2

I've just accepted a new position in my company where I will be managing others for the first time in my career. They are already a team, 3 people, and I will be replacing their boss. Similar to this question, but different, as I am senior to the team members.

What are some specific things I can do in the first days / weeks to make sure that I manage the team well?

closed as too broad by Mister Positive, gnat, Snow, David K, DarkCygnus Oct 19 '17 at 15:42

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Yes, I have an MBA. Maybe the title is too broad but I think asking for specific things that I can do in the first days is not broad at all. – Brusselssprout Oct 19 '17 at 11:38
  • In fact your question in even more precise than than "being a good manager in the first days", is "what you can do to start well with your subordinates as their new manager". There re others aspect of management than this (handling the hierarchy, ...), however I didn't address them in my answer (I don't really know aniway). – Walfrat Oct 19 '17 at 11:42
  • 3
    Hmm, there are loads of tidbits I could throw out but this is awfully close to a list question that's difficult to pull off in this Q&A format. – Lilienthal Oct 19 '17 at 13:11
5

I'll address the question in your post not in the title (too broad).

Here are some generics things you can do to start :

  • Get to know (skill, background personallity, ...) each of your subordinates individually and make them know you. What they expect of you, what you (and the company) will expect of them. If they're willing to talk about the previous manager, what was working for them, what they think could be improved (no blaming, bashing of course).
  • Get to know how they work as a group, (who is their leader, ...) what make their group good (and don't need to be changed!) what can be improved. When you address what can be improved, stay positive, don't say "you bad" but "we can improve this".
  • Learn management styles and which one(s) would suit the people you are going to manage.
  • Learn what your company (those above you) expect from your team and make sure your team understand it.
  • When receiving orders from top (new organisation, new process,...), and when it is possible, handle the mail and propose to your team a way to handle what the top is asking. Don't just follow it to your team and expect them to handle it.

Also note that since peoples are different, it's possible that you have to adjust your management for some people. For instance some are very autonomous and will strongly dislikes recurrent follow-ups and others will apreciate.

You can also read various thing about how to deal with introvert/extravert people and other traits of people. I don't recommend you any neither to choose one and follow it to the letter, but reading about them will likely help you to understand your people better.

  • 1
    One thing I have yet to see is a new manager asking for your CV or simply asking what your skillset/background is. I think that is critical information for a manager. If they are planning a new task on language Y while everything so far has been Language X, and they don't know the skills of existing employees in Y, how can the manager make an informed decision? – Juha Untinen Oct 19 '17 at 12:34
2

When stepping into management for the first time, or any time, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • You have the title, but not the approval or respect of the staff, especially if you have had a previous peer relationship with them, this must be earned.
  • You earn "legitimacy" for lack of a better term by setting expectations, being fair, consistent, and open to the views of your people. (open, not agreeing to)

Now, what to do....

  1. Meet with everyone for some one on one, informal time, create personal relationships.
  2. Set expectations with the group. Let them know what is expected of them, and what can be expected of you.
  3. Learn what motivates your people and their habits. Some respond well to bluntness, others tact. Some people need hand-holding, some work independently, et cetera.
  4. Establish yourself as an authority. This is important. You want to get along with your staff, and it's fine to ask questions, but when descision time comes, you say "We are going to take this approach". Solicit input, but make the decision yourself.
  5. Start assigning tasks as soon as possible because again, this establishes your authority
  • Meet with everyone for some one one one time. THIS – Mister Positive Oct 19 '17 at 13:15
  • 2 and 4 are especially important. – HLGEM Oct 19 '17 at 13:41
2

Some good answers already, but one thing I think is missing. Find out from your boss if any of the people working for you had applied for the promotion. You need to know if there is someone who is likely to resent your selection. You may want to talk directly to this topic with that person and find out their feelings and discuss a plan for them to help them qualify for the next available promotion. Some people truly don't understand that success at one level is not a guarantee of promotion especially when changing to a management position. You need to help that person understand what skill sets are different for the promotion and work out a plan for that person to get them.

If the person appears to be resentful, then you may need to keep an eye on behavior to make sure he isn't poisoning the group against you. You need to nip that sort of thing in the bud immediately. You need to make it clear that while he doesn't have to like you, he does have to work with you and that any negative behavior will not be tolerated. If the resentment is bad enough, sometimes the best move is to find another place in the organization for that person.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.