Management Training Professional & Management Professional Development

The First 90 Days: A Guide for New Managers

30 days – Leadership

Congratulations on your promotion!

This is the forming stage for your team. Team members will be feeling uncertain about their new manager and how things might change. If they are happy with their current situation they will be skeptical and resistant. If they are unhappy, they are going to be looking to you to improve their lot. You need to step up and take the lead and also inspire and build trust.

However, you also need to understand what is expected of you from your direct managers. You can’t lead a team unless you are given some idea of where you need to go and why.

The First 90 Days, a guide for new Managers

What you need from your manager(s)

  • What is expected of you?
  • What are your objectives and how do they link to corporate strategy?
  • How will your performance be measured?

What your team needs from you

  • Build trust by doing what you say you will do
  • Regular team meetings
  • Set clear expectations about ‘how we do things around here’
  • Explain what the team’s purpose is and how each person contributes to that
  • Get to know what everyone does and how the processes work
  • Look for ways to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Observe, ask questions, and learn
  • Make firm decisions for the team
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses in the team
  • Provide encouragement and feedback

60 days – Management

 Now that you have built some confidence as a leader it is time to also manage the productivity of the team as well as focus on individuals. You need to provide clear direction, delegate effectively, monitor results, and provide helpful feedback.

Ask for clear KPIs from your Manager and then translate them into team and individual goals. Your task as a manager is to focus and motivate the team to achieve goals and you can’t do that unless you understand them as individuals.

Now is the time to introduce slight changes to process to improve efficiency. Expect resistance from some, so clearly explain the benefits for the individual, focusing on what motivates them.

The First 90 Days, a guide for new Managers

From your managers

  • Clear KPIs
  • Feedback and coaching

To your team

  • Have regular 1:1 meetings with your team members
  • Get to know individuals – what they enjoy and don’t enjoy, how they prefer to be managed, and what motivates them
  • Provide ongoing training and coaching where required
  • Provide continuous feedback
  • Delegate more tasks
  • Introduce minor changes to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Set clear goals and KPIs in line with departmental objectives

    90 days – Development

 Now that the team has had some time to settle down and you have proven they can trust you, they should be working together more smoothly. Now you can start to focus on building the capability within the team and developing individual skills. You can delegate more responsibility and also involve the team in decision making and planning. This will provide individuals with more ownership which leads to stronger engagement.
The First 90 Days, a guide for new Managers

From your managers

  • Feedback and coaching
  • Support for your ideas and plan for the next quarter

    To your team
  • Regular Team and 1:1 meetings with your team members
  • Celebration of wins
  • Continuous feedback
  • Ongoing coaching and training
  • Support where required
  • Individual motivation
  • Ask for more ideas to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Involve the team in decision making
  • Delegate more responsibility to individuals
  • Enable the team to succeed by providing the resources they need


The first 90 days as a manager are always challenging, but by focusing more of your attention on the team than on your own tasks during this time, you will find your new role much less demanding and stressful overall.

Further reading:

If you are a new manager, or an experienced manager who wants to apply a little more theory to your practice, have a look at a bit of further reading!

 3 Skills for New Managers – blog

New Managers: How to Boost Efficiency with Introduction to Management Expert Tips – Infographic

By Jacob Ahmadzai

Helping businesses improve performance with proven learning and development solutions. London based with a global reach.