by Lexi Mahari
January 5, 2022
Getting to Know Your Team as a People Manager
Is 2022 your year to enter management for the first time? Being a new manager can be an overwhelming experience. You likely have the double-whammy of understanding new protocols and policies. Additionally, you have the task of managing people. Many people underestimate the significance of being a people manager and getting to know their team of subordinates. In this week’s episode of Life Lessons Learned in Real-Time with Lexi Mahari, I discuss the importance of getting to know your employees as a new people manager within the first 30 days of hire. One of the most difficult things for new managers is establishing a relationship with their new employees within the first 90 days of hire. Often, new managers may find that their schedules are overrun with meetings, travel, new hire training, and several other obstacles that keep them from from building a relationship with their team.
Opening the Lines of Communication with Your New Team
Although your schedule may appear to be impossible to manage, you should avoid dropping the people you manage too far down the priority list of things to do within the first 30 days of hire. Instead, your goal is to open the lines of communication and help them to view you as being accessible and potentially transparent.
Send an Email Introduction
In my new People Manager 2022 Series: Getting to Know Your Team, I suggest that you initiate your first personal contact to your team with an email. It may seem impersonal for some managers just starting out, but your schedule may impede you from doing anything else too spectacular. Additionally, if your hiring manager has not already done so, it can be a great way for you to rapidly introduce yourself to the team, inform them of your schedule for the next 30 days, and provide them with a method for how to contact you.
Schedule a Team Meeting
Next, or within the content of your email, you should schedule a meeting and notify the team about when they can expect to meet with you as a group. The team meeting that you facilitate will be an excellent opportunity to share your plans at a high-level.
Of course, you should be careful not to commit to anything you do not have any insight for at the time of the meeting. Although most initial team meetings are a choir of crickets, occasionally, you will bump into a group of employees who have a few questions about the current state of affairs. Be careful not to commit to anything you do not have the intel to address. Rather, be comfortable with telling your new team that you will get the information requested. Also, make every effort to follow through with the information. You should know that the team will be watching you, evaluating your accuracy in delivering information, and staying true to your word follow-up with them.
Finally, to jumpstart your relationship building process with your new team, you will want to host an initial 1:1 meeting with each employee on your team. The meeting should be slated for no longer than a 30-minute block of time. You will leverage this time as a casual interview. The employee should not feel as though you are interviewing them for their job. Your goal is to get a sense of their work experience, education, and career goals. Additionally, understanding how each one views their role and position with the team will give you some idea of who is content with their position, and who might be searching for a new role. Finally, you can use this time to share your vision (or your hiring manager’s vision) with each staff member to get a reaction. It can be a fantastic gauge for what potential bumps in the road.
The People R People Podcast: Life Lessons Learned in Real-Time with Lexi Mahari
Want to hear more on this subject, listen to my podcast below.