Office Politics 101: Advice on the promotion

I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. Any advice for me?

Q: I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. It’s an exciting opportunity, but I am frankly quite nervous. I want to do a great job. Any advice for me?

A; Congratulations! Your nervousness is to be expected; after all, this is your first opportunity to manage others, not just complete assigned tasks.

In some ways, becoming a manager is a little like becoming a parent. You can plan for it, even read a few books, but when the day finally arrives, you need to rely on common sense and a belief in your capacity to succeed.

You’re a boss now: you are accountable for the work of others. This fact should comfort you to some extent because your employer has chosen you for your potential. They believe in you and want you to do well.

As you approach your new duties, let me make one critical recommendation: strive for balance. Don’t forsake your family by becoming a workaholic. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and don’t feel obliged to attend every meeting.

Some newly-minted managers mistakenly believe they should suddenly take on a new personality; this is not generally recommended as co-workers and those reporting to you will likely not appreciate your hollow attempt to act like a make-believe manager.

Someone once said it is better to be a first class version of yourself rather than a second class version of somebody else.  In other words, copying the behavior of other managers will do little to build credibility with your employees.

On a more practical level, it would be good to carefully review the position description for your new job. It is likely this document will be used as the primary standard for your evaluation so keep it close at hand.

In addition, assess the duties of the five employees reporting to you. You may be surprised to find they are not always “on task” and have even given up or assumed new responsibilities. Your role as their manager will be to hold them accountable – don’t shy away from this key responsibility.

If your department has few or irregular meetings, you should immediately institute one on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  Regular and consistent communication should improve morale, allow an airing of concerns, and will give you the opportunity to build a team.

Ultimately, you will succeed by leading by example. Late arrivals, long lunch hours, lengthy breaks, extended phone calls and personal Emailing would be the negative model for your employees. Remember: you are being watched.

Becoming a manager should be a wonderful career opportunity for you. Be prepared to work hard, focus on your assigned tasks, and maintain balance.

Motivate your team by example and don’t lose your sense of humor (which is a great stress-reliever).

Simon Gibson is a university professor, marketing executive, corporate writer and civic leader. He is a graduate of four public universities, including Simon Fraser University, where he earned his doctorate in education. He also also holds a degree in journalism (honours) from Carleton University. His email address can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Dedicated Girl Guide leader recognized with Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Maryann Brock has volunteered with Girl Guides for 37 years

$30,000 donation for outdoor classroom in Salmon Arm to honour beloved teacher

Funds from Armstrong Regional Co-op to go to the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

New South Shuswap community park proposed for Blind Bay

Regional district proposes the purchase of 9.5 acres now known as Centennial Field

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Salmon Arm basketball star to be inducted into national hall of fame

One of Sargent’s many achievements is holding the Olympic record for most assists for 20 years

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Letter: Writer argues biosolids will damage water, soil

Turtle Valley residents lost the first battle with Nutrigrow/Arrow Transport when our… Continue reading

PacificSport and SportHealth team up to subsidize physiotherapy for members

The partnership is touted as the first of its kind in Salmon Arm

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Most Read