Tips for Smooth Management Transitions

Bringing new managers on board can be a delicate process for companies, no matter the size of the business or organization. Whether a current employee is being promoted to the role, the company has changed ownership or bringing in an outside recruit, here are some tips that can help make the changes a little easier.

Avoid Change Overload

Any scenario that brings in a new manager, or potentially a whole new management team, is liable to be stressful for even the most well-seasoned teams. To reduce stress and avoid burnout from too many rapid changes, reducing the number of large changes new management makes right away can help. Some companies use a labor management system as a way to collect data for process improvement, which can help new managers get a sense of changes that may be needed and the best way to approach them.

While it is exciting for a new manager to step into their role and get the ball rolling, remembering that staff members have limits on how much new information they can process is important. For example, if a company brings in a new manager who immediately begins revising policies, changing the way training is done and overhauling the review system, employees are more likely to be stressed and overwhelmed. Instead, utilizing existing change management procedures or slowly integrating new processes with clear intentions for positive change can alleviate a lot of the initial anxiety.

Communicate Clearly With the Team

There is rarely too much communication when it comes to changes within an organization and employees will most likely appreciate open conversation when transitions on the management team happen. Staff should be able to digest the news of a new manager and have any of their questions or concerns answered, ideally as early in the process as possible. Sometimes, changes in management may happen rapidly, however it is possible to maintain open lines of communication throughout the process and companies may choose to include employees in the hiring or onboarding process. If the company has a human resources department, these staff members can give insight into ways to best include teams during transition periods.

Depending on the situation and the size of the company, staff may be worried about bringing in a new manager. By allowing employees to have some insight into why a certain person was chosen for the role, they may be more accepting and positive. Many companies strive for transparency and look for managers who will be able to lead their teams effectively, so allowing new managers to work closely with the teams early on can help build trust. It may be helpful for new managers to speak with employees at staff meetings or, if possible, one-on-one meetings to assess team goals.

Keep the Company Mission in Mind

Most companies and organizations have a mission that should guide employees and members of leadership teams in every decision. Mission statements are typically well thought and purposeful in their creation and really lay out why the company is doing the work it does. New managers need to be immersed in the mission to get a better idea of the culture and the guiding principles of the company. When enacting change management, keeping the mission in mind will help employees understand why some processes may need to improve and can help build trust faster. The heart and soul of a company, the mission statement, can help drive employees toward success and help keep teams moving toward goals. Engaged employees are often more likely to embrace positive change, meaning that bringing in new members of management teams can be a more pleasant experience for all involved. After all, what is the purpose of a mission if it isn't utilized in everyday work?

Big company changes, like adjusting to new members of management, can be difficult for employees, but utilizing these tips can ease concerns and help foster positive team relationships.

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