The Best New Managers Create an Open Environment

a photo of a door with strong locks

Over and over, we have been told that teams work most effectively in a relatively open environment that is built upon trust, healthy conflict, accountability and mutual respect. We certainly see that with our clients.

But is it enough as a new manager to unlock your door and tell your team members they are welcome any time? Apparently not. An open door policy alone does not encourage your followers to share their ideas and concerns. Based upon our annual employee engagement research, line workers consistently tell us that few are willing to test the sincerity of the invitation…especially with a new manager.

If you as a new manager want to establish an organizational culture where feedback is valued, freely given and freely received, then you need to do more than just set the stage. You have to show your team members that your money is where your mouth is. You must set the example by soliciting feedback on your own performance and receive it in a spirit of learning and growing.

Here is how:

  • As a new manager – be the first.
    You must model the process. Acknowledge that you want to continuously learn how to improve as a new leader. Who better to evaluate your performance as a supervisor than those you supervise? Ask them for specific feedback and receive it graciously. Then check back now and then to see if you have in fact changed for the better. Consider a more formal 360-degree feedback process to get deeper feedback after you have been in your new leadership role for 6-9 months.
  • As a new manager – be specific.
    It is not enough to ask for general feedback as in, “Let me know how I am doing as a manager.” You need to zero in on a specific skill or behavior that you want to work on. Let’s say you want to get better at running weekly meetings. At the end of each session, ask how you might have moved things along more efficiently or if the agenda was followed or if everyone felt they had an opportunity to contribute.
  • As a new manager – make it safe.
    Not many direct reports or peers are going to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts if there are negative repercussions. Ensure that new ideas and perspectives are welcomed by the group and that no one is “shot down” for an idea that may seem impossible or off target. Use the brainstorming philosophy where ideas and concerns are invited and no judgment is made until the group has a chance to consider all the alternatives.

Hopefully you have access to new manager training that teaches you the best practices of how to model the behaviors that encourage constructive feedback. Then make sure that you do something about it.

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On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
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Roche

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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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Hyperion

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LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

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Director, Software Engineering, EPG

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

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Intuit

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

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LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

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Vice President Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

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Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

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