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Congratulations on the big promotion! You’ve just moved up in the world (or moved into a big role at another warehouse somewhere else) and you’re finally ready to take a step into the realm of warehouse management.

You get there on your first day, slide up to your new workstation, and then it hits you: I have no idea what I’m doing here.

It’s fine! New-job jitters are nothing to be ashamed of. Before you spill your coffee everywhere, lose your iPad, and quit out of shame, take a breath, count to 10, and read these five tips for newly-promoted warehouse managers to keep you calm on your first day:


1. Understand the scope of your responsibilities.

Your first few days are probably going to be kind of overwhelming as you struggle to get used to everything. As early as you can, talk to someone else on your team and get a specific understanding of your duties, responsibilities, and expectations in your new position. Asking a few questions is going to make everything way easier in the long run.


2. Understand the metrics and KPIs you need to be achieving.

This will vary depending on how tip #1 went, but every warehouse manager has a number of metrics, KPIs, and goals that need to be tracked and measured in the department and/or depending on their responsibilities. Make sure you have a clear understanding of these needs and how to meet them.


3. Familiarize yourself with the equipment.

Every department (and nearly every worker) is going to have unique responsibilities and needed equipment to get their jobs done. We’re not saying you have to run out and get a forklift certification (unless your warehouse requires that you do as part of a management position) but a firm understanding of the equipment and supplies your workers need, from the shelves they stock inventory on to the heavier equipment they use such as forklifts, pallet trucks, and more will help you solve any problems that might arise and give you a better understanding of everyone’s individual duties.


4. Learn to ‘lead from the floor’.

Especially if you have a smaller remote distribution center you’re in charge of, learning to lead from the floor down with the troops is going to be essential. Lead by example, be the first to pitch in when you’re short staffed or the crew is having a hard time keeping up, and always be the first one to offer praise when someone goes above and beyond to get things done.


5. Don’t panic – yet.

There’s plenty of time for things to go wrong, and we’d be lying if we said they won’t. However, they haven’t yet, and right now the best thing is to calm down and focus on what you need to do to get used to the job. Learn a few things, watch a few other managers to learn how they handle things, and stay calm and focused. You’ll get the hang of it all soon, promise.

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