Building Community for New Managers

Jen Jortner Cassidy Jen Jortner Cassidy | Jan 3, 2024
Hands with various skin tones placed on the log of a tree
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

“It’s lonely at the top”

We’ve all heard this phrase but likely don’t know where it comes from.  My research suggests that it originated in Shakespearean times, though I don’t know for sure.

Yet, many of us have experienced this loneliness as we’ve grown in our careers.  The GirlBoss blog cites that bosses often have to make decisions solo, balance between being a manager or a friend, or keep information under wraps that cannot yet be revealed.

Imagine how this is compounded for new managers.  They are not quite at the top and in many cases far from it.  Yet, they often find themselves in a role where they have be authoritative with those who once were peers.  According to research published by The Conversation, workplace loneliness is the new pandemic for all employees.  Imagine the impact as one climbs the promotional ladder.

Oji Life Lab CEO, Matt Kursh shared previously some of the reasons why new managers fail.  We know that lack of proper training is often the culprit.  If you are reading this, you know that and you’ve already taken the first step by implementing Oji Foundations.  At Oji Life Lab, we strive to create experiences that join together self-paced learning with social interaction.  However, we recommend that you can take it a step further by building community for new managers within your organization.  Here are some ideas to get you started…

Encourage interaction between program participants on a Slack or Teams channel

This can be a quick and easy way to create the conditions for connection, especially in the world of remote work and dispersed teams.  Launching a private channel using your organization’s messaging app can create a sense of exclusivity and community that allows people to share openly at times convenient for them.  Use these prompts to keep the discussion going and motivate members to participate.

Pair up new managers with a mentor

Most of us have been able to advance through our careers due to having strong mentors.  New managers can often be insecure as they learn the ropes and adjust to their new roles.  While participating in a Slack or Teams community as outlined above can be incredibly valuable, sometimes we (especially those who are more introverted) would prefer a more 1-to1 conversation.  A mentor can provide coaching and advice to real life scenarios within your organization.  And in time, as more new managers go through Oji Foundations, they can be paired with those in newer cohorts and will have a common language to use in their discussions.

Schedule quarterly discussions

Generally, we like to be part of exclusive communities where we feel like we contribute and have a sense of belonging. Having a formal quarterly discussion or summit creates an opportunity for human interaction that goes beyond what can be done in the messaging app.  While this can take a little more effort, the logistics do not have to be complicated.  It can be hosted via Zoom, Teams, or whatever your organization uses for video conferencing.  If the conditions allow, it can also be hosted in person. The meeting can range from as short as 45 minutes to a full day and may incorporate interactive activities, opportunities for members of the group to speak/present, and perhaps even a guest speaker.  This is an opportunity to be creative.

Do you have more ideas or would you like to brainstorm further?  Contact your Oji Customer Success Manager or support@ojilifelab.com

Jen Jortner Cassidy Jen Jortner Cassidy

Jen Jortner Cassidy serves as the Director of Customer Success for Oji Life Lab. She partners closely with organizations to implement Oji’s learning programs and always strives to be user friendly.

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