How to manage your new team

Yikes! I’ve been promoted, how do I manage my new team?

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Congratulations on your promotion!

This is such a common scenario; skilled and experienced people are promoted primarily because they are good at their day job but then they are given a heap of other responsibilities that they didn’t think about – like managing their colleagues.  It can be even more challenging when those colleagues were your peers/friends for many years before your promotion.

Q: So, what are the rules of management?

There is no magic rule book that will give you all of the answers to this question but I do have some words of wisdom and comfort for your new People Manager:

  • Keep the lines of communication open.  Talk and listen to your team regularly to find out what’s going on and how they are doing.  Keep them in the loop about things that are going on in your world that they ought to know about too.

Q: Isn’t people management HR’s responsibility?

You play an important role in people management because you are at ‘the coal face’ day to day and have a much better opportunity to spot and deal with HR issues in your team.  Don’t ignore issues because you don’t know how to handle them.  You’re not expected to be an expert in HR from day one but the longer you leave an issue to fester, the more challenging it is likely to be to fix.

How do I keep a track of everything?

Write things down – if you want to formalise an employment issue, you need evidence to rely on to prove what was said and done, particularly if the issue leads to a dispute.  You can’t keep it all in your head anyway so find a place and method that works for you as a backstop for your notes on employee interactions.

Who can I turn to for support?

Find a HR Hero –there is usually someone in-house who is the oracle on how to handle HR issues and where to find things like your policies and procedures and the personnel files.  Befriend them!  If the role of oracle is now part of your new role, don’t panic but find someone who can help you find your feet and get your house in order as soon as possible.

Go be the manager that you always wanted to have!

Nickie Elenor

I have been an employment law solicitor for 15 years.

I set up Your HR Lawyer as I was fed up with the call centre models and poor service provided by the big HR support providers. So my mission is to provide the creditable alternative. I am passionate about helping employers navigate through the sometimes complex world of Employment law in a commercially savvy and straight talking way.