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Adjusting to your new job

Patricia Grant Kitson
Patricia Grant-Kitson
Career writer

If you have just started working as a supervisor or manager, do get to know your new employees – their educational background, where they live, their family structure, how they commute, their hobbies, etc. – as this will provide substance for the building of rapport, and form the basis of your motivational efforts.

· Ensure new employees are properly oriented into the new environment, and allow a few weeks for any adjustments to be made. Where possible, assign a suitable mentor to him/her to ensure acceptable social and cultural practices are passed on, internalised and accepted.

· Do ensure that your new employees are clear about their duties and responsibilities and the standard at which they should perform these. Discuss the contents of their job descriptions and set specific performance goals/targets for them on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis with their input. Plan follow-up dates for you can meet with them to discuss their progress and to offer encouragement and praise.

· When asking employees to perform a task, endeavour not to make the request sound like a command. Most situations today do not require an autocratic style of management…and most employees, regardless of rank, have problems with this style. It is always best to build on the rapport you established earlier in the day before making the request….doing this with politeness and a sense of authority, with due regard for the employee’s status and workload.

· Do remember that your employees will only communicate with you to the extent that you encourage them to do so. Find time for frequent face-to-face conversations with them, both privately and publicly, and make these contacts respectful and enjoyable for employees. Set up a contact schedule and let employees know the days and times that are best for you to meet with them. Be confidential, and be patient with the younger generation, mindful of their tendency for a more relaxed conversation style - guide them, as necessary, to the one that is more ethical and acceptable.

· Keep your employees up to date on important matters that will affect them. Obtain their input on such matters and, where possible, allow them to take part in the problem-solving or decision-making processes. This will allow you to gain their cooperation and support for any new initiatives you may want to implement.

* Patricia Grant-Kitson is a human resource management and training consultant
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