This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of Food Management.
Often times, new managers enter into the workplace and are asked to immediately roll up their sleeves and get to work. Either a position needs to fill quickly because of an available spot, or new positions are necessary to manage the volume.
It is safe to assume that the manager will be shown the location, review the daily procedures, discuss the challenges and be introduced to the client. You feel reasonably confident that over a short period of time, you will gain confidence to handle the day-to-day operations.
But there can be a glaring missing piece. What about the training to actually manage your staff? Had you experience managing others? Is it a reasonable request that you know how to motivate, discipline, listen effectively and create a positive work environment? Many new managers might learn this the hard way, by trial by fire. Some organizations take pride in their on-boarding procedures and prioritizing the importance of how you manage your team, versus how to manage the business.
If that is not the case, here are some concrete steps you can take in the initial 60 days that can act as building blocks to strengthen your team and gain confidence.
Request the hiring manager or leader to set a meeting to formally introduce you to the team and give you the opportunity for you to say hello. If that is not possible, schedule a meeting directly with the team. Employees are equally as nervous about change as you are. By setting the stage to have personal contact with the group from the onset, it allows you to establish your leadership role. You can share your past experience with the group if you feel it is advantageous. If your previous experience is limited, you can be brief on looking forward to being a part of the team and helping the business grow.
Leader vs. friend
It is important to have a clear professional separation between you and your team. Having personal relationships can only muddle the waters and cause potential dissention. That is not to say you can’t be caring and supportive of your employees’ personal challenges. Be consistent and fair in how you problem solve. Acknowledge your team members successes in public; discipline and coach your team members in private.
Ask superiors for help when you need it
You do not have all of the answers and it shows strength to want support. It’s all in how you ask, though. Say to your boss: “I want to manage ‘X situation’ as effectively as possible and wanted you to weigh in in advance.”
Be an effective listener
You will learn a lot about how to manage based on listening to each individual employee and learning how each employee operates and communicates. You’ll see there is not a one-size-fits all in your approach. There are nuances to each team member. As long as the result is the same and it is consistent, you will be viewed as fair and transparent.
Speaking of being consistent: When you make a management decision, make sure you are willing to stand by it and be able to substantiate it. Be fair when creating the work schedule. Coach and council your team members in the same fashion and hold everyone accountable to the same standards
Yes, you will make mistakes, and yes, you will have challenges as a new manger, but you will also continue to learn and strengthen your skills. Just stay consistent and treat your employees with the respect they deserve.
Adam Weiss is the principal of Weiss Business Solutions. The company’s mission is to work with ownership to manage high-stress and high-stakes business decisions, increase well-being throughout the workplace and develop a proactive culture driven by mutual respect and wisdom. This will result in increased profitability for your organization.
(845) 750-8020; www.weiss.solutions