5 Ways to Succeed as a New Manager at a Charity
When you’re just starting as a new manager, it’s important to understand exactly what your responsibilities are. You’ve probably already done a lot of preparation before you started your new role. But now it’s time to put it to good use and make a great first impression.
Here are five tips to help you succeed as a new manager at a charity.
1. Look at other leaders
The best way to learn about leadership in the charity sector is to examine the leaders who’ve made successes in the past and adopt some of their tactics. How did they get their staff involved? Did they organise regular informal coffee chats or meetings? Did they give out awards or recognise achievements publicly? In the future, you’ll find your own style of leadership. But in the meantime, using other people’s tactics that work well can help you settle into your new role.
2. Build your network and expertise
A great way to build expertise as a new manager in the charity sector is by connecting with industry leaders on CharityConnect. Here, you can chat with others who’ve been in your position, learn more about the sector and pinpoint any skills you may need to brush up on before you start your new leadership role.
After you’ve built up that list of contacts, you can take advantage of the networking opportunities. Meeting people in similar roles can help you to understand your job and the charity sector even better. This means you’ll start with a wealth of knowledge and confidence which is key to success as a new manager. You may even find people who are also new to leadership that you can share your journey with.
Forums and social media will enable you to meet other industry experts. It’s always good to come into a new position with your own contacts. This is also a great space for you to represent your organisation once you’ve settled into the job.
3. Be open and ready to learn
Since you’re new in your role, you will of course have questions and will need support at times. This is completely normal, and your team will expect it. You don’t have to act as if you’ve got everything under control in order to succeed as a new manager. Always be humble and ready to learn.
You might come into your new manager role with ideas about what kind of a leader you want to be. But different teams and people will respond best to different leadership styles. Don’t be afraid to tweak your style in the first few weeks as you become more familiar with your team, your organisation and the different dynamics at play.
4. Proactively gather information
Your team will know more than you do in the first few weeks at your new job. This is why it’s important to listen before you act. Once you’ve started your job, conduct a ‘listening tour’ to get a better feel for your new organisation. Speak to small groups and conduct frequent one to ones. This will help get you up to speed with how things work at the organisation and will also familiarise you with your team and their needs.
5. Empower your team
Don’t put pressure on your staff―let them do what they do best. It’s probably easier than you think to attract people to your mission. Your main task is to create an environment where your staff can use all the skills they already have.
To succeed as a new manager in the charity sector, make sure you always highlight the successes of your team and give credit where it’s due. Not only is this key for employee wellbeing and staff retention, but it’s the best way to show your team that they’re valued and appreciated.
Commit to building trust by always being honest and transparent with your team. Communication is key in a leadership role. Make sure everyone is aware of any new projects or changes as soon as possible. Also ensure they always know when and how they can contact you throughout the day.
Ready to take on your new leadership role?
A new role as a manager in the charity sector can be one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have in your career. You’ll benefit from working for an organisation you’re passionate about; just don’t be afraid to make mistakes! That’s the best way to learn how to strengthen your leadership style.
Are you ready to make the transition? Take a look at our management level jobs.
This post was originally published in 2018. We’ve updated it to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.