Its not them its you

Creating the environment for new managers to succeed

Darryl Horn, Tuesday, 28 May 2024 • 5 min read

When a new manager fails, it is often a reflection of the environment they were placed in rather than their personal shortcomings.

Whether a manager is new to the business or newly promoted to their role, their success hinges largely on the support and environment provided by the organisation. New managers play a critical role in shaping the success of their teams and, by extension, the entire organisation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon organisations to create a supportive environment that sets new managers up for success.

If a new manager has been perceived to have failed, the organisation should rethink the support it has provided so far, or should provide now, before concluding that the manager has failed.

Structured Onboarding and Training

A comprehensive onboarding program is essential for all new managers, whether they are new to the business or newly promoted. This should go beyond the basics of company policies and procedures, delving into leadership training and team management skills.

Effective onboarding equips new managers with the knowledge and confidence they need to navigate their new roles. Organisations should provide detailed training sessions, mentorship programs, and resources that specifically address the challenges new managers might face.

Clear Role Definition and Expectations

New managers need clarity on their roles and the expectations set for them. Ambiguity can lead to confusion and misalignment, which can hinder their performance.

Organisations must ensure that new managers have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, the goals they need to achieve, and the metrics by which their success will be measured. Regular check-ins and feedback can help maintain this clarity and provide guidance as they settle into their roles.

Access to Resources and Tools

For new managers to lead effectively, they need access to the right resources and tools. This includes technology, budgetary resources, and human capital.

Organisations should ensure that new managers have what they need to succeed from day one. This also means providing them with the necessary authority to make decisions and manage their teams effectively without excessive red tape.

Mentorship and Support Networks

Mentorship can be a valuable asset for new managers. Pairing them with experienced mentors who can provide advice, share experiences, and offer support can significantly ease the transition.

Additionally, fostering a culture of peer support where new managers can share challenges and solutions with each other can create a collaborative environment conducive to growth and learning.

Effective Communication Channels

Open and effective communication is vital for new managers. They need to feel comfortable reaching out to senior leadership, asking questions, and seeking feedback.

Organisations should establish clear communication channels and encourage a culture where new managers can freely express their concerns and seek assistance without fear of judgment or repercussions.

Recognition and Positive Reinforcement

Recognising the efforts and achievements of new managers is crucial for their motivation and confidence.

Organisations should implement systems to acknowledge their successes, both big and small. Positive reinforcement not only boosts morale but also reinforces the behaviours and practices that lead to success.

Constructive Feedback and Development Opportunities

Providing regular, constructive feedback is essential for the growth of new managers.

Organisations should create a feedback-rich environment where new managers receive timely and actionable feedback on their performance. Additionally, offering opportunities for further development, such as advanced leadership courses or specialised training, can help new managers continue to grow and refine their skills.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

The demands of a new managerial role can be overwhelming.

Organisations should support new managers in maintaining a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout. This includes offering flexible working hours, remote work options, and sufficient time off. A supportive environment that respects personal time can enhance overall productivity and job satisfaction.

Organisational Responsibility for Managerial Success

When a new manager fails, it often points to an organisational failure rather than an individual one. A failure to provide adequate support, resources, and guidance can set even the most promising new managers up for failure. Therefore, it is critical for organisations to take responsibility and ensure they are creating an environment that fosters success.


The success of new managers, whether new to the business or newly promoted, is a direct indicator of the organisational environment they are part of. By providing comprehensive onboarding, clear expectations, necessary resources, strong mentorship, effective communication, recognition, constructive feedback, and support for work-life balance, organisations can set their new managers up for success.

If a new manager has been perceived to have failed, the organisation should rethink the support it has provided so far, or should provide now, before concluding that the manager has failed. It is vital for organisations to create and maintain an environment that nurtures the growth and success of their new managerial talent, ultimately driving overall organisational success.

This article was first published on 28/5/24.

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About the author


Darryl is a Chartered CIPD Member, business leader and operational manager with 30 years experience in on-the-ground and strategic HR, specialising in Human Resources Management, Employment Law, Employee Relations and Learning & Development.

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