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How to Interact With Staff on Your First Day as A Supervisor

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A promotion is something to be proud of, but making the change from a frontline employee to management can be a major adjustment.

You are most likely very excited for your new role (which you should be), but also feeling nervous about the new responsibilities that come with being in a leadership position.

As a supervisor, you are there to guide your team in the right direction towards success in the company. This being said, you will be working very closely with your employees, and it is vital you build a strong working relationship with them.

*Always remember: relationships equal results.

Giving your new staff a good first impression will help you set the tone for how you are as a leader. In order to do this successfully, you must do some pre-first day preparation. You can start this by answering the following questions:

“What does it mean to be a supervisor?”

“Do I understand my new role?”

“Do I have the proper training for my new role?”

“What do I expect from my employees?”

“What do they expect of me?”

It is important to be the perfect balance of assertive and collaborative. You never want your employees to think they need to walk on eggshells around you, but don’t give them the idea that you are not prepared to be in management. Establish that you are confident in your ability to lead, but in a way that lets them know you are enthusiastic and are there to help them. You never want to give your staff the idea that you are aggressive or permissive.

It is never too early to start building your relationships

Get to know your employees on the first day. It is never too early to start building your relationships with them. Strong communication is key to establishing those relationships, so start off the day with an old school get to know each other chat session. Start by asking your team questions that will help you learn their strengths and weaknesses. Remember to ask more, and tell less. Let them do the majority of the talking at this point, which assures them you are good at listening and they will feel comfortable coming to you in the future.

After you get to know your new team, they now need to learn about you. Tell them about yourself as an individual first. Share basic information such as where you are from, your hobbies, favorite food, etc. This helps them imagine you are a REAL person, not just their boss. Then, start to introduce yourself as their supervisor. Share clear expectations right away. Let them know what you expect from them, and tell them what they can expect from you. Establish that you are there to support their development and growth. Share with them that you are going to provide them with support and feedback and that you are there to help them be successful.

As a leader, your main goal should be to get your employees to do what you need and want them to do WILLINGLY (keyword here). They should respect you enough to want to accomplish all the tasks that you are giving them. Establishing effective communication and strong relationships with your team will help you accomplish this goal.

As you are preparing for your first day, keep in mind the 10 Keys. They will help you stay focused on the kind of supervisor you should be and what you should expect from your employees. For this circumstance, specifically remember Keys 2, 4 and 6.

2. Uniting Your Team—Building a culture of care and concern among and between employees.

4. Expecting Excellence—Setting high expectations for employees.

6. Valuing What You Believe—Linking employees’ actions/behaviors to organizational values—building a healthy culture.

Always remember there was a reason for your promotion. You were chosen to move up to management because you are a great employee and have proven leadership skills. Show up on the first day prepared and confident that you are going to make a top-notch supervisor!



Danielle McLaren