Starting a new job can be daunting, and taking up your first position at the helm of a team, department or company can present its own set of challenges. Whether you are the new person coming into an established group of employees or have been promoted within your existing organisation, what can you do to ensure that your step up into management is a success?
Making the move into management can be a tricky one; by this stage in your career, your ability to perform at a technical level has been proven but a leadership role is as much about motivating and inspiring others which means drawing more upon your communication skills, ability to build relationships and understanding emotional intelligence.
The performance of those you are responsible for will have a huge influence upon how you are viewed by your peers, senior managers and others within your team. Understanding how to get the best out of each individual, whilst meeting the objectives of the business and maintaining a motivated and happy workforce can be a tricky balance to achieve.
You may have to adapt your own style to suit those around you; what works for one may not have the same affect on another. And getting the required response and performance out of your team can be particularly challenging if you are stepping up and managing colleagues you previously worked with at the same level.
Here are our top suggestions to ensuring that your first few weeks in your new management role get off to a great start.
Get to know your team:
If you are joining a new company, it’s important that you get up to speed on who’s who as soon as possible. Learn as much as you can about each individual – their name, how long they have been with the company, what role they undertake, what they enjoy, what motivates them. Aim to spend some one-on-one time with each person early on so you can build up a great rapport from the outset. Invite people to share their views on what changes they would be keen to see but don’t introduce something just to win popularity points.
Find out about the company:
Arrange to spend some time with other managers at your level and key personnel in any departments you will be working closely alongside. Take on board any comments they make about the performance of your team or individuals within in, but be sure to form your own opinions before suggesting any changes. Similarly be careful in sharing your opinions about the direction you think the business should be heading; as a manager you will be expected to offer your view but being too opinionated without fully understanding the culture, vision and values of the business could see you making a poor first impression.
Be clear about what is expected:
Ensure that you understand what your boss expects from you in your new role and communicate to your team what you need from them to achieve success. Avoid any temptation to criticise your predecessor but instead explain why you would like to make any changes you plan to introduce and bring everyone on board. Make sure you establish clear lines of communication – especially in the early days – so you can be kept up to speed on how projects are progressing and can engage alternative strategies to address any issues which may arise along the way.
Work on your communication skills:
Everyone is different so be sure to take time to establish clear channels of communication with each person in your team – and remember, not everyone will respond in the same way so you will need to adjust your approach to get the best out of every individual. Also look to develop a good relationship with your own boss or company board and find out how they would like you to report into them. Are there regular management meetings? What will you need to produce by way of reports? What level of detail they wish to know? Establish how much they wish to know about what is happening on a day-to-day level and if they prefer to be kept up to speed by email, a phone call or a face-to-face meeting.
Take an empathic approach:
Being a good manager is also about recognising when your team members need support. If someone is underperforming, it is important to look to understand what issues may be having an effect and what solutions can be put in place to address the situation. Learning how to also recognise how your emotions affect your work will also play a significant part in addressing potential tricky situations and improve your communication and conflict resolution skills.
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today to find out more.