Question: “I’ve just been made divisional leader and not sure what I should do in the first few days/weeks. Any advice?” Mike
Answer: “If the ground hasn’t already been prepared recommend to your MD that a notice goes out now. It should tell everyone the job you’ve been appointed to do whether it be restructuring the section, improving productivity, whatever it is.
I heard advice just this week that a “newbie” should go in hard as it’s easier to then go soft rather than the other way around. That might suit some styles and cultures but today’s workforce is likely to either walk out or put in an official complaint if you follow that route.
You should spend the first few days getting to know the business and the people in it. So, listen, listen, listen. And if that’s not your style, learn how to do it. A trusted friend, colleague or coach can help you here.
Secondly remind people about your role and the outcomes you’ve been asked to achieve. Even if they’ve read the notice, they’ll want to check it out with the new man in charge and see if there’s any hidden agenda. Likewise you need to learn of any on-going issues.
With some people you’ll naturally click, others will take more time. That’s natural so identify who you’re going to need to spend more time with to get them on board. Keep good, clear communications going and be honest.
Your actions will determine whether the workforce sees you as a leader who they’d go the extra mile for, or just another manager/ director.”
Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd. To solve your problem email firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.