspirations. 

Additionally, you can discover 14 additional ideas about how can leaders support their team.

3. Pressure to perform as a new manager

New and experienced managers often feel pressure to perform.Remind yourself that you are in this position for a reason. You deserve to be there. Becoming a leader is a learning process; you will learn the most from the experiences you gain along the way.

Tip: Set clear expectations with your boss and, more importantly, with yourself. Take time to plan and set yourself up for success.

4. Setting clear goals and expectations for your team

Providing clarity is one of the vital skills to develop as a new manager, and it is not always easy. Each employee needs to understand the company culture and objectives of the team. Meet with each team member individually, and explore active listening to ensure that all respondents understand how they add value. Give your team the space to ask questions and reflect on their strengths and expertise.

Tip: Set aside dedicated time for employee “office hours.” Reserving this block of time reminds your team that their needs are your priority.

5. Encourage team productivity

As a manager, one of the keys to your success is to ensure your team is productive and performing at their best. This process can be challenging as team members may have different needs and working styles. Build an environment favorable to employee productivity. Try to find out which ways work best and adjust accordingly.

Tip: Start your days with short meetings where everyone runs through their daily tasks. These chats promote visibility in a remote work environment and encourage employees to set clear intentions and goals for the day.

6. Communicating effectively

Everybody is different. One of the most significant manager problems is understanding how best to communicate with each employee. According to a study by Interact, 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees.

A lack of communication can leave your employees in the dark, but the wrong communication can be counterproductive.

Tip: Focus on being proactive with your communication and work on personalizing it to each employee. The better you understand what motivates each employee, the easier it will be to adapt your communication to fit their needs.

7. Time management

Sometimes it feels like you walked into the office an hour ago, yet it is already late afternoon. Managers are responsible for many day-to-day tasks, which can put a considerable strain on your time.

If you are not getting the most out of your time, the job will feel more stressful, and you will struggle to get everything done.

Tip: Automation is your best friend when it comes to time management. Those little tasks that seem to take up so much time (scheduling, vacation planning, payroll, etc.) can be streamlined by an HR system, freeing you up to tackle the most crucial parts of the job.

8. Making the right hiring decision

So many candidates out there have the experience and skills you are looking for, but this does not mean they are a perfect match to join your team. A good manager can decipher between a good skills hire and a cultural fit. 

If you make a wrong decision in the hiring process, it can quickly affect your team's morale and performance. 

Tip: Create a robust selection process and don’t just choose candidates on a “feeling.” Using selection assessments shows how the candidate would react in certain situations and gives you more insight into what they are like as employees.

9. Letting an employee go

Letting someone go from your team is a tough decision to make. Keep communication open with your team to ensure it can recover from the loss. Transparency is vital when addressing your employees about a termination. Be mindful of their concerns and stay within the integrity of your team's principles.

Tip: Set up a time to address the termination with each employee. Discuss how you plan to move forward as a team. Encourage employees to voice their questions and concerns, and maintain open communication.

10. Giving and asking for regular feedback

Feedback might seem like an intimidating topic to talk about. Whether you are giving it or you are on the receiving end, you need to know how your team feels about your management style. Keep employees engaged while you continue to grow as a leader. 

Tip: Use an employee feedback tool to collect and respond to employee feedback regularly. Giving employees a safe space to share their thoughts anonymously will help you have conversations you otherwise might miss. 

11. Delegate and ask for help

As a new manager, it is part of the process to feel a level of pressure about having all the answers. Every manager had to start their leadership path at some point and felt as though they needed guidance. Don’t be afraid to seek advice when you need it and to delegate when the burden is too heavy.

Tip: Be vocal to your HR team about learning and development training that you may not know is available to you. Reach out to mentors, people you admire in your industry. These conversations are golden opportunities that will help you and your team succeed.

12. The fight against burnout

One of the hot topics in the business world has been burnout. A recent survey by Gallup found that out of 7,500 full-time employees, 23% said they felt burnout more often than not, with an additional 44% feeling burnt out sometimes. As a manager, finding the balance between great performance and taking care of both your own and your team’s health is vitally important.

Managers that don’t take time away from work and never recharge their batteries end up burning out. Not only does this harm your work-life balance and engagement, but it also sets an unrealistic example for your employees.

Tip: People are the most productive when they are happy and healthy. Set an example by taking regular breaks and using your annual leave to recharge your batteries. When you do this, you let your employees know that you want them to do the same.

Wrap up

So there you have it: the top 12 challenges facing management within organizations today. 

Being prepared means knowing what challenges you face and taking the steps to anticipate or address them.

Success in today’s business world means embracing uncertainty with knowledge and a plan of action. 

Hopefully, this article can help you think of the right strategies and tools to take on these challenges with high confidence!

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