Office Politics 101: Advice on the promotion

I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. Any advice for me?

Q: I’ve just been promoted to manager of our small five-person department. It’s an exciting opportunity, but I am frankly quite nervous. I want to do a great job. Any advice for me?

A; Congratulations! Your nervousness is to be expected; after all, this is your first opportunity to manage others, not just complete assigned tasks.

In some ways, becoming a manager is a little like becoming a parent. You can plan for it, even read a few books, but when the day finally arrives, you need to rely on common sense and a belief in your capacity to succeed.

You’re a boss now: you are accountable for the work of others. This fact should comfort you to some extent because your employer has chosen you for your potential. They believe in you and want you to do well.

As you approach your new duties, let me make one critical recommendation: strive for balance. Don’t forsake your family by becoming a workaholic. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and don’t feel obliged to attend every meeting.

Some newly-minted managers mistakenly believe they should suddenly take on a new personality; this is not generally recommended as co-workers and those reporting to you will likely not appreciate your hollow attempt to act like a make-believe manager.

Someone once said it is better to be a first class version of yourself rather than a second class version of somebody else.  In other words, copying the behavior of other managers will do little to build credibility with your employees.

On a more practical level, it would be good to carefully review the position description for your new job. It is likely this document will be used as the primary standard for your evaluation so keep it close at hand.

In addition, assess the duties of the five employees reporting to you. You may be surprised to find they are not always “on task” and have even given up or assumed new responsibilities. Your role as their manager will be to hold them accountable – don’t shy away from this key responsibility.

If your department has few or irregular meetings, you should immediately institute one on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  Regular and consistent communication should improve morale, allow an airing of concerns, and will give you the opportunity to build a team.

Ultimately, you will succeed by leading by example. Late arrivals, long lunch hours, lengthy breaks, extended phone calls and personal Emailing would be the negative model for your employees. Remember: you are being watched.

Becoming a manager should be a wonderful career opportunity for you. Be prepared to work hard, focus on your assigned tasks, and maintain balance.

Motivate your team by example and don’t lose your sense of humor (which is a great stress-reliever).

Simon Gibson is a university professor, marketing executive, corporate writer and civic leader. He is a graduate of four public universities, including Simon Fraser University, where he earned his doctorate in education. He also also holds a degree in journalism (honours) from Carleton University. His email address can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Jake Jeannotte, age six, holds a Whisky Jack – another name for Gray Jay, Canada Jay or Camp Robber – a common bird that can be seen on the bird count. 
(Contributed)
Bird count back for 31st year

There are some slight modifications to the bird count to accomodate for COVID-19

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Most Read