Tips to Help Your Employees Transition From Colleague to Manager

As a manager, one of your most important duties is to help guide your workers to become their best, most productive selves. And when you’re successful, oftentimes one of your employees will get a leg up in the form of a promotion.

They definitely deserved a pat on the back for a job well done. But what happens once all the congratulations are given? Making the transition from colleague to supervisor can be tricky — it’s a shift that can be rife with interpersonal land mines. How do you navigate communications with employees who used to be peers? How does

However, a few simple tips can make this transition just a bit easier. Offer these bits of advice to your employee when they’re settling into their new supervisory role.

Gauge Feelings of Former Colleagues

One common bit of advice from those who have navigated these complicated waters before is to schedule a sit-down with everyone in the department. The new supervisor should have a one-on-one with all their former colleagues in order to gauge their feelings about their recent promotion. This is a prime opportunity to address issues (including sour grapes) and get on the same page when it comes to expectation before their role really begins.

Nix the Water Cooler Gossip

The new supervisor might have engaged in harmless office gossip with colleagues prior to their promotion — however, that needs to end on the first day of their new role. Nix any venting sessions or gossip. Their former colleagues need to begin seeing this person as their new boss. And part of the transition dictates being professional at all times and treating each employee fairly and with respect. Gossiping with your employees can come across as petty and like you’re offering preferential treatment — big no-nos as a new boss.

Share Your Vision

Getting on the same page with former colleagues is a crucial step to get off on the right foot. Part of establishing expectations for the new supervisor and those former colleagues means understanding the vision for the department or team. Is the new boss looking to make significant changes in the first few months of their tenure? What sort of goals do they want to set, and what challenges do they foresee the team facing? Chatting with team members about that vision helps open the lines of communication and collaboration, and sets some clear expectations on the direction of the department.

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