Managing a new team? 5 tips for a good start

Managing a new team is an exciting challenge that requires preparation and curiosity about your future team members. As a new manager, it is all about finding your place smoothly while sharing your ambitions as a leader. Here are our 5 tips to manage a new team successfully.

1. Prepare your arrival

First of all, it is important to prepare yourself for this new position. Make sure you find out about your predecessor, analyze the company, its sector, its history and the overall context in which you take over this new role.

Take the time to step back to clearly define your mission and list your strengths as well as the reasons that led you to take this position. Finally, don't forget to search on Google for public information about you, so that you can anticipate possible questions from your future team members.

2. Take the time to introduce yourself

Change raises questions. As a new manager, it is therefore important to properly introduce yourself to your team. It's the perfect opportunity to make a good first impression.

So, how do you introduce yourself to your new team? Explain your background, give an overview of your previous experiences. The idea is not to focus on the negative, but to highlight the consistency of your background and your added value. You can even talk about possible failures, as long as you show that you were able to overcome them! This sharing of experiences will give you legitimacy.

Then discuss the challenges and missions of your current position and specify your role. Above all, don't forget to share what drives you as a manager of this team. Share what made you accept this mission; this will be a source of motivation for your team.

Also Keep in mind that preparation should not prevent you from being spontaneous. Make sure you remain authentic! Be open, answer questions, welcome remarks, discuss, listen to the team. The most important thing is to inspire trust and show your goodwill.

3. Listen to you team members

After explaining the context and your background, open yourself up to your team. Make sure you listen to each and everyone of your team members. Set 1:1 meetings with each team member to better understand their personalities and skills, to identify the different profiles present in the team: why did they choose to work in the company and in this team more specifically? What motivates them in their job? What are their expectations? How do they describe their job? What do they like most about their job? What are their strengths? What areas for improvement would they like to work on? Don't hesitate to ask more open-ended questions; this is also an opportunity to identify potential fears and personal issues.

Make sure you organize these individual 1:1 meetings but don't rush: they will create mutual trust and show your empathy and listening skills, two critical qualities for a positive management.

4. Communicate your intentions clearly

Once you get to know your team members, their motivations and the concerns they may have, it is important to clearly communicate your strategy and way of working, the role you will play in the team as a new manager.

To do this, share your vision, what you want to implement, why and how you will do it. In order to avoid misunderstandings, specify your expectations, express your vision, as well as the main objectives you want to achieve.

Adopt a balanced approach rather than being too directive. In other words, express your leadership but remain open for discussion. Communicate in such a way as to engage your employees in a journey that makes them want to join.

5. Set your own rules and rituals

Every new manager must very quickly get into action, make decisions and mobilize the team. To move forward quickly, try to identify "quick wins", simple actions that are easy to implement.

You can also rely on Popwork, which allows you to identify all important topics, the expectations and challenges of each team member. The tool has been designed to help you identify and follow up on important topics week after week.

To be effective, it is also important to show your team members that you are available for them and are an accessible manager. For instance, tell them the most effective communication channels to reach out to you (email, phone, Slack, video, etc.) and the collaborative tools to work well as a team.

Plan regular team meetings and weekly 1:1 meetings in the agenda of each team member. These regular touchpoints, well prepared and followed up on thanks to Popwork, are key success factors to collaborate efficiently and build a long-lasting relationship.