So, you’ve landed that coveted IT management position you’ve worked hard for and now you’re all kinds of excited to hit the ground running on the first day. But as with any new role, there are all sorts of new challenges to get to grips with.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do on your first day that can set the tone and help make the transition to manager a lot smoother. Whether you’re leading a development team, managing a smaller group of IT specialists, or taking on another IT management position – use these top tips to make sure you start things on a positive note on your first day.
Say hello to everyone
If this is your first day at a new company, then it pays to greet everyone you’ll be working with. Warm welcomes are often reciprocated, so be sure to be genuine when meeting those on your team.
Whatever level they’re at, greeting your colleagues is perhaps the most important thing you can do on your first day. Trying to put the names and faces together may be a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a gesture that will be very much appreciated.
Find out more about your team
Asking the right questions, without being too invasive, lets you know what’s important to each member of the team. Plus, it’s a great way to show them that you’re interested in what they do, both professionally and personally.
Not only that, but it demonstrates that you’re open to their comments, ideas and suggestions. It also allows you to build up a rapport, showing that you aren’t merely interested in things such as how productive they are.
Listen and learn
As you converse with your colleagues, make sure you’re actively listening to them. Take on board what they’re saying and make a note if necessary; you don’t have to make any improvements or offer suggestions on your first day, nobody’s expecting you to do that.
But in the coming weeks or months, you’ll have plenty of time to make the necessary changes that you noted when listening to your team’s responses. If anything, this is a stronger course of action compared to any attempts to make a quick fix, since it’s a good show of building trust.
Maintain a positive attitude
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be critical of current employees, first day or not. But don’t be tempted to make negative remarks about past employees, either.
The previous manager might be an easy scapegoat, but you want your team to know you’re not the kind of person to blame others or pass the buck on past issues. By all means acknowledge where things aren’t working, but always stay positive.
Identify what is working
It might not always be easy to spot on the very first day, but keep an eye out on the team’s strengths and anything else that’s impressed you. Make a note of them and bring them along to your next discussion with the boss.
This shows the higher-ups that you recognise the hard work they’ve done before you arrived in your new position, and you aren’t simply looking for the things you want to change.
Talk to the boss
Following on from the above, in your chat with the boss, it’s a good idea to review their expectations and understand how they’ll measure your performance. It’s easy to assume that this was all discussed during your interview, but this is not always the case.
Make sure you start your new position by being clear on how they’ll determine if you’re doing things the right way.
Don’t be afraid to muck in
Getting stuck into what your team does on a daily basis is a great way to uncover further issues about the business. Plus, those under you will certainly appreciate your effort in this regard.
By watching them perform daily tasks, looking at the tools they’re using, and reviewing how they utilise policies, procedures and checklists, you’ll have a greater indication of the pain points that need working on. Sitting down with each team member and scheduling in a follow-up session where you can observe them can be massively beneficial in understanding their challenges.
Be sure to enjoy yourself
If you’re nervous on your first day, trying to take it easy might not necessarily be top of your list. But part of staying positive is enjoying your day.
As a manager, it might take care and awareness to walk the line between easy going and frivolous, but laughing along with others will help them warm to you.
Find a mentor
As a first-time manager, having someone you can go to for guidance, advice and support is crucial to your success. On your first day, try to identify the other managers that you’d like to observe and learn from.
Going it alone is admirable, but harder than it looks when you’re a manager. Pick someone to learn from and ask them to be your mentor.
As well as helping you transition into the role, they’ll put you at ease and be able to offer all sorts of advice to put you on the right track – helping you become a better manager in the process.
Things to avoid on your first day as a manager
- Saying “that’s not how I learned to do it” or “at my previous job…”
- Even if you packed a lunch, don’t turn down the offer of lunch with your colleagues or boss
- Saying “in my opinion”. No one likes a know it all. Instead, make “ask, don’t tell” your mantra for the day.
- Not saying “I don’t know”. This isn’t the kiss of death we think it is; you’re here to learn as much as you are to lead, so get comfortable with admitting you don’t know everything.
CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses and organisations safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.