7 Tips for New Managers When Taking Over an Existing TeamTammy Murray
Taking over an existing team, especially if you are a new manager, is one of the most challenging tasks in management and leadership. While each manager will deal with this in their way, we’ve put together a list of 7 recommendations that all managers may use to enhance their success rate and speed up the transition.
- Identify and understand the current team dynamic and team members.
To be influential in moulding the behaviour of the new team, the leader must have a thorough understanding of both the individuals on the team and the team dynamic as a whole. Keep in mind that when people are in a group, they alter their behaviour to fit in with the rest of the group. Individuals will exhibit distinct behaviours in different groups and when they are not in groups.
A private one-on-one interview wit
h a few prepared questions will help you understand the person better. Make sure you’re not simply scribbling down replies but also paying attention to what your teammates are saying and not saying. Try to include some personal information, such as your children and spouse’s names and birth dates. There’s nothing quite like arriving at work to find your boss wishing your son a happy birthday, especially if they’ve prepared a small surprise present to accompany it.
An insightful but straightforward SurveyMonkey survey can go a long way toward understanding team dynamics, joys, and pain spots. First, attempt to determine current levels of engagement. Gallup offers some excellent information on what influences engagement to incorporate into your study.
- Set some ground rules
Your team members will do it for you
if you don’t make an effort to set and establish the group’s behavioural rules concretely. In other words, which behaviours do we want to encourage and which do we want to discourage? What happens when there is unacceptably lousy behaviour?
If you take the following strategy, this step is usually pretty simple: Gather your team and ask whether they want to be a high-performing or low-performing team member. The solution is self-evident. Then draw a line down the middle of the whiteboard, dividing it
in half, and call one ‘high-performance behaviours’ and the other ‘poor performance behaviours.’ Next, allow your team to brainstorm appropriate behaviours for each, such as coming late, being self-motivated, and so on. They’ve chosen what they need to do to become the team they want to be. Based on this information, determine the proper guidelines to encourage or discourage the behaviours.
- Recognize the goals of the team.
This may seem obvious, but Gallup’s survey results revealed that nearly half of the employees polled had no idea what was expected of them. Determine what your team’s numerical deliverables are and prioritize them. If they can’t be measured, figure out how to quantify them because if you can’t put a number on it, managing it will be challenging. Also, make sure that everyone on the team understands how their work affects these metrics.
Track the team’s results against those figures and display them for all to see once clear numerical targets and timeframes have been defined. The results are still an essential factor for high-performing teams.
- Determine who the influencers are.
Some of your team members will wield more power than others. Find out who they are and how you may use their power for good. That doesn’t imply picking favourites or being lenient with some people. Influencers can sometimes have a detrimental impact, and it isn’t much you can do about it. Be ready to make a judgment call if someone isn’t a good fit for the group. Always prioritize the collective over the individual. Suppose you find yourself needing to fire members from your team on a frequent basis because they aren’t contributing to the group’s success. In that case, you may want to reconsider your capacity to influence behaviour. Leaders do not have the luxury of simply dealing with people who share their values.
- Acquire credibility
It takes time for a new manager to establish a reputation. Therefore, it’s no surprise that credibility is a significant issue for new managers. Unfortunately, there is only one method to gain credibility, and it takes time and acts to do it. However, you may do a few things to make the time pass more quickly.
First and foremost, follow through on what you say. Make no empty pledges or break your word. That holds not only for promised rewards but also for promised penalties, so be careful what you offer. Before you make a threat, think about what you’re about to say.
Second, set a good example. You should arrive 20 minutes early if you want your teammates to arrive 5 minutes early. You can’t show disrespect to others, even those who aren’t on your team if you want them to be polite to each other.
There can be no trust without open, honest, and respectful communication. Setting goals and conducting performance assessments are only two aspects of communication. It goes beyond coaching and work-related conversation. Employees must be demonstrated that they are valued as people first, then as employees. Make time to talk with your team members on work and non-work-related subjects. It’s a cliche to have an open door policy. However, having an open door isn’t enough; you also need to invite people through it and engage them in conversation.
Make time for individual input regularly. People want to know how they’re performing regarding their manager’s expectations, so schedule weekly informal performance discussions and monthly formal reviews.
Although we addressed measurement in step 3, it deserves its section. Make time to periodically assess employee engagement in addition to the performance indicators you track, which should be a given. Gallup’s research demonstrates the value of engaged employees and the harm caused by actively disengaged employees. Employee engagement should be measured monthly within your team. It doesn’t have to be a 200-question survey; all you need is an aggregated measure of a few questions to get a sense of your team’s mental state so you can manage engagement proactively rather than reactively.
Finally, take your measurements. Allow your team to anonymously score you on various factors, such as how approachable you are, your overall leadership rating, and so on. This will undoubtedly aid your development as a leader and enable you to comprehend your team’s expectations of you.