10 December 2015 11:45:50 IST

Sanjay Shetty is the President - Sales and Key Clients at Randstad India.

Six questions you must ask your new manager

As you step into your new job, it is crucial to ask certain questions. Here are some of them

The offer letter is signed and you’ve been hired. It’s certainly a reason to cheer but in your enthusiasm to start a new job, don’t miss out on certain important aspects that are critical to every new professional venture.

From understanding the work culture to prospects for learning, scout out from day one and ensure you know all that there is to know about your new organisation. Arm yourself with these six crucial questions as you tread the path to professional success.

What is expected of me?

It’s crucial to get all work-related facts right on your first day. Ask your manager what the management’s expectations and their vision for your role a few months down the line are. In terms of evaluations, ask whether the company has a formal review policy in place and be sure to understand what competencies are used to measure accomplishments — soft skills, sales targets, domain knowledge, and other such standards.

In case your organisation lacks a formal review process, suggest meeting in six months to chart your progress. This will not only help map your growth trajectory but will also demonstrate that you are proactive. Enquire if there is a preference for your work hours — are you expected to stay late to finish work or are there any flexible work options available?

What are the organisational procedures and processes?

Ask your manager and co-workers for best practices. Does your manager have to be copied on all emails? Is there any ideal communication style? Ask the HR recruiter what your manager’s style of work is — formal or casual? Enquire about the dynamics of the people you’ll be working closely with; who’d be the go-to person to seek advice. Ask if there are any other company processes you need to know — leaves, saving plans, telecommuting policies and other important ones.

How does the company focus on team development?

It’s equally essential to know how the organisation fosters team spirit. Ask the HR manager what initiatives are taken to encourage employee collaboration and teamwork. This should give you an insight into the company culture and the emphasis on employee engagement.

Is the organisation open to innovation?

Ask your manager if they expect conventional ways to approach the matter in hand, or if you can try new ways to work. By focusing on this, you will understand if your manager wants results and is open to innovation or if there is little room to try out new things.

What happened to the person I replaced?

An important piece of information you must know is not just why you were chosen for the job, but also about the person whom you replaced. Did the person leave to join another company? Did he/she progress within the organisation? How long did he/she work with the company for? This will give you an understanding into the career trajectory of someone in your job role and help you identify opportunities available for growth and anticipate your own time with the company.

Will I get an opportunity for learning?

An organisation that values its people will often have a learning and development programme for its employees. Ask if the organisation provides any such opportunities, or if they offer an opportunity to learn an interest outside your scope of work. This will help you understand if the organisation invests time in employee development and whether the senior management believes in motivating and training employees.

Ask as many questions as you can while you’re making your entry at the new place. These questions are valuable and will not only reduce the possibility of surprises that may come your way, but will also give you more clarity into your role, thus helping you achieve professional success.