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Advice for a first time manager, please?(11 Posts)
Today I have been offered and accepted a promotion at work. Next month I will begin line managing six other staff having never formally managed anyone before. I was previously a member of the team I will head up. Any tips on how to go about successfully transitioning from being on of the team to heading it up?
Tricky. I've no experience of this, I've always gone in as a new manager. It's hard because all the moaning about the boss you all - presumably - indulged in, and now that's you!
Do you sit with them or in an office? Are there any 'quick wins' stuff you've all complained about that would be easy to sort out? How did they react to you getting the job?
Oooooh, I hope this will be me soon too. Just applied for a promotion to manage the team I am currently on. I am excited about the prospect of the promotion as I would love that job, but I am also crapping myself if I get it, how will people react to me? I am really good mates with my team. Is it possible to manage people and be good mates with them or do you have to kiss the friendships goodbye?!
Don't go lording it over them, obviously.
It is difficult, as sooner or later there will be something where you have to be "them" (the bosses) rather than "one of us" (the team).
Reviews are tough, having to give honest feedback to someone who was your equal is very difficult.
In the meantime, look for some quick wins, like cancelling useless meetings, eradicating stuff that annoys everyone. But don't change TOO much in one go.
Do you get any training?
Be honest with each and everyone of them that you have taken the management post and your professionalism means your first responsibility is to your employer, therefore establish your new boundaries. Are you the sort of person you would like to manage? if so then you wouldnt be asking the staff to do anything you wouldnt have done yourself. Set forth a few clear statements about what you expect and what you are going to give in return. It isnt easy managing people you were once a colleague with - its nice if they automatically put you there but anyone who doesnt, take them aside and deal with the issue quickly rather than hoping they will come round. Good luck with new job.
Thanks everyone! To answer a couple of questions - yes, I will sit with the team, but we are all out of the office for most of the week, so it will only be on one day at a time IYSWIM. I am just trying to get myself a place on an in-house training course for new managers. My manager is being very supportive, so hopefully that will continue, and I've asked one of the other managers who I know well to mentor me.
Team have just had their performance reviews and forward job plan discussions with the previous manager - do you think looking at their fjps with them individually to work out what I need to do to help them towards successful PRs next time (which I'll do) and to just talk to them about how we might work together would be a good idea? Or too nosey at this early stage?
Yes discuss their plans with them. Shows you care about them (even if you don't!!) Perhaps you can help facilitate some development for them? That would be a quick win!
Be careful to put your time into doing the work relating to the new, promoted, post and not your old post. Don't be afraid to ask your former colleagues to carry out tasks they know you can do - it's no longer your job, and you won't be able to focus on the new job if you can't stop doing your old one.
Finally, and following on from that point - let them do things their way.
Firstly, great you are so keen to do a good job. And of course congrats!
Re performance goals. I wouldn't have a specific meeting but would set up monthly 121s and at the first one address them then?
I used to organise them for my teams when I was employed. They were a mix of them updating me on major projects and looking at objectives. Make them do the notes/agreed actions so you don't spend typing them up!
I think it is important to want to do right by them, but (based on experience!) it can be easy to be seen as too keen to help/support them - they could try to take advantage.
You also don't want to set them up with the expectation that you are going to solve all their exsisting gripes/secure them a payrise asap!
So addressing their PR as part of another process provides you with the chance to discuss but doesn't make too much of a big deal of it.
And yes to delegating, it is a good way to free you your time and also to gently affirm your new status.
Firstly, you have to accept that you are no longer one of them and will be treated differently by them so friendships will change. Sad but comes with the job. If they are a field sales team then thier reporting monthly to you is key, as are accompanied field visits with them. This way you can monitor what they are doing and suggest changes according to performance. The training and mentoring sound great. good luck OP.
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