So you’ve just landed a new managerial position at a great company. Before you begin your new gig, take a step back and ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish in your position.
Your answer is probably something along the lines of being a great leader who helps employees develop professionally and ultimately plays a crucial role in driving organizational growth. (If that’s way off base, you might want to rethink your career.)
To make those things happen, you first need to make inroads with your new team. Here some best practices you can use to hone your leadership skills.
1. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
You should be ready to roll up your sleeves on day one and start figuring out your approach to a better operation. But that doesn’t mean you should plan on enacting sweeping changes right away. Your employees have grown comfortable in their roles. By and large, they know how to do their jobs and are good at them.
Don’t make any major changes right off the bat. Doing so could seriously work against your team’s productivity — which wouldn’t exactly put you in the best light.
2. Familiarize yourself with the strengths of the individuals on your team
Now that you have a whole new team to manage, you need to set aside time to meet with each member during your first week (assuming that’s possible). Learn their strengths, and ask them where they believe they can improve. Find out what ideas they have for your company, and ask where they see themselves down the line.
Don’t automatically assume you’re inheriting the most efficiently organized team in the world either. Again, you shouldn’t think about dissolving teams or changing reporting structures on your first day, but it’s worth considering whether your team could be organized more effectively.
The better you know your team, the easier it is to make such decisions.
3. Set clear expectations
Your employees have worked with their previous boss for however long. They’ve developed routines, and they know what’s expected of them at work.
You can switch things up a bit, but be sure to communicate your plans clearly. The more descriptive you are about your ideas and expectations, the less likely you are to have to discuss them again when employees drop the ball.
Your team is on the same page when you set clear expectations. It functions considerably more smoothly.
4. Be available to your employees as much as you can
For the most part, you control how your employees perceive you. If you talk a big talk about teamwork and becoming a family of sorts but keep your door closed all the time and rarely have availability to meet with your employees, chances are your team will question your commitment to the words you’re speaking.
So keep your door open as much as you can. Actively solicit ideas from your staff, and be responsive when they have questions or concerns.
5. Improve work culture
According to our 2015 Employee Engagement Report, positive work cultures are strongly correlated with happy employees, who are more engaged and more productive. It is therefore in the best interest of any new manager to continually focus on improving work culture.
Encouraging employees to get to know each other better
Showing appreciation for a job well done
Listening to employee concerns
Respecting work-life balance
As a new manager, you are obviously excited to improve your organization. By building strong bonds with your employees and putting yourself in their shoes as often as you can during decision-making processes, odds are they’ll be happier — which will work wonders for your company’s bottom line.