Walking into a new office or taking over a new team, is daunting, especially when you are the new boss. New faces, smirk attitudes and the judgement in everyone’s eyes can be a bit overwhelming. Top management is also keeping a big brother eye on your performance. The pressure is on. Where do you begin to get your new staff in your corner? How do you motivate staff who doesn’t even know you yet?
It is very important to walk into the new setting with an open mind. All eyes will be on you, so make sure the confidence, assertiveness and true leadership qualities come through. Remind yourself that you are there for a reason. Remind yourself that you were chosen for this task. Then take some time, an hour or two, to set up your office, get the internet going etc., and only then start your first meeting. Although a meeting feels like the best way to say your say and group all the issues under one umbrella, it is not necessarily all that is needed when talking to staff. Ideally you should take the time to talk to your staff individually so that they feel heard and important.
After you have done your introduction and explained that you believe in an open door policy, do the following in your first meeting with your newly acquired staff:
- Set clear, realistic goals and objectives. Start with smaller objectives that can be easily achieved. In this manner you motivate the staff when the goals are reached. Explain your strategic path and then tell them what is in it for them.
- Put incentives in place and get them motivated. People want to know that they are contributing positively toward the community, so combine a financial or other type of reward for themselves with a sense of the social investment feeling or aspect. Let your staff know that they are making a difference and that their involvement is crucial.
- Get them all to buy-into the strategic path. Make them understand that you have their best interests at heart and that you will look after them, when they look after you.
All positives have negatives, so herewith the 3 don’ts that you should really never do:
- Don’t try to fix or change everything at once. You are only human. Take time and rather get all the facts straight. Think about each issue and make a well informed decision.
- Don’t bad-mouth Top Management. Remember you are there because they sent you. You have to make sure that the staff works together towards the goal envisioned by management. The staff can’t view you as divided.
- Don’t make promises in haste that you can’t keep. If you don’t live up to your promises, your staff won’t trust you again and will lose respect.