As the new manager, having taken your first three steps (see http://bit.ly/1NNnVOj) you are ready to put your own imprint on your department. Your changes should be immediate, observable, and purposeful, to your staff, and also to those outside the department. Here are three suggestions for making changes that will be noticeable within your department:
Model the Behavior You Wish To Encourage
While you are evaluating your new staff, they are evaluating you. Managers who say one thing and do another send mixed messages to the troops and undermine their own goals. Being the leader does not give you the right to arrive late, leave early, or be too important to clean up after yourself. Rather, it gives you the right to lead by example.
Conduct Regularly Scheduled Meetings
Consider asking your staff for input on time and location. Make the meetings regularly scheduled events.
§ Let nothing interrupt your meeting time.
§ DO NOT use these meetings as a time to chastise any of your staff.
Create a Department Newsletter
If you choose a newsletter as a way to keep your team informed and motivated, be consistent in time and tone.
§ The written word is powerful and it has an incredibly long shelf life. This is not the place for negativity.
§ Make sure that everyone receives recognition within a reasonable period of time.
§ Prepare for any typos or misspellings in your message. Offer a prize to the first one to catch a mistake, or include a disclaimer, such as, “typos included at no extra charge.” This will take the sting out of it for you when one of your staff points out an error. Additionally, if you have a difficult group it will keep them from feeling as though they have scored a coup against you. It will also imply, on another level, that mistakes are not the end of the world.
Jeannie Newman of JZN Associates is experienced in building cohesive teams with individuals from diverse backgrounds and teaching social skills as they apply to the workplace. She has a special interest in empowering women in their careers and lives. Contact her for speaking engagements and workshops by email at Jeannie@JZNAssociates.com, or through LinkedIn.