Q: I recently became a manager at a store I used to work at as a regular employee.
I’m excited about my new position but, frankly, I’m a little anxious about now having to supervise the goings and comings of people I once ate lunch with.
Any tips on how to do this without compromising my respect and authority? — Patricia W.
A: Congratulations! Authority might come to people because of the letters that follow their name or because of the title on their employee badge, but true respect is earned.
As a new manager my smartest approach would be to call a team meeting. You want to engage your employees by providing them with a platform to share their opinions on how things are going at the store.
Yes, as a manager you must have a clear vision for the store, as well as any new ideas or implementations you plan on establishing, but from personal experience, I’ve learned the best way to gain people’s respect is to make them see that their opinions matter and that their voices are heard.
I call this the "employee engagement" model of management best practices.
Top-down decision- and rule-making rarely work if you want a productive, satisfied employee base.
All they create is resentful employees simply doing the job because they have to for the paycheque.
When employees feel a part of the decision-making process, they start feeling accountable to follow through with the rules they’ve helped create. When people feel more invested in something, more represented by something, they are able to better commit.
As a manager, you also need to outline consequences and you want to keep things as across the board as possible. Special privileges or favouritism of one employee over another doesn’t work.
A good manager identifies their employees’ best skills and puts them to work.
With good talent management skills, you should be able to create and encourage employees to take leadership roles within the company.
Delegating tasks to qualified employees will also help you save valuable time so you can do your job better, including attracting, retaining, motivating and awarding your employees, without risking burnout.
Jill Andrew — CYW, BA, BA (Hons.), BEd. Please include your full name, address and telephone number when e-mailing. All letters are subject to publication.
|jill’s tip of the week|
|• Workplace sexual harassment isn’t limited to committing unwanted sexual acts against someone. It can also involve using overly sexual language or having sexual items on display, i.e. best buns calendars at your work station.|