What Are the Most Critical Survival Tips for a Manager during the First 100 Days on the Job?

Article excerpt

DONNA GAYDEN

Village Administrator

Glenwood, Illinois

dgayden@villageof

glenwood.com

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Here are the 10 tips I recommend:

1. Meet with every department head for a minimum of a half day to better understand individual roles.

2. Meet with the staff of each department to introduce yourself and to learn about needs and desires to perform their jobs better.

3. Review union contracts.

4. Begin reading ordinances that the elected officials and the department directors deem necessary.

5. Review the current budget.

6. Review audits from the past three years.

7. Meet bi-monthly with the top elected official to interpret the mission of the current local government.

8. Meet with each member of committees, homeowners associations, and the school board.

9. Review such manuals as personnel, accounting, and procurement to ensure compliance with current government regulations and practices.

10. Ride along with police officers and building department inspectors to learn local regulations and boundaries.

TIMOTHY HACKER, ICMA-CM

City Manager

North Las Vegas, Nevada

hackert@cityofnorth

lasvegas.com

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Focus on communication. Be an active listener with community leaders, especially when they share past approaches and future expectations. Reach out to leadership of labor groups to learn what perspective they bring to the employer-employee relationship and the expectations they have for the future.

Blend this information with your own experiences and your "read" on community challenges and opportunities. Begin to share your vision, tone, and culture with leadership and staff. It is crucial for a new manager to be able to differentiate between what people think you want to hear and the actual facts and truth. Change brings uncertainty, and staff will not necessarily come forward to expose past failures as they fear they may be perceived as current failures.

Find opportunities to reinforce the vision so employees become comfortable with and support your efforts. Find ways to include the community in the evaluation and development of plans, in a way that will produce meaningful and measurable results. …