By Hannah Whittenly
New managers face unique challenges when entering their new position. It is ultimately up to many different people at the company to ensure the process goes smoothly. New managers can come from two places. They have either been hired from outside the company or promoted from within. Whatever the case, they will need the following help to fill their predecessor’s shoes.
Provide Adequate Training
New managers need adequate training to be successful. This is particularly true if they have been promoted from within and have no prior management experience. Even managers that have come from other businesses and similar roles need plenty of support. They understandably need to adjust to how things are done at your company.
One of the best solutions is to have the old manager stick around long enough to train the new manager. There is no one more qualified to train a successor than his or her predecessor. However, in many cases this will not be possible. In that case, another manager in a similar role, or a member of senior management, should be responsible for training. New managers also need to be well-versed on the goals of senior management.
Let Them Do Things Differently
New managers should not be completely beholden to how the old manager used to operate. They should not be expected to do everything the same. If that expectation is there, no one will be satisfied. A new manager needs to be able to bring their own ideas to your organization. New ideas and approaches are how your company will innovate. An effective balance must be struck, however. The new manager needs to have respect for how their team is used to doing things.
Too much change can aggravate, confuse or upset people. New managers should also not attempt to make too many new changes early. Instead, they should be encouraged to sit back and observe for a while. After that, they will have the knowledge to suggest effective changes.
Acquaint the Manager with the Team
Time needs to be spent on getting the manager and their new team used to each other. This is true even if they were promoted from within and have been with the company for a while. Scheduling one-on-one meetings, as well as team meetings to discuss the transition, is important.
Team building exercises and programs are something to consider here as well. There are professional programs that offer corporate team building services. Such programs work by fostering open communication between managers and employees. They are also often customized for your organization’s needs.
Clear out Problem Employees
It is not inconceivable that your new manager will take over problem employees. The new manager has to have the support and willingness to remove these people from their team if it becomes necessary. One employee who is unhappy with new management can and will bring the whole team down. Of course, everything should be done to prevent that from happening. Discuss the management shift with all relevant employees before it takes place. Address their questions and concerns to the best of your ability. If after the new manager takes over an employee is unhappy, you should do everything you can to address their issue.
However, sometimes it will just not work out. This might be because the employee is angry they did not get the promotion, or they simply hate their new boss. Because of this, they may never want to see the new manager succeed. If this happens in your organization, that employee will need to be let go or reassigned.
Replacing a manager can be stressful on everyone involved. Fortunately, there are ways to assist new managers in finding success within your organization. Follow these tips and the transition will be more likely to go smoothly.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.