Things To Do When Starting New Role As A Team Leader

The first 90 days in a new position is assumed to be the most vital time in the life cycle of a job. It’s the period of opportunity to demonstrate skills to the supervisors, peers and juniors and therefore help in establishing early success as a team leader. The pressure of starting a new job, coupled with the anxiety can be challenging to deal with. However, certain steps taken during this stage can create a lasting impression and prepare the foundation from the very start.  

First and foremost, a leader’s job is to lead their team. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize supporting and guiding your juniors first. However, often managers can get caught up in tasks and fail to juggle all the responsibilities together. In this case, it can be prudent to create a “To-Do” list that organises activities based on urgency. Through this, valuable time can be invested in communicating with employees, which would have otherwise been wasted on on-spot decision making.   

Another way to deal with being overburdened is delegating tasks to juniors. Although it is true that employees must be coached and directed first, in some cases they already possess the necessary skills to carry out the task. Additionally, it will give them a chance to prove themselves while taking a load off the leader’s shoulders which allows them to focus on other tasks of importance. However, it is important to consult and test the juniors before allocating assignments. Through these first two steps, leaders will be able to identify how exactly to manage the team quickly, whether it is by assigning performance-customized tasks, or using collaboration methods over assigning individual responsibilities, etc. 

This goes hand in hand with establishing expectations. The best way to do this is to put metrics in place that can be used by both leaders and the employees themselves. By monitoring and evaluating the metrics routinely, it is easy to ascertain whether initiatives are in the right track from the get-go. Leaders ought to be cautious of metrics, however, as they can contribute to poor behaviour such as micromanagement if work is merely done to improve numeric.  

Lastly, it is important to install a habit of recognition and feedback from the beginning. It shows that leaders are aware of the progress and are appreciative of their contribution. Be similarly prompt when addressing problems. The more you neglect them, the more difficult they are to get rid of.  

Although undertaking a new position of leadership can be a challenging mission, it is also an   immensely fulfilling experience which enables one to develop a new skill set and develop professionally. Abiding by these recommendations can help leaders be proactively ready for the aftermath and also in establishing early success as a team leader.

References : 

  1. 14 Ways To Establish Yourself As A New Leader In Business, Jan 3, 2019, Forbes.