How to Manage a Colleague At Work!

Posted on April 7, 2017

As my team grows, it’s really interesting and exciting to watch each team member’s responsibilities change and develop. One of my employees just started managing someone for the first time. There’s a lot of perks to having someone work under you, but with that, comes a lot of responsibility. Here are some tips on how to manage someone else for the first time:

  • Encourage Open Lines of Communication. Make sure you tell this person that you’d like to keep a very open relationship and that should they have any questions or need anything, you are there. Also, make a point to check-in with this person frequently (especially at the beginning). You’d be amazed how many questions people have that they are too scared to ask.
  • Describe the Chain of Command and the Stakes. Often times people do work but they don’t know why they are doing that work. They don’t know where their work goes or how it affects other people. Take some time to explain the chain of command within your company and position and explain the stakes. If they do a great job, how does that affect the company? If they don’t perform well, how does that affect the company?
  • Explain Your Role VS. Their Role. Make sure you take the time to clarify your role and responsibilities and how you see their roles and responsibilities. Create a few examples and explain the difference between a task for you and a task for the other person.
  • Have a Plan & Prioritize. Every day you need to have a plan for this person. What will they spend their time doing? If you are ten steps behind, you’ll be wasting time having this person sit around. Take the time to plan out your schedule so you know exactly what you need and when you need it by. Also, make sure to help them prioritize. If they have a huge list of to-do items, they likely won’t know where to start. Help point them in the right direction so they know what the priorities are and how much time to spend on the other assignments.
  • Consistent Feedback. Don’t hold back on providing someone with feedback. Your notes could help them prevent another blunder down the road.

For more advice read my book Welcome to the Real World! 

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Photo by Anna McNaught.