Onboarding a new boss or manager can be one of the most nerve-wracking, confusing, and anxious times you have in an office.
If you’re the new boss or manager, how do you implement your style of work and take on the added responsibilities that come with being the boss? How do you build relationships with those workers you’ll be overseeing while still remaining approachable for questions or problems your workers may encounter?
And if you’re a worker whose department is getting transferred to a new boss or manager, or gaining a new boss, there are challenges for you as well. How do put your best foot forward and make a good impression on the new boss? How do you continue working in your own style while trying to follow along with what the new boss may want from your position and department?
We want to help make this transition as smooth as possible so that when a new boss or manager comes in, you can be prepared without losing too much time during this transition.
If you’re getting a new boss, there are a number of things you can do early to help you stand out and provide valuable help to the new person in charge. These can range from a simple hello to knowing information or the answers to questions that they may have early on. Don’t overlook how important greeting and making a good impression on the new boss is; this can have a big affect on how you feel about your job and your work overall. Here are a few things to do or keep in mind when the new boss or manager takes over.
While a new boss coming in can make you nervous, try to regulate your nerves by reminding yourself that this is a positive change. Even if you’re a quiet person, be sure to be proactive about introducing yourself. Initiate the conversation – explain who you are and what you do within the department or company. Be clear and confident in your answers and statements.
You should be ready to help your new manager learn things as they transition into their new role and potentially anticipate things that they should know when they take over the job. This can be as simple as how to work the coffee machine or explaining where to print documents, or as involved as where different files and projects are stored within the company’s computer system. Having the new boss ask for your assistance as they transition into their new role is a good thing and can help you make a lasting impression.
This is something that can be done a number of ways, and that can help you understand where they’re coming from or how they may operate once they take over. Google and LinkedIn may give you information about where they worked previously or what their philosophies are. And when the new boss or manager arrives, be willing to listen to them and get to know them and their work thoughts, while also sharing things about yourself if asked.
They’re taking over a new job, and yes, there are likely things that you think are problems or things within the department that could be done better. But don’t immediately bring those things up and instantly influence their thoughts about the company or role they’re taking over. Likewise, don’t immediately throw other co-workers under the bus or gossip about how you think they are as a worker or person or what problems they cause. Leave it up to the boss to determine if there is a problem or to form their own opinions and thoughts about co-workers. If there are problems that you want to address or think need to be brought up, wait until a meeting where it’s a more appropriate setting to do so, and try to keep the issues related to job-related concerns.
Whether you’re taking over as the for the first time or moving to a new company and have previous managerial experience, there are going to be changes in the way you do things and the way that you need to handle things. After all, you’re in charge now, so the work of the people in your department ends up being a reflection of you. Here are a few things you can do when you takeover to help you become the best manager you can.
If possible, look for management tools, classes, and other resources to help you transition into your new role. Be sure to ask about any sort of additional or required training you might be able to do as part of your new position and check company documents. Things like manuals, HR policies, or culture documents can be used to help you get an idea of who your company is and what they expect of you.
And, of course, you’ll actually want to sit down and meet with the people you’ll be managing. You’ll likely want a group meeting where you can explain big picture things to your department, and then follow up with individual meetings so you can see what specifically each person hopes to get out of their job or their role and know any questions or concerns they might have.
This will be an on-going process and not something you complete on Day 1 of the job, so keep your eyes and ears open for other things that may help you learn about your new role, including books and podcasts that can offer guidance on what it’s like taking over as a manager.
As a manager, you’re not likely to be working as closely on specific things, because the people under you are doing that. Sure, you’ll be asked for you input or guidance on certain things, but you’re not always going to be doing the hands-on work. You’re overseeing a team and need a top level view of all the things happening underneath you, so when it comes time for you to report to your boss or manager, you can discuss everything going on within your department.
This is an especially big one if you were promoted from within and will now be overseeing people that you worked alongside under a different boss. Keep in mind that more casual workplace friendships may look different now that you’re in a position of authority. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang out or still be friends, but if you have a team with multiple members, it can cause issues if you’re constantly hanging out with just one person in your department and potentially showing favoritism. Again, you want to be friendly with the people you are now overseeing, but you don’t want to cross that line where you’re more of a friend than a leader. It’s not easy, but its’ an important boundary to set early on in your transition to a management position.
Just because you’re now the boss or manager of a department doesn’t mean that meetings stop or that you don’t have higher-ups at work. In fact, it can often be the opposite, with more checking in with higher-ups filling your schedule. We noted it before, but you’re in charge of a department, the work that group does is a reflection of you. So, work to set up more meetings with whoever your boss is, update them on projects and goals, and ask for their advice on issues or tasks that you may be unsure how to handle. Your boss wants to know where things stand and giving them regular updates on projects and goals is a good way to help you move forward while also showing your boss your leadership skills.
There’s a lot that comes with the additional responsibilities of becoming a boss or manager. Much of it won’t be done in a day, or maybe even the first week on the job, so be prepared to learn, adjust your work task focus, and check in with both your team and boss frequently to help you get your feet underneath you in your new role.
If you’re taking over as a manager, there’s a number of things you need to do right away that can be easy to forget. To help you make sure you get settled in or transition into the role as smoothly as possible, here’s a handy checklist to keep on-hand as you get started:
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