One of the key moments to set your tone, make a statement and decide how you’re going to show up and who you’re going to be as a leader is during your first 30 days in a new manager job.
During these first few weeks as a new manager, everyone will be watching you from your team members to your boss and peers, and so it’s critical to start out strong.
In essence, you’ll want to focus on the 4 following objectives during your first 30 days.
- Build relationships
- Learn, learn, learn
- Establish expectations
- Assess the current status
Let me break this down into some specific actions and a suggested timeline to show you what it could look like.
Meet with your boss
Have a sit-down meeting with your boss to review the expectations he or she has of you in your role. You will want to discuss the keys to your success and seek out advice on how to be most successful in managing your team.
Meet with your team
Hold a team meeting with your new team to discuss your expectations, your management style, and current team goals and objectives. Let them know that you’ll spend the first few weeks just learning and are not planning to make big changes before getting the full picture. Then ask them questions about ideas, suggestions, concerns, etc. Get in the habit early on to listen more than you talk.
Hold your first 1-on-1 meeting
Schedule an individual 1-on-1 meeting with each employee on your team to get to know them better and to re-emphasize the messages shared during the first team meeting. Ask about their strengths, preferred tasks, work preferences, etc. so that you can get a good first picture of each employee on your team.
WEEKS 2 & 3
Set-up weekly or bi-weekly 1-on-1 meetings
Establish regularly scheduled 1-on-1 meetings with each of your direct reports to provide coaching, guidance, and feedback, and to make time for any topic of importance to you or your team.
Meet with your peers
Reach out to your peers and set up meetings to learn more about the best practices and processes and to find out how your teams collaborate. Chances are high that you’ll also pick up on any concerns or pain points that your peers have right now. Write it all down!
Learn from your team
Schedule a half-day with each of your employees to better understand their work style, job responsibilities and any possible obstacles preventing them from reaching their potential.
This will help you to see things from their perspective and give you a better idea of the culture and operations each day at the office.
WEEKS 3 & 4
Make sure you spend 30-60 minutes a day having casual conversations with people in the office. It’s important to be visible and to foster relationships during these first few weeks.
Perform an initial assessment
After the first couple of weeks, you will have heard about a lot of exciting opportunities as well as the risks and pain points of your team. Take some time now to write down some notes and to start an initial SWOT analysis outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
WEEKS 4 & 5
Establish team goals
Based on your findings thus far, you should now be able to define the key goals and objectives that you have for the team. Involve your team to break them down into sub-goals and milestones etc. to make goal-setting a collaborative process.
Decide on your priorities
Once your team’s goals are set, it’s time to get clear on your own top priorities for the next 30 days and the next 60 days. Run those goals by your manager to make sure you both are aligned and that your boss has visibility into your plans.
If there are areas where you and your boss do not see eye-to-eye, take the feedback and adjust your priorities.
The first 30 days as a new manager can feel stressful. I get it!
But if you approach these first 30 days pragmatically while learning and absorbing as much from your peers, team, and higher-ups as you can, you will be setting yourself up for a smooth transition.