One of the greatest perks of being a new manager (besides, the pay raise – you feel me) is that you have the opportunity to structure your department and build a culture as you see fit. And the best way to do this is to figure out your goals and set your expectations.
I am a firm believer in setting goals, not just for yourself but for your team. It gives you all a clear direction, a common mission, and a way to strive to simply bring more value to your company.
But don’t set goals that you can’t measure. Make sure that at least in some aspect they are quantitative with specific deadlines. It’s much easier to make a case that someone is doing a great (or not so great) job when you have figures to back you up.
TEACH, DON’T JUST DO
Listen, you obviously became a manager because you’re intelligent and qualified, so yes, you could probably fix one of your employees’ problems in an instant and go on with your day. I’ve done this on more occasions than I care to admit, but here’s why that’s a problem:
Every time they have that same issue, they’re going to come to you to fix it and not deal with it themselves.
You know those constant interruptions I was talking about? Yeah, they kill productivity, and the more you can decrease those, the better. So instead of taking the quick route, spend a few minutes helping them understand both the problem and the solution. This way, they will be able to deal with the matter on their own going forward.
If you teach a man to fish, right?[RELATED: My Work Week Review: A Free Tool to Help You Take Back Control of Your Career]
LISTEN, TAKE ACTION, & SOLVE PROBLEMS
The individual who had my role before me had been in the position for over 30 years, and as you can guess, she was pretty set in her ways. When I took on the role, it suddenly became an opportunity for change for my team, and I was instantly bombarded with requests for help with their problems.
Any change in management is a catalyst for change in the department, so yes, you will more than likely be in the same boat. Make sure you listen to what their problem is, take action to try to solve it, and follow through on completing it. You won’t be able to solve them all, but even making small steps to help will show that you are on their side. And that goes a long way in building morale in your team and their trust in you.
Read also: Think This, Not That #5: In Action
When I went into my performance review with my boss this year, the first thing he asked me was this: “What do you really want out of your job?”
It took me a bit by surprise, but now I see what a great move that was. Why? Because not only is it beneficial for him to know how to retain his employees, but it showed me that he was invested in ensuring I fulfilled my needs as well.
Showing your employees you care about them, their career, and their values is central to developing their trust and respect. Having a boss that’s invested in you means that you will also be invested in them, and that type of relationship is important to having a team that’s actually a team.