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October 15, 2009

Making the Transition from Peer to Boss

Filed under: General HR Buzz7:09 am

The Greeks established a protocol within their military structure whereby if an individual was ‘promoted from the ranks’ to Officer level; he was taken away from his old unit and assigned to a new one. The thinking was obvious – it’s sometimes difficult to command respect from people who knew you way back when.

Unfortunately, this is not always possible in corporate America, especially in smaller organizations. So more often than not, a promotion within your department or work unit brings with it the challenges of supervising those who were once your peers. Some of the pitfalls include:

    • Former peers may attempt to take advantage of you
    • Former peers may feel that they should have been promoted
  • You feel you may need to “overcompensate” just to prove there is no favoritism
  • Friends may expect “inside information” now that you are part of management
  • Separating personal relationships from professional relationships can be tough

As with many workplace challenges, communication can help to alleviate problems. Other tips include:

  • Understand that the relationship has changed
  • Address resentment – it will not go away on its own
  • Do not show favoritism
  • Delegate appropriately
  • Remember what you liked and didn’t like as an employee.  Capitalize on your experiences.

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