4 Change Tips for New Managers to Assume their New Role
New managers have their work cut out for them. They need to take on a leadership role when previously, as an individual contributor; they only had to manage themselves. And they must rally their team members around their new leadership…a major change for all.
If you are a new manager getting ready to spread your wings, be aware that the way you communicate the changes ahead for your team has a significant impact on the way they greet and adjust to the change. At the very least, they will have to face the change of your new leadership, the inevitable shift in team dynamics and a likely revision of team goals.
Here are four tips from our two decades of new manager training experience in helping clients assume their new management role with relative ease and harmony. Research shows that the following are best practices for communicating change effectively:
- Announce the change on two levels
Your promotion to manager should be announced to the organization-at-large by the CEO with an explanation of the reasons for the change. Then you, as immediate supervisor, should talk with your new team about how this will personally impact them.
- Meet face-to-face
Your new team members will be anxious about the change and how it will change their lives. As a new manager, you must be able to communicate the change in a positive, compelling way. Persuade your direct reports that the change is in their best interests. Articulate how you intend to be the leader they need for future success.
- Answer all questions
Understand that any change is apt to arouse fear of the unfamiliar. Gather as a group and meet individually as needed to air and honestly address concerns. Your followers need to absorb the news and think through what it means for them. Will their roles change? How are you going to measure performance? Will you be open, fair and capable?
- Repeat the message
Once is not enough. Reiterate the rationale for change often and repeat the risks for the team and for the company as a whole of not changing. Request their feedback and respectfully share your point of view.
When you can as a new manager talk through the changes ahead with your team and listen well to their concerns, you will have set the stage for successful collaboration…an environment where open communication is valued and practiced.