How to Set Day-to-Day Roles and Responsibilities for New Managers

Managers shape the culture of their teams and workplaces in countless ways.

They play both an administrative and leadership role, meaning often, they have to balance their day to meet their needs and those of their employees.

Additionally, managers act as a bridge from senior management for translating higher-level strategies and goals into operating plans that drive the business.

And they require a diverse set of skills to be successful.

But what exactly does a manager do?

While the CEO and vice president of a company focus more on the strategy and investment of a company, managers are directly involved with the individuals who serve the customers, producing and or selling the products and services.

Managers typically have more responsibilities than regular employees.

That’s why managers must be organized and prioritize their daily tasks to ensure they are being productive and completing their work on time.

As a bridge between strategy and team, the manager is accountable to senior executives for performance and front-line employees for guidance, motivation, and support.

“It is common for managers to feel as if they are pulled between the demands of top leaders and the needs of the individuals performing the work of the firm.” F. John Reh.

In this blog, we are going to break down the typical day-to-day managerial responsibilities and how to be effective at each.

Not every day is the same. Some days, you’ll be pulled into hiring meetings; others, you might be organizing your corporate retreat.

This list is also not exhaustive; some responsibilities may be more relevant to certain companies than others.

Before we talk about the day-to-day responsibilities, watch this quick video on how to become an unfireable manager 👇

Communicating Information

Communicating is one of the most essential skills and roles anyone in a managerial position can fulfill.

But it is usually one of the biggest barriers.

When team members cannot communicate effectively, they don't coordinate, their productivity is low and their quality of work also decreases.

Leadership comes down to conversations.

Conversations are the only real tool a leader has to build high-performing teams that innovate.

In our conversations, we establish psychological safety for our team members, in which we lean into vulnerability and signal belonging cues.

It is in our conversations that we adapt our language and style to their personality types.

It is in conversations that we show emotion, that we empathize, and that we emotionally engage with our team.

It is in conversations that we empower our team to make decisions.

According to an Interact/Harris Poll survey of 1,000 U.S. workers, 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down.

As a manager, you must set goals for your employees and adequately communicate the top-down company vision to them.

Simultaneously, you must communicate to your supervisors how your employees are performing.

So how does effective communication looks like? Check this graphic to see where you are in your current communication.

In this blog, we cover the 6 must-have conversations for managers.

Setting Meetings & Goals

Meetings are a vital glue of every organization’s daily operations. They provide opportunities for discussing priorities and challenges, alignment, decision-making, collaboration, feedback,  check-in with the team, and communication to propel things forward.

They are more critical now than ever, with the world transitioning to a more remote working world.

Despite the great potential of meetings, there’s also an opportunity cost when not done correctly.

A study by reported that meetings cost companies anywhere between $43,008–$56,448 USD per year per manager.

Now, imagine the additional managers, executives, and individual contributors who also partake in several meetings each week.

On average, people can attend between 11 to 15 meetings per week, which can consume a ton of unnecessary time if not executive properly.

When done right, meetings can be a massive boon for optimizing your most potent tool - communication. It can help you set the stage to practice everything we’ve discussed regarding establishing psychological safety and fostering empowerment.

Let’s take a look at 5 best practices to implement for a great meeting:

Clear Purpose

Help all your DISC personalities by defining a clear purpose or goal for the meeting.

Even for the personalities that don’t typically need extra time to chew over ideas, it can be helpful for all attendees to have that preparation done ahead of time to facilitate cohesion between one another and avoid falling into a meeting pitfall of lack of preparation.

For example, if you have a C-style member—usually the conscientious or cautious person; primarily concerned about getting things done right, aka the traditional perfectionist—they would prefer to have the agenda in advance.

It can help them have the space to adapt to their fellow contrasting D-style personalities—typically those with the ability to challenge the status quo and think outside of the box, both of which make them great innovators—who may want to jump from ideas quicker.

If you don’t know how to incorporate DISC personalities into your manager role, you can learn more amidst a variety of must-have skills for new managers by pursuing leadership training for managers.

👉 Consider which one is the right for you by visiting our blog on various options.

Prepared Agenda

Prepare and collaborate on an agenda then make sure you follow through.

Invite collaboration to boost engagement and make room for diversity of thought, especially with the individuals that might not always initiate voicing their thoughts.

Sticking to the agenda will also help keep attendees engaged, given they now have a trajectory of what information to watch out for.

Psychological Safety

Meetings are another avenue where a team’s psychological safety is tested.

Recall that psychological safety involves the freedom to express oneself without fear of serious repercussions.

