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The manufacturing industry presents many unique, distinctive and rewarding challenges for those who pursuing a managerial role. Not everyone is comfortable working on a day-to-day basis with such a high amount of responsibility, and just because someone is a great worker does not necessarily mean that they’d make a great manager. That said, there are some helpful techniques you can use to ease your own transition from a staff member to a manager within the manufacturing industry.

Understand Your New Role

Fully understanding the responsibilities of your new role as a manager is the key to ensuring success in the position. While your prior focus as an employee was in your own day-to-day productivity and achievement, a manager must concentrate on ensuring the success of their team. This is accomplished through a variety of means, including performance monitoring, employee coaching, offering regular feedback and initiating career development.

Pursue Higher Education

Pursuing higher education, including any degrees or certifications that are pertinent to your industry, is a great way to ensure a successful transition into a managerial capacity. Not only will you learn advanced skills and knowledge needed to function successfully at a higher level of responsibility, but your new education or training may even lead to higher pay.

Get to Know Your Peers

If you haven’t already acquainted yourself with the staff, including your peers, supervisors and company figureheads, now is the time to do it. Understanding their individual personalities, including motivating factors, skills and quirks, can go a long way in ensuring a successful transition to that managerial position. Once you’ve opened up lines of communication, try your best to keep them open. Introducing yourself to a staff member is one thing, but getting to know your peers is the best way to ensure a strong and long-lasting relationship.

Research the Company

Companies want managers and leaders who are familiar with the company, including specific mission statements, goals and organizational visions. This information can usually be found in a number of places, including on a company’s website or within internal documentation such as a training manual or employee guidebook. You don’t have to be able to recite an entire mission statement by heart, but becoming aware of your company’s end-goal is a great way to ensure long-term success and facilitate the transition from a staff member to a manager.

Learn Established Management Systems

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the proven management resources that are already there. Programs such as PeopleSoft and even concepts in lean manufacturing can all be used to guarantee your longevity as a manager.

In Conclusion

As many current managers are quick to point out, making the transition into their managerial role was a challenging endeavor that required years of hard work, patience and diligence. It’s a transition that requires moving away from your comfort zone, embracing change and evolving according to the specifications of your newfound responsibilities. Those who are able to find their way through the transition from a staff member to a manager, however, will likely find that the move was well worth it.

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