Picture the scene. You’ve taken over an underperforming team and you can quickly see that processes are running completely out of control. Unfortunately, in a bid to bring your team up to speed, this can be a hugely challenging time. It’s never going to result in you becoming Mr. or Mrs. Popular and if you’re not careful, your team may even get worse.
Put simply, managing a new team is difficult. People don’t like change and this is something that you have to take into account.
Bearing this in mind, this article will take a look at some of the most common mistakes that managers of new teams make – and show what you can do to avoid said traps.
You start off on bad terms
As we have already alluded to, people in general just don’t like change. It means that you are up against it from the start and even if you are taking on a team who are not performing, they are still likely to be against a lot of ideas.
It means, in some ways at least, that you must tread carefully. Don’t start throwing your weight around the first moment you walk through the door. Let’s not forget that there will be good people in your team, doing good things, and you need to make the most of them without pushing them away. Be courteous, understanding and even look at team building activities you could try with your co-workers to help push things along.
…Or you are everyone’s best friend
At the same time, you don’t want to be everyone’s best friend. Or, you might want to be – but only if the job in hand is being taken care of.
As we just mentioned, there is something of a stigma associated with new managers. It means that some will try and overcompensate and try and win others over at any possible cost.
Try and create good relationships, but not at the cost of performance.
You try and do too much
We’ll come onto a point about realistic timescales shortly, but for the time being let’s talk about internal pressure on yourself. Sure, you’ve been brought in to do a job, but you can’t change a company in an instant. A lot of jobs require time and the very worst thing you can do is take on heaps of projects and fail to deliver them.
Instead, work on an impact/effort basis, prioritizing the projects that are going to bring the most rewards. Sure, more projects will come later on, but if you take too much on you won’t be around for this.
There’s a focus on immediate results
Granted, you’ve been brought in to do a job, but you are not a miracle worker. Instant results aren’t always possible and this needs to be something that both you, and your superiors, understand.
If you don’t, the pressures will be unbearable from the start. Unrealistic expectations will be set, and it will be a hostile environment for all concerned.