This also means positive conflict and debate to continue innovating and stretching ideas beyond the first anchoring thought.

Good meetings with psychological safety need to stem from building trust within the team at an individual level so that individuals can contribute their voices to the goals and questions at hand upon coming together.

Active Collaboration

We’ve already spoken about engagement that comes from collaboration to increase ownership and significance in the tasks and ideas at hand.

In meetings, increase collaboration levels by introducing a singular source of truth document for meeting notes for everyone’s reference and interpretation of information.

This allows us to address clarification earlier on in the value chain rather than building a faulty foundation on misinterpreted information.

Actionable Takeaways

Ensure to dedicate time at the end of the meeting to establish and assign clear actionable takeaways and meeting action items to create accountability and set a check-back-in timeline to follow up on the next steps’ progression.

Also, Don’t also forget to highlight the key decisions that have been made.

Together this helps individuals understand the mental decision-making model that occurred and ultimately increases buy-in and engagement.

Note: Documentation of it also ensures that these decisions don’t fall through the cracks, especially with a concrete follow-up plan.

Learn more about each item by reading this blog on the 5 Tips for Managers on How To Hold A Great Meeting


Gallup discovered that the number one reason people change jobs today is "career growth opportunities." And that reason is on the rise.

Gallup research found that 59% of millennials say that opportunities to learn and grow are significant when applying for a job.

Comparatively, 44% of Gen Xers and 41 % of baby boomers say the same.

And 87% of millennials rate "professional or career growth and development opportunities" as important to them in a job — far more than the 69% of non-millennials who say the same.

This is why you, as a manager, need to become and act as a coach. Helping your employees grow is creating a high-performance culture.

One crucial way to ensure growth is through training.

Research shows that when team performance grows, employee output and revenue grow.

Unicorn Labs gives managers the tools they need to become effective leaders who guide employees in their career development journey.

If your startup is like Growcer and struggles with managers who don't know how to lead through change as your business has grown, or if you want to create a high-performing organizational culture, check out the Unicorn Labs 12-week management training program.

Providing Evaluations & Feedback

Feedback and evaluation are one of a manager’s most important day-to-day responsibilities.

Success in the startup world always comes back to a company’s ability to innovate.

Companies that can’t keep up to the fast-paced and ever-changing consumer society will be indeed left in the dust.

At the core of innovation is feedback.

This is the best way to ensure your ideas and those of your employees move in the right direction.

Feedback allows room for personal improvement, avoiding recurring mistakes and help establish strong connections between managers and employees.

This is what makes feedback culture a vital element of Unicorn Startups.

Read this blog to learn How to Create a Feedback Culture in Your Startup.

You might also consider reading this crucial Manager’s Guide to Cultivate Accountability and Effective Feedback at any Startup.

And finally, here is How to Use Unicorn Labs' Feedback Principles at your Startup.

Hiring or Terminating Employees

Being a manager is not all fun and games.

Sometimes, you have to be the “bad” cop and have those tough conversations.

From terminating someone’s employment to sitting on hiring boards and asking the tough questions.

Hiring new talent

To effectively manage team composition, we need to look at how we assemble our group—the hiring process.

As a manager and as a Unicorn Leader, your number one goal should focus on creating that high-performing team.

You are building a team able to deal with uncertainty, deal with change, and continuously improve because change is the only constant we actually have.

Building a high-performance team is hard work, as you probably know, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

The composition of a team concerns the skills and attitude of each member, and you want to ensure you onboard the right people to achieve greatness in your company.

The truth is, the right star or talent can elevate your team’s success significantly.

But, if you have a flawed hiring process, you risk spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars when doing a bad hire.

Although hiring process usually falls unders the HR team, as a manager, is important you are involve in the conversations to ensure the right hire is selected.

Here is How a Solid Recruitment Process Increases your Impact.

Terminating employees

On the other flip side of the coin is firing

Whether you're giving or receiving the message, the firing process isn't fun for anyone.

Unfortunately, firing is a necessary evil. As a manager, you have to keep in mind the good of the business, your clients, and the rest of the team.

Keeping a poor performer is a disservice to your entire organization.

Low standards are infections and bring down the engagement and motivation of other team members and give your company a bad name with clients.

Action taken against low performance raises the team's standards, helping managers meet business objectives and ensures clients get the value they deserve.

In this blog, we break down The Right Way to Fire Someone.

And if you think you’re not ready to fire someone yet, here is a good resource on How to Deal with Difficult Employees as a New Manager.

Related posts


Subscribe for your remote team management free education series.

Five lessons and five tools delivered to your inbox for the next five weeks.
No Thanks