Been Promoted?

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Been Promoted?

How to Smoothly Make the Transition from Co-Worker to Manager

Guest article by Amy Fowler

If you’ve recently been promoted to a managerial position then first of all – well done! It shows that you’ve been working hard, and gone the extra mile to shine above your colleagues and show you’ve got what it takes to be management.

But how will the people you used to work alongside act now you’re their boss?

It’s important you look at things carefully if you want to avoid a work crisis. Some former co-workers might be resentful that you got the position over them; others might not feel comfortable looking up to you after working on the same level.

Here are some tips to try to keep things smooth after a promotion, and what to do when managing a crisis if your new subordinates cause problems.

Work out what people want:

It’s likely that after working with these people for some time you’ll know what it is they like and dislike about managers. Everyone has a unique way of working and everyone wants to be treated differently.

You can use your experience with them to get a step up as a manager, and you’ll gain more respect from them this way too.

Don’t make changes straight away:

As much as you could see opportunity for change before becoming a manager, it’s important to not just jump in and start straight away. You’ll first need to get a feel of what it’s like to be a manager to avoid making huge mistakes or causing a crisis.

Once you’ve been there a while, it’s a good idea to sit down with each staff member and talk about what needs changing and how. Everyone will have their own ideas, just like you.

When you’re finally at a position to make changes, start small. That way you’ll be in a better position should a resulting crisis arise, as the problem would hopefully be as small as the change.

Deal with problems quickly:

It’s likely that a few of your former co-workers will feel a little off with you should you have got the promotion over them. They might have problems listening to you or asking you for help now that you’re above them.

They might actively work against you, or refuse to work at all. It can be difficult to motivate them or get them to start listening to you, but it’s important to do so to avoid a crisis. To start, you should talk to them about what’s wrong, because some people might just need to get something off their chest. It’s also vitally important to do this in private, as a crowd would only escalate things.

Keep it professional:

Never forget that you’re now a manager. All the people working under you, as long as they’re putting in the same amount of effort, should be treated equally. This goes for praise as much as discipline.

If one of your subordinates is doing something wrong, they should be treated accordingly even if you’re friends with them from when you previously were co-workers. Some people may feel that because you’re friends, you’ll go easier on them now you’re their boss. It’s important to try not to let that get in the way once you’re the boss.

Written by guest author Amy Fowler on behalf of crisis handling experts, Insignia.