How to Win Your Team Over as Its New Manager

You’ve finally moved up the corporate ladder! After you’ve wrapped up the festivities, reflect on these points on how to do well on your new post.

by Marella Castro, 10 August 2017

Congratulations on your promotion! A management post isn’t just a pay raise, you’re looking at a whole new skillset you have to develop. With new power comes new responsibilities, the most important of which is being able to lead your crew and keep the boat afloat.

Level Your Expectations

At the top of your to-do list as a new manager should be getting to know your team and vice versa. It is important to level expectations as part of your transition so that everyone is on the same page. Warm up to them by getting the group together, learning how they work, what they think they can bring to the table, and what they value about the whole team’s dynamic. Then you can identify clear goals and how to achieve them. Doing this at the onset saves you time in the long run, avoiding errors, and not to mention the unnecessary drama.

Grow Into Your Kind of Leader

Great leaders produce more leaders. Think about the bosses you admire and what they did that inspired you to grow and do better. Listen to your mentors but leverage your strengths. If you already have an idea on your leadership style, compare it with your predecessor to help your team adapt to you as their new manager.

Build Trust and Transparency

As a manager, you will have access to internal information like corporate planning, budget, and strategy. It’s your job to pass on relevant updates to your team. Highlight their role within the bigger scheme of things, so they can have a deeper connection to company goals. Being transparent with your decision making builds trust when they see that you weigh your options fairly. Just don’t be too eager to please by making promises you can’t keep. Trust isn’t easily repaired once broken.

Don’t Hog the Spotlight

Give credit where it’s due. If your boss praises you for your team’s work, acknowledge their efforts, celebrate wins (no matter how small), and build a culture of accomplishment. Failing to recognize good work, or even improved work, decreases morale. You shouldn’t reward everyone equally, as it would discourage your top players but it’s good to praise improvement where you see it.

Negotiate, Not Control

Your first impression of a managerial role may be that it is centered on control. It isn’t. Or it shouldn’t be. Your new position doesn’t give you power, your subordinates do. People aren’t robots; they don’t carry out an action just because you gave a command. If you have to lead them by the nose, you’re not being an effective manager. The commitment given to a leader will always be in trust and out of respect, a privilege—rather than a prerequisite. And it’s not just them you have to win over. You need to have the confidence of your peers, clients, and upper management to succeed. Management involves a lot of negotiation through various levels, and the sooner you discard the myth of authority, the healthier your work relationships will be.

Make the Call

Everything may seem uncertain now that you have a bigger role to play. Your choices affect not only you but your entire team. You’d want to think things over to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Though no one wants to make bad calls, you can’t be 100% sure all the time. You can take your time to weigh the pros and cons but don’t let it reach the point of inaction. Let a sense of urgency overcome your paralysis and don’t take too long on important decisions. It’s a learning process and failing is just another way of learning..

Create a Nurturing Office Culture

Leaders attract followers because of what they stand for and how they contribute to the well-being of their team. Bear in mind that your title may now be different but the ultimate goal is the same: for the team to succeed. Take the time to connect, find out what drives them, and encourage them to share their experiences working with the team. In the near future, create opportunities for them to grow professionally and help them be better at what they do. So, what’s your impact going to be?