How to Handle a New Head Honcho

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Change – some people love it, some people hate it. When I was younger I definitely fell into the latter category. Now that I’m a functioning adult (read: now that I go to bed at 10pm on Friday) I find most instances of change exciting.

But, what about a change in management? While it’s always exciting to meet and work with new people, it’s also scary. What if this new manager hates you even though your last manager was your work BFF? What if they take away some of the unspoken perks your old manager offered like a casual dress code or flex schedules? These are the things that would keep me up at night. And, while I’m a chronic worrier, I think the same would apply to most employees today.

We recently welcomed our new COO, Andy Katz (and his pet iguanas), to Nexxt. This got me thinking about the best ways to handle a change in the hierarchy of the workplace.

Pre-Arrival

  1. Find out how their role will affect yours, if at all.
  2. Research the person on LinkedIn. It’s nice to discover small talk topics, like sharing an alma mater.

Arrival

  1. If schedules allow, set up a brief meeting to introduce yourself and make the new manager feel welcome.
  2. If you’ll be working very closely, a business lunch might make sense. This gives you time to discuss work but also get to know each other in a more casual setting.
  3. Be receptive. Some of the processes and procedures you’ve been following might change. This is a new manager with new ideas – give them a chance.
  4. Ask questions! If you’re unclear of something, just ask. There is no faster way to get to the bottom of an issue than talking it out.

Change in any form brings about a level of uncertainty. While a change in management can be unnerving, think of it as a new adventure. You get to meet someone new and hear their ideas for the company. At the very least, you have an excuse to chat it up with someone in the break room without getting side-eyed.

Have experience with a new boss? Let us know what happened in the comments section!

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