Even the most experienced manager will have found themselves in unchartered waters during the past year. Some thrive in the chaos and some may struggle with new ways of working. I started work during the pandemic, being trained and managed remotely in a fast-paced industry affected significantly by two simultaneous challenges; Brexit and Covid. As such I have developed some useful insights for managers taking on new starters and work generally during times of turmoil and change.
A good manager should know this, and if you’re reading this you will appreciate already how important it is to listen to people’s relevant experiences and perspectives. Listening to employee feedback is always necessary, however when working remotely it is easy to forget the importance of casual conversation and informal information sharing. This can be information of general wellbeing, enthusiasm and even mental health. This is not always expressed vocally, but often through body language, and can be missed when working remotely. As such I would emphasise to any manager to take time to communicate and listen to any problems or queries, no matter how seemingly small.
New starters are not always going to get something 100% correct 100% of the time. Starting a new job can be stressful, and without easy access to guidance it is easy for little details to slip through the cracks. If a small mistake is made, or a bad habit is picked up, when identified it should be recognised, addressed, and assessed whether it has been amended going forward. Although managers should expect a high level of work, extenuating circumstances should be taken into consideration. A good manager will provide opportunities to adjust and improve.
This is a good skill to have in normal times, change and unforeseen circumstances happen, but given the sheer scale of unforeseen change we have all been through in the past year the ability to adapt has been the defining success for many. The adaptability of a manager can have important implications for the success of a new starter. No new employee is ever the same, and as such will each have their own set of skills and abilities. It is critical therefore, for a manager to recognise how new employees can be best utilised, for example whether they are suitable for certain learning opportunities or if their role could be expanded to maximise effectiveness. Possibilities open up when managers adapt to new situations.
Pull it all together decisively
Unsurprisingly, a remedy for these uncertain times is a bit of certainty. Take time to think through situations, and when time comes to implement ideas listen to employees’ ideas, opinions, and perspectives, but ultimately appreciate executive action must be taken. It is a manager’s responsibility to make difficult decisions sometimes, however if you have confidence in your decision-making process you can have confidence in your decisions.
But having to make correct and firm decisions should not isolate a manager. If the above perspective on what makes a good manager has been considered, through listening, being understanding and patient, and adjusting suitably to situations, then one will be better prepared to thrive in turbulent times.
“Diary of a New Sart” has been commissioned by Claire Bain, an experienced Coach, Facilitator, and Trainer based in County Down, N.Ireland.
Check out how Claire can provide coaching to build these management skills https://www.nextsteps.biz/executive-coaching/
If you are a new start in these challenging times get in touch with Claire to discover how she can provide career coaching to support you https://www.nextsteps.biz/what-are-the-benefits-of-career-coaching-coaching/
Further insights from a “New Start” https://www.nextsteps.biz/whats-it-like-to-start-a-new-job-with-remote-working/
Insights from Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2018/12/to-retain-new-hires-spend-more-time-onboarding-them?autocomplete=true