How to Lead in Your First 90 Days
Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted to a new management position and are ready to display your leadership potential. If this is your first leadership role, it can be unsettling having a completely different set of job responsibilities and working with a completely new team. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your first 90 days as a manager:
1) Introduce yourself individually to each team member
This applies for managers assigned to a team they did not previously work with. Building professional relationships and trust with your employees is the most critical aspect of being a new manager. Employees will be more willing to help you and more responsive to your guidance if they believe you have their best interests in mind and genuinely care about their success and development.
For situations where you have previously worked with your coworkers and are now leading them, it is also beneficial to schedule 1 on 1 conversations. These conversations can be used to communicate that the team members are highly valued, and you want to hear their feedback on potential improvements or change.
2) Schedule first team meeting in first 30 days
Part of being a new team leader is having the authority and responsibility to schedule team meetings and provide regular updates and feedback. The first team meeting can be scheduled 2 weeks in or 30 days into the job, but this meeting should provide thoughtful observations and questions that you have developed.
3) Establish communication norms
It’s important to make your team aware on how to best communicate with you. This can happen organically, or you can send an email announcement, but inform your team members the best way to talk to you whether it’s an open-door policy, email, chat, or phone call. It’s likely that each employee prefers a different approach but explaining your expectation on different situations can help promote your preferred communication.
4) Schedule a meeting with your supervisor
After moving into your leadership role, your new manager will be eager to hear feedback on the progress and how it’s going. In order to avoid uncertainty or doubt, schedule a meeting with your direct supervisor to actively seek feedback. Not only is this a learning and growth opportunity, but ideally you can use your supervisor as someone to discuss new ideas with and you can feel empowered to make necessary changes without second guessing if that’s in your scope of authority.
A mistake to avoid as a new team leader is trying to enact change right away. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, a new manager should avoid the impulse to immediately want to make an impact for good, and the attitude should be to learn and listen first.
An effective manager will take the time to observe the team and their process diligently. It’s recommended to observe the team for 30 days before enacting any major change. This provides time for the manager to craft a solution, ask team members for input, and ensure a proper implementation. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, a new manager should avoid the impulse to immediately want to make an impact for good, and the attitude should be to learn and listen first.
6) Trust Yourself
Trust your abilities as a leader to do the best job you possibly can. You earned this role as a team leader and upper management believes in your abilities to succeed in a leadership role. Be your authentic self and treat others with the respect you hope to earn in return. Obstacles will certainly arise, however take advantage of the opportunity to show what you can do and make a significant impact.