Anyone who has gone from the shop floor to supervisor knows there are quite a few challenges. Here are tips for how to gain the respect of former co-workers now that you’re in a leadership role.
Set up one-on-one meetings with each team member.
As a leading recruiting agency, Peoplelink advises that one of the first steps you take should be to set up individual meetings with each team member. Your goal during these meetings should not necessarily be to tell people what to do; it should be to learn about each person’s role and responsibilities, to find out about their professional goals, and to give them a chance to voice any questions or concerns so you can solve problems before they start.
Once you have that information, you should then work with each team member individually to lay out your expectations for them and to communicate how their performance will be measured.
Consider new boundaries.
Before you were a buddy, but now you’re the boss. So are the same behaviors still appropriate? For instance, consider whether you should be going to happy hour after work with colleagues like you used to, or to lunch with a favorite co-worker to confide in them about issues at work.
There are not set guidelines to follow. However, keep in mind that now that you’re the boss, you need to set an example for your team.
Sure, you probably have people on your team who are your favorites. You’ve worked alongside them for years and developed a close, personal relationship as a result. But don’t let that cloud your judgment or treat them differently than you would the rest of your team. In order to gain respect, you need to treat everyone equally and fairly. And that means not playing favorites.
Set rules and enforce them.
Setting the rules is the easy part. The hard part is when an employee that you really like breaks them. It’s tempting to just ignore the misstep. However, it’s important that you be both consistent and firm in these kinds of situations. If you aren’t, then you’re going to encourage bad behavior.
If you’re feeling a bit over your head in some aspects of your new leadership role, then get help. Seek out an experienced mentor who can act as your sounding board and offer you unique insight and guidance. Talk to them about challenges they’ve overcome and lessons learned along the way.
Don’t let a bumpy transition derail your ambitions as a new boss. Instead, follow the steps above so you can make the switch from employee to manager a smooth one.
And if one of the areas you need help in is hiring for your team, give Peoplelink a call. As a leading recruiting agency, we’ve successfully placed more than 150,000 professionals in temporary and full-time positions over the past 20 years. And we can help you find your next great hire and build a strong team.