Talk with your employees about the change in your role
- Explain your general responsibilities as their supervisor.
- Describe expectations regarding performance, attendance and interactions with others.
- Talk about how you’ll support their efforts within the division and/or with partners.
- Explain when employees should seek you out (e.g., concerns about a project or interactions with others).
- Tell employees how you’ll keep them updated and informed about Berkeley Lab or division initiatives.
- Describe what changes may occur under your supervision (if at all), and what they can expect to remain the same.
- Acknowledge that some may need time to adjust to your new role as their supervisor.
- Encourage them to come to you at any time with ideas, questions or concerns.
Be accessible and follow-through
- Have an “open door” policy so people can come to you when it’s convenient for them.
- Honor your commitments; follow up on unfinished business and act on the things you’ve agreed to do..
Be consistent and fair
- Hold all employees similarly accountable for meeting expectations; avoid preferential treatment.
- Balance your time among all employees to avoid perceptions of favoritism.
- Give employees who express an interest the opportunity to work on new projects or interesting assignments.
- Treat everyone with respect.
Listen with an open mind
- Be flexible to different approaches versus doing things “your way”.
- Ask employees for their ideas about how they would approach, address or handle situations.
- Use employees’ ideas and input as much as possible; someone may have a better way.
Know what’s appropriate to discuss with your employees
- Talk with your HR Division Partner about topics that may be inappropriate to discuss with employees as their supervisor, what topicsare “off limits” and what things you cannot say as a supervisor.
- If your employee raises an inappropriate topic, express empathy to show concern, but don’t continue the conversation (“Sorry, we can’t talk about that”). Encourage the employee to seek out appropriate Berkeley Lab resources (e.g., HR, Family Sick Leave, CARE Services).
- Avoid initiating conversations that are inappropriate to have with employees.
Plan changes carefully
- Make changes gradually to allow people time to adjust; don’t try to “whip things into shape”.
- Communicate reasons for change and the benefits to be gained.
- Be flexible in approaches to work.
- Get things done to promote steady progress.
- Be yourself; don’t change too much as a supervisor.