Are you inheriting a team as a manager? Here are some tips to make the transition smooth for everyone involved

It is difficult to accept change of any kind, more so in the form of a new boss. So as the new manager of a team, here are some things you can do to get your new team on your side.

Change is an invaluable element in the universe. It is the test that each one of us experience at various stages in our life. It is an inevitable, yet an important phase that can make or stump a person’s growth process.

At work, there are many aspects of change that we encounter. One of them is inheriting a new team, which in my opinion is often a difficult process. When a team gets a new boss, there is generally an air of discomfort. Having a new boss is like starting all over again to prove your efficiency all over again. Both parties--boss and team member--need to build the bridge of trust to get things on the move.

How then to tackle this?

HR – the bridge builder.

Human Resources play a crucial role in employee relations and management. It would be do a lot of good if the HR department takes the initiative of building the bridge between the two parties.

A positive build up to the new boss would help the team assess and gauge what they can expect. This could be through an orientation programme with the team or sharing a simple profile of the new manager.


The HR team should in turn share the profiles of the team members to the joining manager. A short note on each with their photos will help the new manager little prepared on day one. This actually will serve as an ice-breaker for both the parties.

Tackling the first impression

With the initial introduction, there is definitely an air of familiarity, which sets the stage to take things further.

  • First, as the new boss it is extremely important to make yourself available to dispel all the doubts that a team may have.
  • As managers, one doesn't get the luxury to settle in. It is ‘Go’ or ‘RUN’ from the moment you step into those coveted yet difficult shoes. So assess those that are on priority and start delegating. It shows that you trust your team members
  • Please do factor in that the team will look up to you for advice when needed. Hence be friendly and guide them where required.
  • Some team members do need hand-holding. You cannot have a star performer in every member of your team. Find out their areas of comfort and delegate work accordingly.
  • Do not become emotional when things escalate. There are always teething issues in the initial days. Understand the signals. Talk to the team often.
  • Give a roadmap to your team and explain how they can scale themselves up in their area of expertise
  • Give time for the team to adjust to your work style. While you would not have the luxury to do so, with your experience, you can nurture the team.
  • As a new manager, some team members do have a fear psychosis. In the end it all boils down to keeping one's job. Be firm where required and be generous in your praise where it warrants.
  • When in anger please be conscious of the fact that you are in a professional workspace and under scrutiny. .

Being a little mindful and playing to the strength of your experience will help not just in your professional growth, it is sure to give unexpected great returns in the long run personally as well.

My team strongest

Having the set the premises of expectations and having fairly established a bond, it is time for you to find out the SWOT of your team members. This is something most managers put in the backburner. Being genuinely interested in your team not only helps you in achieving your goals sooner, it helps build confidence and trust among the team members and a sense of camaraderie.

A word of advice to the team: see the silver lining before you call the clouds dark.

As much as it is difficult to adjust to a new boss, it is equally compelling and stressing for the new boss to inherit a team. Before you rush to judge, do the following:

  1. Be friendly. Even if it is difficult for you, smile. The boss is also a person who is equally judged for their performance. Making it difficult will only make your work life difficult.
  2. Find out where the pain points are:
  3. Is the person overtly micro-managing
  4. A task master who doesn’t give much time
  5. Is there a constant comparison to an earlier team


If yes, then have a heart-to-heart talk with the new boss. There are no two ways to it. Speak on the areas of concern without being emotional. Be practical.If the boss is helping you grow professionally be thankful and learn more.

Make it a win–win situation. Sometimes change brings out the best. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is the nudge that you needed to grow as a professional.

Remember in your career growth, you too would inherit a team. What you play today will shape you into the professional you would be tomorrow.

Happy team building!

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.) 


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