Consultancy_hr & Ir
Manager - Hr
Hr Professional
Administrative Executive

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I have recently joined a software firm as HR Manager and iam handling a team of 3 member.The previous HR manager had been for 3 year in the organisation along with the same team.
The team too emotially attached to the previous manager till now .
I have tried to help them and approach .but failed.How do i proceed now?

From India, Mumbai

This is indeed an interesting problem.

First, they may be overwhelmed in their relationships with the old boss, but I hope that they have nothing against you!

You are placed in a situation of having to build NEW relationships at work.

I suggest as under:

1) In the office lean on them to understand how the system of the new office works. Insist on "learning" from them.

2) NEVER obviously praise or criticise the old boss. Speak highly about the old boss to others and NOT your assistants who might feel that you "using" their "hero" to get close to them and may even resent your attempt. But if they hear from others of your talking highly about the old boss they will feel happy and justified in their devotion to him and for that reason may lower their guards vis-a-vis you.

3) Socialize on issues not connected with work. You could engage them on their hobbies, preferences and likes and dislikes etc.

4) Speak well of them also behind their back.

5) In face to face interactions, be objective but not harsh, critical but not cruel. Project your commitment to "what" than "who" but remain humane all time.

In all this you are trying to get "accepted" by them psychologically. Never lower yourself. Maintain dignity. Treat them as adults but as human beings and sonner than you think, the ice will melt.

I know from a personal experience as long time ago I was in the place of one the three that you have to deal with presently and I recall lucidly how our new boss won us over. He respected our old boss and proved himself worthy as a good boss himself but in a new frame. Eventually we accepted him, though, looking back I feel our behaviour was purely childish. He had understood and strategied to cure us of this childish infactuation with the old boss. He did it without criticising him but by respecting him simultaneously establishing himself as no less in stature and worthy our admiration.

Its a matter of time and you will help them get over the hang over of the past. Just do it subtly. Don't rush. Delicacy and tact is the key to your problem. But do not "cheapen" your self in their eyes.

Report results.



December 5, 2006

From India, Pune
Hi Seema,
I also have faced this problem last year. I would like to give you the same advice I was given at the time by my boss -
1. Give your team members time to transition from their ex-boss to you. It is perfectly alright for them to remember a good boss. And we all know good bosses are so very rare...
2. Stay professional throughout this transition period. Focus on the quality of your work. Build up your position by 'showing' your professionalism and quality of work to your team members.
3. Don't try to replace the ex-boss. You are you, that person is somebody else. You have your own strengths and merits which will definitely be appreciated once the results begin coming in.
A small team has a higher degree of emotional attachments. With time, I am sure you will also develop close relations with your team. Just be patient.

From India, Gurgaon
Seema, I admire your courage in wanting to move forward. It is impossible to give specific advice without knowing more about your situation. And you will not be able to try new things without taking account of what you have tried so far and what your team member’s responses have been. People have memories – sometimes very long memories – so it is not a matter of trying this and then trying that without recognizing what has come before.

So, I would ask you, What have you tried so far? What worked? Why did it work? What did not work? What were their responses? Why didn’t it work?

Progress will depend on reflecting on your past actions and drawing upon the lessons that need to be learned. You are a unique individual. So is each of your team members. You will need to craft a strategy that suits your respective personalities and histories.

Our telephone management coach has had a lot of experience in helping people such as yourself come to a solution that suits your particular circumstances.

I wish you the best.

Vicki Heath

Human Resources Software and Resources

From Australia, Melbourne

Not that I have been in an exactly sismilar place but still my 2 pennies if they are of any help.

1. Be pleasant but professional.

2. Dont consciously try to get close to them as a 'friend' or 'collegue'. If u recall the best bosses u have had are the ones who knoew their job & helped u solve problems u got close to them automatically, the bonding was a byproduct of a job well done. Also note that that however freindly, caring, supportive a boss is, if he is doing a bad job of guiding his team & taking the decisions (however harsh the decisions may be) he will; never get any real buy in.

3. Be friendly, try to go to lunch with your tema at least 2 or 3 times a week but not every day. Make sure that u help them go home on time & u do not leave before them regularly (this is basic boss advice not necesarily for ur situation only) But keep a distance. Do not get personal. do not ask them for their family details overly much. Atleaste for the next 3 months DO NOT take them out for a treat. It will uncomfortable at best!!

4. Learn from them & help them create processes to simplify their life. & ofcourse the earlier advice. Hold weekly update meeting. This helps cant exactly explain how.

5. Most importantly. attrition is eminent in ur dept. get your team to document every thing that they do so u do not loose the intelligence gained ovet the last few years.

6. This has nothing to do with your case, bu it may help you. see if u can do some job rotation in your team. if the team has been doing the some roles for the last 3 yrs, they are most likely looking for some excitement. But do not do this atleast for the next 4 months.

Hope that helps.


hi, I am trying my luck here, hope anyboyd here can help me.
I am working in middle east as an admin executive, but recently i am getn an offer in a mnc in india, with alomst same salary package but in HR dept. I have done Personnel managt, but for last 6 years i am abroad, so how should i go about this interview, how should i prepare, ( do i have to mug up any labour laws :? ) felling a bit confused.
If any body can give me a proper defination/ expectence from a newly appointed HR Executive, it ll be more than helpful to me.
Please help me.
my Mail address is

From India, Pune
Hi Seema,

This is a very common phenomena that can be observed in Corporates. almost every body working in the corporates go through this period at least once.

I have been through the same situatuion a year ago when my boss moved out. our team had very high regards for her. the important fact here is that we were a stable team all of us were working together for the past 2 years.

My boss used the strategy of " Never whip a running horse", he never tired to rock the boat.. he was very patient and he took a lot of time to understand the business from all of us. he was never tried to make changes in the work place to suit his style of working. he had great respect for the work culture in the team.

This eventually worked out for him .. we slowly started to accept him at this time he started to put his plans forward and again all the plans were thoroughly discussed before finalizing.

Its more than a year now and we have the same trust on the new boss as we had on the earlier boss.. lot of changes happened in the way we approached business .. but it never pinched us we understood this change was not to suit the working style of the new boss, but to achieve new targets.

Persistence is the key and as you said the team is already 3 years old.. therefore processes would have been very well defined.

therefore no need to worry.. give them the time they want and most importantly respect the team culture and experience. You will also be liked as the earlier boss was..


Srikanth Ch

From India, Hyderabad
Its nice that you have shared your problem , but always remeber one thing "incomplete information does not get the best solution".
based upon the following information provided i will suggest the following
- Be Professional
- Have one to one discussion with the executives, this would help you to understand them better and understand why the previous manager was the best.
I think this would help you to understand the merits and the reasons of bonding.
Veena Jain

From India, Bangalore
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