Any time you step into a new role or start at a new company, you want to put your best foot forward. This is especially true when you get promoted from an individual contributor to manager. Those first 90 days are a chance to prove yourself and show the company they made the right decision selecting you for the job.
The first 90 days in a new role are a time of learning and growth. Some people are natural-born leaders, but for others, it may not come as naturally. If you want to set yourself up for success in your new role, here are seven things to do in your first 90 days as a manager.
Get to know your team.
Whether you’re a brand new manager at the company or you’ve been promoted after years of hard work, get to know your new team. Your team’s success is a direct reflection of you and your leadership, so it’s essential to spend time learning about them. How do they work best? What are their career goals? What’s important to them outside of work? Set up one-on-ones to get acquainted with each team member.
In addition to forming a relationship with individuals, it’s also essential to establish a team bond. Unless you’re tasked with building your team, chances are they’ve been working together for years and have an established culture. How can your team work together to achieve the company’s goals? Spend time learning about your team dynamics. Schedule a team meeting for a more formal approach or have a team lunch (in person or virtually) if you want to keep it more casual.
Build your network.
Networking internally is just as important, if not more important, than networking externally. As a new manager, you’ll need people to lean on for advice and support as you get acquainted with your new responsibilities. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll need to collaborate with other departments to accomplish your team’s and company’s goals. Make it a point to reconnect with existing colleagues and reach out to unfamiliar colleagues to establish a connection in your first 90 days.
Understand what’s working and what’s not.
To be effective in your role, you need to understand what’s working well and what needs improvement. From a team perspective and a process perspective, take the time to evaluate how you can improve in your new role. As a leader, you have the opportunity to impact how your team works, what gets accomplished, and how your team adds value to the organization.
Now more than ever, you have the responsibility to grow and develop team members, achieve goals, and show how valuable your expertise is to your company. As a manager, you’ll have personal goals and team goals, and to accomplish these goals, you must communicate your expectations for achieving them. Set up time with your team to lay the groundwork and meet with your manager to understand what they expect from you.
Set realistic goals.
Think about how you can immediately add value and what you can accomplish once you get acclimated to your new responsibilities. Align your goals with your company’s company goals and their expectations for you. We all want to change the world, but what can you actually accomplish both in your first 90 days and beyond. Setting unrealistic goals will set you up for failure, so set realistic goals to keep you motivated.
A major difference between your previous role and your new role as a manager is you now have the ability to delegate. You don’t have to do it all yourself, and most likely, you won’t have the time to do it all yourself. Consider what tasks and projects you can offload. This not only frees up your time for new responsibilities but it gives team members the opportunity to expand their expertise. Being a leader is as much about developing your team as it is about achieving your goals, and delegating can help you do both.
Allow yourself to be new.
You are a new manager, so allow yourself to be new. You’re not expected to have all the answers or get everything 100% right. It’s human nature to make mistakes and stumble from time to time. Try to relax and be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Be kind to yourself when things don’t go as planned and know when to ask for help. Your new role will get easier over time as you gain more confidence in your managing abilities. Until then, give yourself grace because, well, you’re new at this.