Got a promotion? Here’s how to get your colleagues to back you
Good news: Your hard work and dedication has finally paid off and you’ve been promoted to a leadership role — congratulations! While the corks are still popping, allow us to give you some valuable advice on how to ensure this promotion will be the first of many.
Stepping up to manage the people you used to work alongside is one of the hardest career moves you’ll ever make — something the Harvard Business Review agrees with. It is a hard transition for many reasons but one key reason is that many workplaces simply don’t bridge the gap properly for their workers in terms of facilitating that leap up to management level.
Research conducted by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning using a sample of 4,300 workers discovered that 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.
A Gartner study backs this up. It discovered that 70% of employees said that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs.
Most management experts agree that you need to start as you mean to go on to prevent trouble brewing within the ranks. So, if you do need a little extra hand-holding as you step up to meet this new people-management challenge, here are three tips for new leaders that will ensure your colleagues continue to back you.
You want to impress. You want to show senior management that they made the right choice and so you try to hit the ground running. Oftentimes this results in making big changes straight away without involving anybody else.
If you want a team to back an idea or a new way of working – and indeed, you – then you need to make sure they feel invested. A study conducted by Salesforce shows that when workers feel valued and listened to they are 4.6 times more likely to perform to the best of their abilities.
So move slowly and collaboratively and bring your people along with you. Leading a dynamic and successful team which is achieving its goals is how you impress your boss.
One of the hardest things to face is the fact that the team is no longer made up of your friends. You may have previously socialised together, moaned about company policy (and the boss) or slacked off on the occasional Friday, but as the leader you cannot flip between colleague and boss. Set your boundaries early. These can, and should be both social and personal.
Research from Robert Half Management Resources shows that for the majority of new managers, finding time to achieve their own targets while managing others is the biggest struggle. With this in mind, set boundaries on your time, your willingness to pick up the slack from team members, and decide how sociable you can really be with the team.
You may trust and admire your current team, and while bouncing ideas off them previously worked, in your new role you need to find a new support network. This is important for a number of reasons, but number one is that it’s important the team sees you as somebody who is decisive, informed and knows what’s best. They need to see you as being able to lead.
Instead of asking your old buddies for advice, you should now reach out to those in the company, or those outside of it who are working at the same level as you. Ask their advice, bounce ideas off them and learn from a whole new network of peers and garner their experience. If you can, aim to find a leadership mentor who can help with the soft skills that often leaders usually only learn through experience.
Are you ready to become a leader? The Mediatel Job Board is a great place to begin your search, with roles available across media houses, agencies and much more.