Once upon a time you were just another number, a disgruntled staff member feeling over worked and undervalued. What happens then, when you are given a promotion, possibly putting you in charge of the people that you once ate lunch and bitched about the bosses with? The dynamic you have will change; it has to, but how do you make this transition from minion to manager without upsetting your colleagues. Well I have a few tips but it is important to note that depending on your job the way you behave as a boss will vary. As a rule, avoiding socialising with colleagues (or at least keeping it to a minimum) is recommended. However, what if you are a bar manager. It is generally part and parcel of the job to have a few knock off drinks with the staff so in this instance, it is ok. It is in other roles, that you might need to alter the habits you had in work when you were just another regular staff member.
Socialising is part of your job. Forming bonds with work mates is important and aids a healthy work environment. If downing ten Jägermeister’s with Phil from marketing every Friday is the norm, you will need to think about how you can change this to keep your dignity intact. Still go for post work pints, but remember to maintain a professional front. If Phil sees you getting sick into a bin after too many whiskeys and a dodgy kebab, how is he going to respect you as an authoritive figure on Monday morning?
This is extremely important. You are manager now ; no more clocking off at 5pm, no more passing the buck if the work is not done. You have never been more accountable. This is vital to keep in the forefront of your mind, particularly when dealing with slackers that were once your mates. You don’t want to fall out with anyone but at the end of the day you have taken on much more responsibility than held previously and the actions of staff will fall on you. Be firm.
Welcome to my office
Make sure that you are still available to your employees. Ensure that you offer a welcoming environment so that they feel like they can come to you if they need to air any grievances. They will respect you for this. A good idea is to have an open door policy as such – Leaving your office door open for intervals during the day and let staff know that “Open door equals open to talk”.
Gently does it
You are new manager and you are buzzing with excitement. You have new ideas, and you eager to implement them. Stop. It is critical to ease yourself (and your colleagues) into your new role. People don’t like change so don’t hit them with a dozen new procedures all at once. You will only breed resentment. Introduce small changes slowly. Perhaps put together brain storming sessions with employees so that everyone feels involved.
Some people won’t like you. Make your peace with this. It’s not personal; you just carry the dreaded title of boss! People that you once sent joke emails to may very well be talking about you in the canteen now. Trick is not to let it get to you. At the end of the day, they can say what they like; you are now the hirer and firer!