You only have one chance to make a first impression – with your new employees, your new boss, and everyone else you come into contact with. What you do on your first day – and who you do it with ¬– will be watched by everyone and meaning will be ascribed to it. Will you allow others to dictate how you spend your time? Do you have a specific agenda for the day and a plan to meet – quickly – with all of your staff?
Build immediate credibility
During the first 30 days, you will want to develop relationships with your employees, key support personnel, peers, and superiors. While there are likely to be significant demands on your time, always make the effort to talk to your employees. Managing your time will be particularly important. Prioritise, delegate and don’t make changes for the sake of it. However, be prepared to take action quickly where it is warranted. As the new set of eyes, you may be able to see so-called low hanging fruit that others have overlooked (‘but we’ve always done it that way’). Be careful, however, not to pick fruit simply because it is easy to reach. Whatever you plan to do must be feasible, attainable and, most importantly, should matter to your boss and those above him or her. If you pick fruit with care, you will send the message that you are able to accomplish goals, which will set a foundation for realising your longer-term aspirations.
Align with your internal and external organisation
Organisational alignment refers to operating with shared purpose and strategies to realise the organisation’s mission. You will need to assess the degree to which your employees and the processes and systems that they use are aligned to meet the organisational vision, mission, values and goals. You will want to know the extent to which your employees understand the direction and goals of the business. Who are the influencers in your organisation and how do they exercise their influence? How does internal communication function and how can you develop that capacity?
Set supportive routines
Finally, you will want to set routines that will help you to continuously assess and reassess the way you work. This will include setting up a communications system internally and externally to help reinforce your messages and to build coalitions and buy-in. It also will include managing the systems you choose to use to facilitate ongoing relationships. Set your strategies and ensure you put processes in place to continually refine those strategies as circumstances change. This will ensure that you remain flexible enough to survive in an ever-changing environment.
These tips can help you to hit the ground running in your new role. Then you can start preparing for your next career transition!
Valerie Nichols is an Executive Consultant with Hemsley Fraser, the learning and development company. She can be contacted via email@example.com