PA Consulting’s Ed Fox and Katherine O’Halloran, people and change experts, discuss coping with a change in boss in an article in FT Ignites by Dom Lawson.
The article considers the impact that having a new boss has upon its employees and everyday operations.
Ed explains that new leaders will be keen to clarify their vision and work out where strengths lie within the team to help deliver it: ”As you develop your relationship with the new CEO, work out what is important to them and be razor sharp in showing how your strengths will help them to deliver. Underline how you can help them by using your strengths to complement, and amplify, the strengths of others.”
He notes: “Show them that you are a key piece in solving their complicated jigsaw puzzle.”
Adding to this, Katherine stresses the importance of focusing on relationship building with a new boss and empathising with them.
She explains: “A new boss is likely to have a lot on their plate and may feel under pressure as they get to grips with the new role,” adding that employees should think about how they can help new bosses to learn and integrate for quick successes.
Katherine goes on to advise: “Look for ways to get to know the new boss as a person and look for things you have in common though don’t go over the top in the early days.”
Katherine also says that it is equally important to allow new bosses to settle in before figuring out a working relationship with them.
She adds: “Then be curious about their preferred ways of working and communicating, and when you meet them, come prepared with ideas and solutions to support them to achieve their goals.”
Commenting on the added pressures of remote working, Ed explains that company leaders usually benefit from face-to-face contact when building relationships, so it’s vital for employees to find it whether this is important to their new boss.
He says: “You will need to adapt your hybrid working pattern to make sure you are present in important meetings and look for opportunities to work together. Supplement the face to face with effective use of Teams, LinkedIn or other shared media channels to develop this important new relationship.”