What is a line manager?
Looking to move into management?
For anyone feeling ready to take on a managerial position, becoming a line manager is often an ideal first step. Not only can it be a potential stepping stone into a more senior position – in some instances, it could be even an essential part of helping your career progress.
But how do you become a line manager? And what are the main line manager responsibilities?
Here’s our guide on everything you need to know about line management:
What is a line manager?
A line manager is someone who is directly responsible for managing another member of staff or multiple staff members. They often report into a higher level of management in the company, but oversee the day-to-day duties of their team.
The role they perform is incredibly important in the running the operations of a business – giving more junior members of staff the guidance they need, and providing them with a link to those in more senior roles.
They may also be known as supervisors, or team leaders (depending on the company).
Line manager responsibilities
Line managers are found in almost every industry, meaning their duties may change depending on where they work.
However, some common responsibilities of line managers could include:
- Managing employees
- Ensuring their team hit their targets
- Training staff, and planning out their development
- Coaching and mentoring their team members
- Reporting back to senior leadership on performance
- Overseeing budget lines
- Approving holidays and conducting back-to-work interviews
- Hiring and interviewing new team members
What skills do you need to become a line manager?
Becoming a good line manager means really understanding your members of staff, in order to get the best possible performance out of them on a daily basis.
They also need to know the business inside out, allowing them to provide vital information and support to their team, whenever necessary.
Key skills for line managers are:
- Excellent communication skills
- Results-driven thinking
- Motivational skills
Line manager jobs
Line managers are needed in a variety of different sectors. From blue collar jobs in production and construction, through to retail and office roles.
In fact, although ‘line manager’ may not necessarily be in the job title (with team leader or supervisor sometimes preferred), line management responsibilities will be written in the job description – allowing you to find them easily when searching.
Line management may even be an option in your job, allowing you to progress within your own organisation without the need for a formal promotion.
Line management courses
If you’re looking to move into line management, there are many courses out there to help build your skillset.
Some great examples of training to look into include people management certifications, HR training for line managers, and objective setting. However, there are hundreds of options out there – allowing you to find the one which best suits you.
They may be offered by your employer, but can be taken independently too. And with many online options available, you’ll have the flexibility to find one that fits your own schedule.
Tips to become a great line manager
All line managers work differently. However, here are some tips to help you on your way to become a great line manager:
Listen to your team – Part of being a great manager is learning how to listen. Really get to know your members of staff, find out their goals and what makes them tick. Not only will it help build trust, but it will also allow you to get the most out of them.
Learn how to delegate – Just because you’re responsible for your team, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the hard work. Good delegation skills will lead to a more motivated team, with more autonomy (and, crucially, less micro-management).
Be accountable – There’s no quicker way to lose the respect of someone you manage than to throw them under the bus. You are ultimately responsible for their output, good or bad. So ensure you’re accountable for any mistakes – and that you work on mitigating against them in future.
Praise hard work – Always ensure you recognise when your team is performing well. Whether it’s informing senior leadership, giving kudos over email, or just telling them yourself – hard work and dedication should never go unnoticed.
Plan their future – Finally, to get the most out of your staff, you should want them to progress. That means working on development plans with them to help them move on their career (even if it’s no longer under your management), and empowering them to improve.
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