From BFF to Boss: Making the Transition

By Staff Writer

Forty percent of first-time managers crash and burn in the first year and a half on the job, and a significant percentage of the time it’s because they aren’t able to make the mental and emotional transition from co-worker to leader.  Here are some things to think about as you move into your new position.

What’s changed about your job and what hasn’t  

Your job is still to come to work every day and do what you know needs to be done to make your company great.  However, now you are responsible for work that other people do. You have the power to reward former coworkers, as well as help them through any job issues they are having. 

How coworkers might feel about the change. Be sensitive to the feelings of your former coworkers—they might be experiencing: the happiness that you’ve been promoted or anxiety of how the change will affect them. You also might see them display indifference or resentment. Acknowledge the awkwardness and ask how they feel about the change.

Self-defeating actions that might lead to more stress in your new position.  

At first, you may be tempted to micromanage.  This may cause a lot of tension and your team may feel like you don’t think they are doing their job correctly.  Or, you may go the other way and try not to bother them in an attempt to be nice and under supervise.  The best course of action might be to have a meeting and see what works for both of you.  You can establish checkpoints so that both of you feel comfortable during the transition. 

What you can do to speed and smoothen the transition. Try to be yourself. Don’t make any quick changes in processes. Start slow, be patient, use your boss and HR Rep for help until you have had the chance to see what the job entails.   

Pitfalls to avoid if you hope to succeed.  

The most important thing you can do is communicate with your team.  Failing to do so is deadly!  Set clear goals together and recognize employee achievements as you go.

Being a great manager is not easy, especially when you’re new at it.  Best Care EAP Management Boot Camp classes could be just what you need.  Check out our upcoming classes!

If you have questions about being the best manager you can be or the registration process, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.

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