Communication Ice Breaking Tips for the First Day as a New Manager

If you landed a job as a new manager and you want to start things off on the right foot, begin by reflecting upon your strengths and weaknesses. According to Northeastern University, 58 percent of new managers haven’t gone through formal training or education related to management skills. Even if you feel prepared, you’ll want to focus on relationship building. Your new staff will form an opinion of you immediately and your ability to connect with them will make a difference. Read on to learn some new manager tips for the first day on the job.

Say Hello with Sincerity

Treat each opportunity to meet someone new as a way to build an authentic relationship. As new people are introduced to you, do your best to learn their names. Hone in on something unique about each person that you encounter. If possible, reconnect with each staff person during the day. You will make a dynamic first impression if you are intentional about connecting with the staff right away. A sincere connection with each employee is an essential item on a new manager checklist for the first day on the job.

Consider Employee Fears and Concerns

As you are writing your first day as a manager speech to be delivered to staff, avoid the word change. A survey of 288 companies by the University of Texas indicated that more than 40 percent of employees are afraid of change. Even though your job may be focused on transformative change, avoid discussing this on the first day. Employees will be wondering if you are going to change their role or ask them to do their work differently. If you begin by talking about the changes that you hope to make, you will begin building a wall that will be tough to tear down.

Meet with Each Employee

A new manager checklist should include an individual meeting with each employee. This is your opportunity to spend time listening, rather than talking. You will immediately break the ice with your employees if you show them that you’re interested in their thoughts and ideas. Here are a few questions that you can ask:

  1. I would like to learn more about you – tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about the work that you do in the organization.
  3. What do you need from a manager?
  4. What are some things that you are proud of in your work?
  5. What is an example of great teamwork that has occurred in this organization?
  6. What resources do you need to be more successful than you already are?
  7. How can I support you in your work?

These are just sample questions. You don’t want your first interaction to seem like a job interview. In between questions, be ready to share some information about who you are, too.

Communicate an Open-Door Policy

One of the most important new manager tips when starting at a new job is to establish an open-door policy. Let your employees know that you value open communication and that you really want staff to know that you are eager to help and be supportive. Model this by leaving your door open when you aren’t in a meeting. Similarly, encourage your staff to leave their doors open and pop in to say hello to each employee on a daily basis.

First Day as a Manager Speech

As you are writing your first day as a manager speech, put yourself in the shoes of your new employees. They are wondering what kind of boss you will be. Show your interest in their personal success and tout the success of the company. Recognize them for all of the accomplishments of the organization. Don’t spend too much time talking about yourself, but rather, tell them how much you want to learn about them. Here is an example of a speech introduction:

Good Morning! I am so excited to be a part of this successful team. I come to you with eager anticipation of the great work that we will do together. I look forward to learning about each of you and gathering your best ideas for how we can take this organization to even greater heights. Please know that if you need anything, my primary focus is to be a support and resource to each and every one of you. Over the coming days, my goal is to meet with each of you and learn more about your role in this amazing organization.

Hold a Staff Meeting

One of the most important new manager tips when starting a new job is to have a staff meeting. This is an ideal setting to give your first day as a manager speech. Use your staff meeting to encourage everyone to participate and engage in conversation. Here is a sample agenda of a first staff meeting:

  1. Opening introductions of you and your staff
  2. Teambuilder or icebreaker
  3. Next steps for working together
  4. Closing

Keep your meeting short and to the point. Don’t go too deep into the details of the work that you are planning to do. Use this meeting to begin the process of creating a positive climate and team environment.

Try Some Teambuilders

Use a short icebreaker to kick off your first meeting with the staff. There may be some resistance at first, but a short activity will demonstrate your commitment to building a team. Here are a few to consider:

Weather Check:

Ask each person to give their personal weather forecast. If someone says, “Sunny and warm,” you’ll know that they are feeling positive about the meeting. If someone says, “Cloudy with a chance for rain,” check in with them later to see how they are feeling.

Two Truths and a Lie:

Ask each person to write on a piece of paper two things that are true about themselves and one that is a lie. Mix up the pieces of paper and distribute one to each person. Have participants read each one aloud and guess who wrote down the information.

Adjective Game:

Ask each participant to introduce themself with a descriptive adjective that begins with the same letter of their name. Have them further give an example of why they chose that particular adjective. Be the first one to participate in this game.

Bring Treats to Share

There’s no better way to break the ice than to break bread together. Bring a treat to share with your employees at your first staff meeting. Pick something that is gluten- and nut-free to be inclusive of everyone.

Do’s and Don’ts

Harvard Business Review discusses the importance of building a team before you jump into success-driven action steps. Consider these new manager tips for the first day:


  • Learn as much as you can about your co-workers and direct reports.
  • Be aware that your actions and behavior speak louder than your words.
  • Set personal and group goals.
  • Show your support by demonstrating care for each employee.
  • Look for ways that you can serve as a problem-solver.


  • Begin working on tasks before developing relationships with others.
  • Fail to explain expectations and your personal work style.
  • Learn about the needs of each individual employee.
  • Assume that the first person who talks to you is liked by all.
  • Develop assumptions about people without getting to know them personally.