Wondering where to start in a new management role? Here are 5 tips for hitting the ground running and making the right first impression with your new team. 
1) Ask first, tell later  
Aim to spend the first few days finding out as much as you can about your role, your team, your manager and your peers. What is expected from you? What makes life difficult for your team? How does work come into, and out of, your organisation and how does your team fit in? Where are the bottlenecks? Talk to the quieter members of the team as well as the more vocal ones and then make a plan that includes some quick wins and some longer term goals. 
 
2) Know your limits  
Understand the main company policies that apply to you and your team. As a minimum, find out your financial authority (what you can and can’t sign off) working procedures for your area of responsibility, and the main HR policies you might need when managing your team, including how you should deal with Absence, Disciplinary, and Annual Leave. 
 
3) Know what you stand for  
What matters to you as a manager? Quality of service? Efficiency? Good working relationships? Honesty and fairness? Be clear with your team what you value, so they can understand what you expect of them, and what their priorities should be. Hold regular meetings to communicate expectations and celebrate achievements. 
 
4) Be the manager your team needs  
Don’t waste your energy, or the team’s goodwill, on unnecessary interventions – focus on the areas that will make a real difference. Are the team struggling with another department? Build relationships and be an advocate for your staff. Are they snowed under with work? Help them organise and streamline work procedures. New and inexperienced? Coach and support until they are able to deal with problems themselves. Established, efficient and effective? Make sure it stays that way! 
 
5) Tackle problem people quickly  
If someone isn’t cooperating with you, deal with the issue head-on, before their behaviour spreads to the rest of the team. Check with your own manager whether there is a back-story, then have a 1:1 conversation with the individual. Find out what their concerns are, and outline your expectations of them in terms of conduct and performance. A written summary of the key points discussed makes a useful record for both parties to refer to later if necessary. 
 
A new role is always challenging and a little (?) bit daunting. Having a clear plan of action can help you find your way through the first few weeks and give you a positive start in your new position. 
 
What other actions have you found useful when starting a new role? 
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