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New Supervisor Best Practices

Consider what you should be doing the first month in your new role

New Supervisor Best PracticesIdeally, new supervisors are afforded an opportunity to be onboarded into their new role in a more formal way within their companies. However, not every organization does onboarding and sometimes supervisors are dropped into a management role with limited or no support to ensure their success. If your company is one that tends to promote individuals and then offer no onboarding or support for them when they move from individual contributors to managing others, consider these best practices you can take as a new supervisor to be successful in your role:

Take time to meet with the employees reporting to you. Meet initially with the entire department in order to introduce yourself to the group. Let them know that you will be meeting with them individually to better understand their roles and responsibilities along with their successes and challenges in their roles. Review past performance reviews and other information in employee files – but don’t rely on this information to develop your impression of an employee.

In one-on-one meetings focus the conversation in the following areas:

  • Their roles and responsibilities (don’t rely solely on the job description you have – often employees take on many responsibilities outside of what they were hired to do)
  • What their successes have been in their role and where they have challenges
  • What they need from you as their supervisor so they can be successful
  • What else they would like to ask you or share with you

Review current processes and procedures. Review the current processes and procedures in place within the department you are managing before you move ahead with any proposed changes. Ask employees what’s working/what’s not. Undoubtedly they have ideas for how to get the work done better – utilize those ideas in any changes you propose.
Meet with peers (other supervisors) either over coffee or lunch. Take some time to meet with and get to know and build relationships with your peers. Understand their challenges and how they overcome those challenges. Learn their best practices. By developing strong working relationships with peers, you’ll have access to a support system as you begin to develop in your new role.

Meet with your immediate boss to understand strategy within the department. What are the long-term goals of the department overall, how do those goals align to long-term organizational strategic goals? Consider how you might support the department reaching their goals. What are your manager’s expectations of you and the department? Consider what you might need from your manager to be successful and ask your manager for that support. Develop an action plan for how to move forward meeting the goals laid out by your manager and meet with your manager to review the action plan you have outlined to get buy-in and commitment.

Taking these simple steps to onboard yourself into your new supervisory role and you will have begun to build strong relationships with peers and your manager and build trust with your staff. You’ll better be able to perform in a management role within the organization when you take the time to understand what’s working and what’s not and collaborate with others to achieve goals and be successful.

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