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Five things to do your first week


Message Template

Congratulations again on joining {@companyname} as a manager! You can expect more communications over the next few weeks and months, but here are five things to get you started this week.

  1. Introduce yourself to your team, department, and other key colleagues. Be sure to schedule one-on-one meetings (more on this below) with your direct reports and conduct your first team meeting. Do not assume people will feel comfortable introducing themselves to you first, especially if you are in a higher-level position than they are. Prioritize introductions, even before you have a clear map of roles and responsibilities. This will send a signal that your team is a priority for you.
  2. Ask to be an observer in meetings. While your skills and experience make you a valuable addition to {@companyname}, it’s important to approach your first week with a focus on learning rather than showcasing your achievements. Instead of emphasizing your greatness, intelligence, or success, dedicate this initial period to gaining insights into the organization’s operations. Avoid forming judgments or expressing opinions until you grasp the big picture. Utilize this time to ask questions, seek deeper understanding, and prepare yourself to make informed recommendations and changes, considering the implications and risks involved.
  3. Identify needed training for key tasks, processes, and responsibilities. Leadership blind spots arise when there is a lack of understanding about the roles of direct reports, preventing a comprehensive view of the overall picture. For instance, assuming a task requires less time than it actually does due to unfamiliarity may lead to delegating excessive projects or assigning unrealistic workloads. Regardless of whether you personally execute the tasks, it is crucial to comprehend the intricacies of your employees’ responsibilities and key deliverables to make informed decisions.
  4. Set up one-on-one meetings with direct reports. Utilize these one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to get to know them and for them to get to know you. Ask questions like, “How do you like to be recognized?” or, “How do you like to receive feedback?” Try to avoid getting into any personal issues since a strong foundation of trust has not yet been established. If possible, avoid using this time to “push” all of your rules and expectations on them. Listen first, and then develop a plan of action for follow-up meetings.
  5. Show your team you value their voice off the bat by creating a fresh-perspective list. The fresh-perspective list is simple. It is a list of all the ideas people have for how the team could change for the better. Doing this transforms the conversation from airing grievances to thinking about how you and the team can work together to make work better for everyone. The fresh-perspective list could cover ideas for updating processes or procedures, a change to a product, or a new idea. Bonus — this also helps give insight into the struggles and desires of your team.

Things to consider:

  • Be sure to customize based on your company’s new manager process.

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