Your employees also had a first day and they know how it feels to be the fish out of water.
So during your first few weeks, sit with each of your employees, watch their daily routines, and ask about what they’re doing and talking about. They’ll enjoy demonstrating their knowledge, and you’ll learn more than you would from a training manual.
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Don’t assume a defensive position towards your employees or extrapolate that they’re going to be jealous, disrespectful, and bitter toward you.
Let go of your assumptions, check your ego at the door, and convey how much you respect and value your employees so they will be more accepting of you. Remember, it’s only combining skills that you can move the company forward.
If someone asks you something that you don’t know the answer to, be honest. By providing an answer that you think is correct but isn’t—you (and your employee) could end up in an even worse position, and you’ll quickly lose your team’s respect.
But don’t just say you don’t know. Tell your employees that you’ll find out from someone who does.
Employees who have been with a company for more than 10 years have inevitably seen processes change time and again. They’ve seen what works, what needs improvement, and what will never change.
Ask experienced team members for their opinions and ideas—they’ll often lead to issues and concerns that you hadn’t thought of and even solutions to them. But don’t let it turn into fruitless ranting.
Employee retention rests on opportunities to learn and advance; work/life balance; a good cultural fit; and an appreciation for good work. High employee turnover is a clear sign that something’s not right with the management of an organization.
Employee surveys, ideally delivered by an experienced third-party vendor, and focus groups conducted by outside consultants, can assess your manager’s performance, or the need for more employee training and support.
Look for people who are not necessarily in high-level roles, but who have the ability to make things happen. Who are the movers and shakers in your organization, and what can you learn from how they get things done?
For example, you might discover that before voicing an opposing opinion in a global teleconference, it pays to have influential backers present.
Don’t silence those who disagree with your management style or don’t like the direction of the company. Listen. And ask questions of your entire team.
Open dialogue makes it easier to proactively identify problems and work together to create a mutually beneficial environment. It will also make your employees feel appreciated and acknowledged.