How to Assess Your New Team
Because new managers are often put in charge of an already existing team, they must forego the luxury of building a team from scratch according to their own preferences and needs. Dealing with an established group of employees who are used to a different leader and modus operandi is not always easy – for new supervisors or for team members.

New managers must quickly figure out how to work effectively with the team they have inherited. And team members must adjust to new rules of the road.  To get it right, new managers need a simple, effective process for evaluating the team members – a process that allows for maintaining a certain degree of stability while at the same time moving forward with new team goals, roles, processes, and interpersonal relationships.

4 Steps to Assess Your New Team

  1. Identify the Qualities for Success
    Consider your current goals and circumstances and then determine the key attributes for success. One recent client defined a score card with percentages assigned to qualities such as trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, goal setting, competence to do the job, motivation, ability to prioritize, and good judgment. You may add or subtract from this list according to the qualities needed to address your team’s issues and challenges.

    The goal is to end up with a clear idea of which qualities are most significant to your team’s success.

  1. Assess Individual Team Members
    Your next step is to assess each team member against your critical competencies for success. This can be done via a combination of interviews, simulations, performance reviews, 360’s, or assessments.  Your goal is to get the unbiased insights you need to make your most important talent decisions as a new team manager: who you hire, develop, and promote.
  1. Reconfigure the Team
    Next, within the constraints of existing resources, your mandate, and the corporate culture, decide if, and to what extent, you should restructure your team. Think about looking for new roles for those on your team who are underperforming; try to better match individual capabilities to assignments; and challenge high performers with new responsibilities.

    Your objective? To create a healthy, high performing, and aligned team.

  1. Set Expectations and Inspire
    Be crystal clear about what the team is charged with accomplishing, the plan to make it happen, who will be responsible for each phase of the challenge, and how success will be measured. Then paint a compelling picture of what success will look like for them as individuals, for the team, and for the company as a whole.

The Bottom Line
New managers must deal with the cards they are dealt – at least at the beginning. You first need to know what those cards are. Do you have an effective, fair plan to evaluate the capabilities of your team? Assess them correctly, make wise changes, and then watch their performance improve.

To learn more about how to set your new team up for success, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

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