For most Team Leaders this will be their first experience of formally managing staff. For some this can be a daunting experience and outside of their comfort zone. The transition from peer to manager can be a huge step. Below are my 5 tips as to how organisations can support this transition into a people management role.
- Prepare them for the role, offer training to inform them of their new responsibilities and accountabilities that will be expected of them. Will they be responsible for staff discipline? What levels of performance management will be required?
- Acknowledge the ‘pull of the tribe’. Most of us are drawn to a tribe, a group to whom we belong, who share the same values and beliefs. A member of staff moving into a Team Leader role maybe reluctant to leave their ‘tribe’ and feel the stress of trying to break into another tribe. Organisations need to recognise and ensure that everyone around the Team Leader supports and is accepting of this transition
- Provide ongoing support and backing. Managing people for the first time, Team Leaders need the confidence, support and backing of their line managers, especially in areas such as problem solving, dealing with difficult staff and performance management issues
- Provide clarity around what ‘good’ Team Leadership looks like within the organisation. Again, this goes back to expectations and behaviours, have these been communicated effectively and repeatedly?
- Offer mentoring and coaching to the new Team Leaders, who would be best to do this? How can the organisation provide ongoing support, guidance and advice to the Team Leaders?