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How to step up to a supervisor role yet maintain existing relationships November 28, 2018

How to step up to a supervisor role yet maintain existing relationships

How to step up to a supervisor role yet maintain existing relationships

It’s not uncommon to start in a non-management position, then work your way up to management within the same organisation. But when a career boost moves you to a position in which you’re managing your former peers, things can get tricky. The truth is, once the dynamics of the working relationship change, the individual in the management role has a higher level of responsibility and accountability that should not be compromised.

Here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition from co-worker to supervisor:

  • Signal the transition

In most companies, it’s someone else’s responsibility to announce your promotion. If the organisation has a good process for a formal changing of the guard, then people will know you’re now in charge. But not all organisations do this, which means the task may fall to you. It’s important to make everyone aware of the transition. Talk to your current boss or with HR about how to manage it.

  • Schedule a meeting with all your staff a.s.a.p. to discuss your expectations

Being promoted from fellow co-worker to supervisor is guaranteed to initiate chatter and concern. This is why it’s important to meet with your staff and explain the nature of your new role, the expectations that your management has set for you, and the expectations you have for your staff. Keep in mind that not only is this a transition for you, but also for them.

  • Set Your Boundaries

People who go from buddy to boss tend to treat their team like friends. Set clear expectations from the start. As peers, you would go out for happy hours, but now as manager, you should only stay for one drink or simply not go. Avoid gossip and water cooler conversations. Remain highly approachable, but show through your behavior that you are now their manager. You can be friendly without being a friend.

  • Communicate

Be available, empathize and listen intently to what is in your former peer's hearts. A change in their status and way of relating to you has undergone radical change, and the uncertainty can be emotionally stressful. Let them know you have their back and that your relationship matters. Communicate your vision, ask for input and follow up with how their input made a difference for you.

  • Be a fair, consistent, and transparent manager

Management is not as easy as it seems, but it doesn’t have to be hard. To be a good manager, you must be fair and treat all employees the same. You must be consistent. Employees pay close attention to how you interact with all staff. Nonetheless, since you have preexisting relationships with some, you have to be extremely mindful of not favoring those individuals in any way.

Looking for supervisor training? But not sure how to go about it? Find out more about the supervisor courses we can offer you at London TFE, and book onto our supervisory skills course.

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