Remember when you got that new job as a supervisor? You got promoted! You made it to the big league! All of your hard work paid off as a team member, and now you got your just rewards!
In any case, you walked a couple feet higher than the rest of us. Life was good!
Well, if you don't know it by now, being a team member with a new supervisor is not all it's cracked up to be. Not everyone adjusts to change as happily or quickly as someone who gets promoted. Try these three techniques to make your first six months smooth for you and your team:
1. Don't be a supervisor who looks the other way. Whether a team member comes in late (and does not make up their time) or you observe a team member avoiding you like the black plague, don't look away. Take initiative and address your observation. Also, be the first. For example, be the first to acknowledge someone with eye contact and a greeting. A warm smile, eye contact, and a simple "Good morning!" take 3 seconds, but can make someone's 8-hour day. "Be the first to..." will mean a lot to others in the workplace.
2. Don't be that supervisor who closes your door a majority of each and every day. Be accessible. Not only should your door be open, there should be chairs and a general welcoming atmosphere to your space. Don't sit behind a monitor while your guest's chair is directly on the other side of the monitor. The message here is "You can come in, but I'm not going to see you nor can you see me." Give us all a break. Quit hiding. "Be inviting..." will allow people to freely reach out to you.
3. Don't give people more than they can handle. You are not a leader of a sweat shop. Instead, allow people to be challenged, but also thrive. You ultimately want those that are doing the work to feel good about their output and contributions. The minute you shove more work down people's throats will be the first minute of their job search. The key is to role model. Be transparent by sharing some of your challenges and your successes! For example, keep a visible to-do list with percentages complete. Or, make a certificate for yourself after you complete a major endeavor. "Be a role model..." and watch others follow suit.
Being a supervisor is a great responsibility. Each team member is worthy and valuable. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Everyone is expected to get the work done. Be the difference where you can to make the team successful not only with the work, but as human beings too.