Tips for new managers and supervisors

Dear Joan:

I have an opportunity to run and operate my own Escrow Branch with a new, up and running insurance company. This company will be establishing several branches throughout our county. 

My concern is that I do not have much as far as management experience. I have been in the business for more than fifteen years. I have the confidence that I would do a great job for the company but the only management I have even come close to is managing my own customers, clients, my assistant and our workload and files.  

The company seems to feel that I would be perfect for the position coming up and available. I will initially be placed as a Senior Escrow Officer for now, with the potential of moving up to a management role within a year.  

Could you tell me what are the specific things that employers look for in a potential candidate for management? 

What questions should I ask or be concerned with when I go back on my second and third interview? 

My third question is where can I get information as to seminars, websites or industry associations that could help enhance my growth and opportunity? 


Here is a management 101 course in 500 words or less.  

Employees want the answers to five questions:

·        What is expected of me? Tell employees what the vision and goals of the business are and how their job fits. This can be done through regular meetings and updates. You can also tie in goals when you delegate work. 

·        How am I doing? Employees want feedback on a regular basis. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs. They never hear anything from the boss unless they make a mistake. When they do something that shows initiative, problem solving, or any application of talent, let them know. Senior Management also expects managers to confront problems and give an employee honest but respectful coaching.  

·        Where do I stand? At least once a year, employees want to know how they stack up. This is an opportunity to talk about all the things they do right and how important they are to the business. If they did have some problems during the year, they want to know how that fits into the total picture.   

·        How can I improve? Even your best employees want to know how to get better. If they have a performance gap, work with them to develop an action plan. It can be something small. The key is that it will improve their overall performance. 

·        How can I grow and stay challenged? Most people start to get bored after a few years on a job. If they don’t have anything new to learn, they start to develop bad habits and lose their energy and drive. Each year, ask employees, “What was most challenging this year?” “What new things did you learn?” “What new things would you like to learn about next year?” 

These five ingredients are just the basics. Excellent leaders take a personal interest in their employees. They also involve employees in decisions that have an impact on them. If you treat employees like you treat your valuable customers, you will never go wrong. 

If you view your role as a “servant leader,” that is, a manager who serves the needs of her staff, so they can provide the best services to their customers, you will be a boss employees want to work for.  

To get ready for this opportunity, use the next year to get to know the needs of coworkers with whom you interact. Create teams to work through the issues related to opening the new branch. This experience will give you great experience working with a team. Learn all you can about the Human Resources side of opening the branch. Develop a good working relationship with your HR contact.  

To learn more about interviewing questions as well as how to be a good manager, visit my website and search on the categories: Managing, HR Issues, Your Career, People Skills and Job Hunting.  There are over 1,600 articles, all searchable by keyword or by categories.  In addition, don’t miss two good books: First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman and Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Buckingham & Donald Clifton. 

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
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