CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I have just been promoted, and I am now supervising people who were my co-workers and friends until very recently. How can I make this transition easier on us all?

A:The transition from co-worker to supervisor is not an easy one when you are continuing to work within the same group. There are management courses and workshops focussing exclusively on the transition from line or task worker to supervisor. It may be worth exploring these classes.

Your manager may have some insight for you on how to make this transition smooth. In addition, they will likely be impressed that you are considering the challenges that your new role may present for your workgroup.
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

As with any supervisory role, you will want to be fair and consistent in your approach, be available and approachable for your staff, clear in your direction, and seek to ensure your team has the training and tools to accomplish their objectives.

Assess performance objectively, and provide constructive feedback, reward and recognition in a timely manner.

One of the challenges faced by new supervisors is accomplishing a friendly connectivity while maintaining a professional distance with their team. This is important if you find yourself in a position of performance management, and is challenging if you are already personal friends with people who now report to you. Be fair and friendly, but resist the temptation to engage in very personal discussions or over-familiar after-work activities.

(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower Services Inc.

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