Dear New Boss: Seven Things Your Employees Want You to Know

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Dear New Boss: Seven Things Your Employees Want You to Know

Here’s some advice to the new boss that the team you’ll now be leading would like to share with you as you take the proverbial reins.

Dear New Boss,

Congratulations on your promotion! You are now, literally, the boss of us. We, your employees are looking forward to a productive professional relationship with you. Even though you are new to the position, we have confidence in your effective leadership skills and vision to lead this team forward. That being said, we would like to offer some (hopefully helpful) advice and insight to help us begin our endeavors as employees and boss on the right foot, and continue on a track of mutual respect and success.

1. You don’t have to know everything.

We recognize that being promoted did not endow you with omnipotence. If you are unsure as to procedures, policies, job descriptions… it’s all right. Take the time you need to familiarize yourself with the important aspects of your new position. When in doubt, tell us or ask us - we won’t think less of you. Rather, we’ll respect you for admitting that you’re not superhuman - and that you endeavor to do things the right way.

2.Trust that - for the most part at least - we know what we’re doing.

We are all too aware of the expression, “a new broom sweeps clean.” We, however may not see the need to be completely overhauled. When taking the reins of an existing team, it’s important that we have your trust. Even if you have different ideas about how we should work, please recognize that we have considerable personal experience at it. We will do our level best to gracefully accept and accommodate your fresh take and new procedures - especially when you demonstrate respect for the procedures we already have in place.

3. Respect our established company culture.

It’s comforting for employees to know what is expected of them behavior-wise on the job. Since we’ve been working together for a while, we have a sense of what our workplace culture feels like. Casual, quiet, spirited, serious… whatever it is, we’re used to it because it dictates the way we perform a big part of our daily activities. Company culture is also a big determining factor in why we work here instead of somewhere else. We didn’t arrive at this style of doing business by accident; but rather by, to the best of our ability, balancing the good of the company with the needs of its employees.

We understand that you have the right as our boss to establish the kind of company culture you think will serve the company best; however, we hope that you’ll take our historical culture into account when deciding what that should ultimately be.

4. We’re anxious to learn your leadership style and vision.

Share your goals as our boss with us! As those who are helping you implement your professional mission, we want to know about the person for whom we now work. Are you a strict, by-the-book authoritarian or casual, laid-back, “as long as it gets done” boss? Perhaps a little of both or something in between? We just want to know what to expect of you as our leader so we can adapt if necessary. The more we know about who we work for and what he or she wants to accomplish, the better we can step up and find ways to make it happen.

5. We appreciate the ability to provide our feedback and point of view.

As your employees, we work in the trenches everyday and frankly, our views of what goes on in various aspects of the business are very different that yours. Please consult us for our take on how things are proceeding, situations that arise and changes you’d like to implement. We can be a valuable resource for you when you’re willing to take into account the intel we can provide.

6. Exercise patience.

We respectfully ask for your patience as we work to establish a smooth groove; we, in turn, will be patient as you get up to speed. Like any new relationship, it will take time and a mutual willingness to understand in order to forge ahead with minimal frustration. Change can be difficult and can be slow to take root. Patience will be needed as new patterns are established by a different hierarchy.

7 Demonstrate to us that you realize we’re in this together.

You are the leader of our team. That means we need you to show us that you are willing to work with as much dedication and integrity as you expect from us. Lead steadily and fairly, without drama or favoritism. Take every opportunity to advocate on our behalf and reward our joint accomplishments.

So much of this advice just boils down to showing your employees basic respect. “Boss” doesn’t mean dictator - so it’s best to take on the responsibility with a substantial degree of open-mindedness and grace. Lead with an appreciation for your employees’ experience and their own desire to do good work. Your team will reward this approach to your taking the reins with a positive attitude and enthusiasm.

Have you ever had - or been - an new boss?

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