Managing Your First Employee

Are you a natural born leader?

Perhaps as a child you were the one that organized all the games? Naturally as you grew people just expected you to be in charge? You might even regard yourself as a ‘very stable genius’?

Of course, this means you have never needed to think how you relate to people, and more importantly, how they relate to you. But you won’t be reading anything to do with self-development so this is not for you.

But this article is for the rest of us. We who worried about, or still worry, how to relate to our first employee, our first direct report.

It can be a scary thought, being expected to tell another human being what to do.

It’s no surprise that many of us hide behind our hierarchical power – “do it because I’m your Boss!”

Pity really, as it is both ineffective and paints in large letters your lack of training and self-confidence.

But, when so many first-time people-managers are appointed because they were an excellent ‘Doer’, and now they are expected to be an effective ‘Doer Manager’, which is a completely different skill usually without training, the disaster is just waiting to happen.

No surprise that employees and managers suffer stress at work!

What the first-time people-manager needs is a managerial mindset.

It is a simple six-step model.

  1. You and your first employee, both work at your organization.
  2. You just have different jobs.
  3. You are both paid to behave in a way that supports the organization in the pursuit of its objectives.
  4. Your behaviour as manager is to check that your employee’s behaviour meets that need.
  5. If the behaviour is deficient then you must have the conversation focussed on the behaviour.
  6. There is never a question that your employee is useless, it is the behaviour that needs changing.

There is your platform for managing your first employee.

The organization is renting his or her behaviour and it is your job to inform, monitor and adjust that behaviour. That is the behaviour the organization is renting from you!


If you need help, look at our E-Coaching page.

Posted in Perform.