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Any advice for a newly appointed manager

(6 Posts)
Hodgins Fri 24-Oct-08 16:52:21

I took a job in June as an assistant manager with the idea that I will take over as manager when current one retires (January).

I have already identified several areas where I will make changes. I won't go wading in and make all these changes at once but there are a few I am keen to inroduce asap as I am a bit shock at some of the things that go on.

I just wondered if anyone has any experience/advice about how to approach these changes.

Small organisation (about 30 employees) and fairly informal setting. I was thinking of meeting with all staff in each department (about 6 or 7 at a time) to let them know my intentions. They all love the current manager so I want to make my mark asap without making it look like I am trying to undermine everything she did.

Does this make sense?

NorthernLurker Fri 24-Oct-08 17:02:31

Why do you need to make a mark? In my experience making a mark only leads to making a mess!
My personal approach is very softly, softly. You can get a lot done that way. If the previous incumbent was popular then you need to pay tribute to that whilst establishing your own authority. I wouldn't have meetings to lay out all your plans at once. Just work out what your priorities are and introduce them over a period of weeks or months (it's easier to evaluate your changes that way as well) There will be times where you need to make an impact and kick big butt - but the times you do that wil have a lot more impact than if you've been kicking little butt from the second you got your feet under the desk! Less is more - ime anyway.

squiffy Fri 24-Oct-08 17:05:14

Bit busy at work at the moment, so can't give full answer. BUT be aware that introducign change - no matter how positive it might be - unsettles people, and the more conservative the staff are, the more unsttled they will be even if they see the logic of the changes.

The best way of goijng about all of this is to remind yourself all the time that slowly slowly catchy monkey.

Don't, whatever you do, call meetings to 'let people know of your intentions' - that is removing from them any perception of involvement in the decision making process (you will just be decision-sharing if you dress it up in such terms). what you might want to do instead is to introduce some monthly 'team meetings' to discuss how people feel the last month has gone in terms of sales, issues, projects, whatever.... and then as part of this see if you can get people to discuss whether they have any ideas on improving things. If they then come up with same ideas independantly (you may be surprised) you are on a win-win.

Also you might want to ask yourself whether you do really want to 'make your mark'? Why? Were you brought in precisely to bring about change? If not, then you should step very carefully. 'Making your mark' might be the opposite of what is required now, runnign a steady ship when a vlaued manager departs and keeping motivaiton up might be a far more effective way of impressing people... I don;t really know the context of why you want to make changes... A happy, happy team that appreciates you and goes the extra mile for you is far more effective even with inefficiencies here and there is far better than having an operationally streamlined team that resents you.

squiffy Fri 24-Oct-08 17:05:57

ha ha x-posts. Can't believe we made exactly the same softly softly comment!

NorthernLurker Fri 24-Oct-08 17:08:52

no and 'softly,softly catchy monkey' is my personal mantra for work! Weird hmm

Reassuring I'm not the only one doing things that way though! The idea about asking for suggestions is a great one btw.

SalLikesCoffee Fri 24-Oct-08 17:18:31

Well, I wanted to make a good point here, but the other posters have done it so much better than I could, so I'll just second them.

Even though you might know that improvements need to be made, pointing them out all at once is criticizing a well-loved member of staff, making others defensive. Try doing it slowly, making people think it's actually their ideas. Honestly, your long term success as a manager will be measured at how successful everyone works as a team.

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