Congratulations! You’ve Been Promoted. (Part 2)
Last week I wrote about some of the things a newly promoted manager should consider during their initial period. Now let’s visit some of the pitfalls they should avoid.
1. Don’t make snap judgement and quick changes. Yes, there are always extenuating circumstances or emergencies, but generally, before you go around changing things, learn how they currently work and think about how you’d like them to work. Employees don’t mind if a manager changes his or her mind, but not if it’s because they didn’t bother to think about something in the first place.
2. Don’t make disparaging remarks about the work that was being done before you arrived. There’s no need to bash the previous manager’s policies, org charts, decisions etc. Place your efforts into what is going to be, not on what was. (And of course, there’s no need to make any remarks about the previous manager! Talking badly about other people is a totally undignified way for a manager (or anybody for that matter) to behave.
3. Don’t make any promises you don’t know you can keep. When a new manager takes over there’s always an employee or two who use it as an opportunity to revisit their requests for a raise, promotion, title change, office etc. While it’s tempting to try and please people don’t promise anything you can’t deliver on.
4. Don’t do a disappearing act. It might be that as a new manager you are busy meeting with external teams, clients, suppliers, or getting some work done, but remember to maintain visibility with your team as well. It’s important they see and interact with you during the early days of your tenure.
5. Don’t become an obstacle to work. “I want every single approval to go through me.” Yes, you want to feel in control in a new position but try not to do it at the expense of your employee’s ability to execute their own work. Micromanaging rarely comes across as a
6. Don’t believe everything you hear, and especially don’t repeat it. “The HR team here is useless or the creative department are impossible to work with” etc. All of it may be true, but nobody wants to hear it from someone who has only been around the company for two days! Make sure to draw your own conclusions about things especially since employees sometimes don’t always see things in the same way a manager does.
7. Don’t forget to keep your own manager in the loop. This can be especially important as you enter more senior level managerial positions when you are comfortable executing changes. But no matter your seniority, if you are relatively new to an organization, talk things through with your boss first. It can get really messy when you announce a change to your team only have your boss tell you, “Nope, we’re not doing that.”
As always, even if you’ve make a misstep along the way, the quickest and easiest way to put it behind you is to simply tell everyone you screwed up.