As a first-time manager, or someone who is new to leading a team, you may find it surprisingly difficult to keep your direct reports feeling happy, productive, and fulfilled at work during the first few months of the year. But there are ways that you can address these challenges and use your position to lead by example.

  1. Acknowledge the discomfort and refocus on purpose. It’s important to recognize and call out the emotions your team members may be experiencing. Once you’re on the same page, you should work to help them realign with your company’s mission and their own personal values. One way to do so is to show your appreciation for their day-to-day work — create a Slack channel dedicated to sharing positive feedback.
  2. Build strong relationships and express genuine care. As a new leader, it should be a priority of yours to cultivate trusting relationships with your team members. Try adding a reminder on your calendar to check in with each of your employees about how they’re doing. Ask them, “What’s been taking up most of your time lately?” or “What excites you most about work right now?”
  3. Show your humanity and provide a guiding light. If you expect your employees to open up to you about their seasonal struggles, you must show that you’re open to expressing your feelings, too. One way to make sure your employees follow your lead is to schedule a “Take-a-Break-Day.” Advise your team to take a day for rejuvenation, rest, and reprieve.

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