There’s a New Sheriff in Town…

Remember the last time you hired a new manager or supervisor and welcomed him into the fold? The way you inculcate a new manager can make a big difference in how the person adjusts and makes a positive impact in the new position, no matter what the level.

Even though the job responsibilities are usually straightforward, the unstated duties are often the ones that a new person may miss. These unstated tasks are often wrapped into your organization’s culture – things that are more subtle and less tangible – but whose nuances make a difference to success.

Any time you bring in a new person who will have people reporting to her, take the time to describe the organizational lay of the land, which includes some background about the people who work there. People create the culture, so walking in unaware can be a potential land mine.

Leaders make this mistake when they assume that co-workers will fill in the gaps and give them the information they need to know. Wrong! Co-workers don’t have the same motivation that you do to make a new boss successful. Simply put, it’s not their job to do so.

As an example, a property management company introduced a new on-site manager, John, to one of its buildings. Many of the staff had been in their jobs for years, and were accustomed to a relaxed work environment. One of the responsibilities of the new manager was to tighten up the sloppy habits.

John’s manager didn’t give him much insight into his new staff, so when John walked in as “the new sheriff in town”, the employees viewed him with suspicion. He approached the job with the gusto and seriousness of a new manager on a mission, and the staff erected mental walls of resistance to make the point that they were doing their jobs just fine.

Was John successful? Eventually he was. Did he stumble? Yes. If he had known a little more background about his new employees, he may have taken time to customize his approach.

Give your new managers the support they need to be successful. After all, the better they do, the better it reflects on you. Yes, it takes time…but is well worth the effort.

Have a great day!


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