When a colleague becomes the boss

When a colleague becomes the boss

SNAGGING that much wanted promotion at work is often a cause for celebration, but difficulties can arise if the new job means managing buddies in the office.

Making the leap from colleague to boss can be daunting. Human resources (HR) experts say the transition can involve navigating interpersonal tensions and redefining office relationships around the new responsibilities.

Ms Christina Ng, associate director at HR firm Robert Walters Singapore, highlights some challenges faced by newly appointed managers.

"(These include) adjusting their mindsets now that they are on the management team... dealing with disgruntled team members, and motivating their staff in the initial stages of their new role."

Other industry professionals say such promotions can sometimes lead to staff leaving the company. In some cases, the newly promoted manager himself may resign if he is unable to win over former colleagues.

Office friendships can give way to animosity.

"Cases of sabotage have definitely arisen whereby (former colleagues) set out to make each other look bad in a work situation, or pass the buck around when things go wrong," says Ms Ng.

She says extreme cases of sabotage can occur. For instance, she has heard of nasty things being left in the desk drawers of new managers.

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