Congratulations! You’ve Been Promoted.
Whether you’re a first-time manager or have been promoted to a new management position the first few weeks of your "reign" are a critical. You need to do a delicate balancing act between taking charge and being proactive but not to the point of alienating employees or stepping on people’s toes right from the start.
Here are a few tips on how to start off on the right foot:
1. Get to know your team. There’s a natural tendency to dive right into the work but it’s also important to get to know your team on a more personal level, such as their likes, dislikes, family status, hobbies etc.
2. Set expectations and remember that they work in two directions. Obviously, you have expectations from your employees but more important, what do they expect from you. Expectations can range from working hours, reporting structures, decision making territory etc. And of course, do this with your direct manager as well!
3. Introduce yourself to your fellow managers and service teams. Even if they were all told of your arrival, and or know you from the company, start fresh with them. Be it finance, HR, IT or any other team, meet with your counterpart to go over outstanding issues, working procedures, and let them know you are now the relevant address for your department.
4. Listen, learn, and ask questions. Make sure you understand everyone’s position, their responsibilities, challenges, and goals. Next week we’ll talk about some of the mistakes new managers make but one important note is not to ask condescending questions or questions which sound overly critical. Nobody wants a manager who makes them feel like everything they are doing is wrong.
5. Tackle personality issues head on: This can be important when you’re promoted from within to manage a team of your former peers. Address the “Elephant in the room” especially with people you think might be disappointed that they didn’t get the job. You don’t have to apologize for getting the position but it’s nice to listen and acknowledge that someone may be disheartened that they weren’t chosen.
6. Learn from other people’s mistakes! Speak to your fellow managers about what mistakes they made as a new manager and try and avoid them.
Next week we’ll address some of the mistakes new managers make!