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Five Key Steps To Effective Manager Onboarding Process

Have you recently hired a new manager? How do you integrate them into your organization and get them up to speed?

Hiring a new manager offers numerous benefits ranging from fresh ideas to having someone with a new perspective help you solve daily tasks. It allows your employees to learn from new leadership, simultaneously growing your business. However, seeing that 60% of new managers fail within their first 24 months in their roles, hiring a new manager is not always a bed of roses.

The problems with failing managers often begin with how well- or how badly- they are shown the ropes. To help your new manager excel in your company, you must subject them to a detailed and comprehensive onboarding program. This will prepare them for the responsibilities in the role they are about to fill.

So, how exactly can you onboard your new manager properly? In this guide, we have provided everything you need to know about onboarding your new manager, including five key steps for a successful onboarding program.

What Is Manager Onboarding?

Managers are an essential part of any organization. They are key players in the success of an organization, including how fast the organization reaches its goals.

Managers provide leadership to employees within an organization. They coordinate the activities of employees within the establishment, act as intermediaries when necessary, and make important decisions that are integral to the company’s success. All these and more are reasons why ensuring your new manager is fit to perform their roles as long as necessary is essential to your establishment.

Onboarding your new manager refers to introducing them to their new role. It involves integrating and preparing them for new responsibilities and helping them settle into their new job.

Whether it is an internal employee who is promoted to manager or an external hire employed to fill the role of manager, onboarding your new manager is an essential part of hiring them. Without proper onboarding, a manager, no matter how experienced they are, will find it difficult to fill their roles.

Essentially, onboarding a new manager involves the following:

  • Introducing them to employees and existing teams
  • Offering the necessary orientation
  • Completing the necessary paperwork in their new job contract
  • Discussion about the organization, including its vision, mission, and values
  • Product or service demonstration to provide insight into the company’s offerings
  • Introduction to the departments within the establishment 
  • Detailed overview of all responsibilities.  
A person giving a presentation to managers in an office.
Giving proper presentations to new managers will help in the onboarding process.

Why Is Onboarding Your Manager Important?

The absence of adequate onboarding is one of the many reasons why 60% of managers fail. Onboarding your manager offers numerous benefits for your employees and the establishment. Some of these advantages include:

  • Offers a structured learning and integration process so managers are extremely familiar with their roles
  • Explains the organization’s short- and long-term goals and objectives to ensure managers are on the same page 
  • Offer the necessary training and mentorship 
  • Increases manager productivity as they are well-informed and know what is expected from them
  • Increase retention as managers are less likely to fail at their roles
  • Facilitates the sharing of knowledge 
  • Integrated the new manager into the company’s culture to maintain consistency
  • Provides managers with the tools they need to be successful and lead the employees successfully
  • It prevents pushing managers into leadership roles without the proper guidance necessary for them to be proper leaders
  • It shows that you care for the managers and their professional success as leaders in the establishment 
Two co-workers standing confidently in an office.
With proper training, you can help your new managers lead with confidence.

A Five-Step Process For Ensuring Managers Are Successful

Every onboarding experience needs to be unique to the new manager. Although it is easy to go with the flow or use an onboarding process template you find online, these are usually less effective and can quickly become uninteresting. For the best result, it is important to tailor the onboarding process to suit the manager. 

Focus on creating an onboarding strategy for how ‘new’ the manager is to the organization. If the new manager is a promoted employee, they will already have ample information about the organization, including the goals, values, objectives, beliefs, and norms. However, if the hire is completely external, you will need to start from scratch and teach them the ropes from the very beginning.

Five steps for onboarding a new manager that you can implement in your onboarding strategy include:

1. Welcome Manager And Connect In Advance

It is exciting when someone is hired or promoted to the role of manager. As a result, the new hire deserves to be congratulated, applauded, and know that their new role is a big deal.

A warm welcome creates a positive feeling. It helps managers step into their new roles feeling energetic and positive. Whether the manager is an external or internal hire, HR teams and other employees should help them feel excited about filling the role.

There are numerous ways you can welcome a new manager to your role in the company. You can make a public announcement, call a meeting to introduce them, or put their picture on the company notice board as the new or newly promoted manager.

You can also encourage other employees to send messages to congratulate the new manager privately. These may be through emails or network applications such as Slack. You may also encourage them to send a small present to help the manager feel truly appreciated.

Other than offering a warm welcome, it is equally important to connect with the new manager in advance, days and possibly weeks before they resume their roles. This will give them time to adapt and prepare for what comes, ensuring they have enough time to be familiar with the organization and its operations.

2. Host An Orientation Session To Communicate Goals & Expectations 

Arrange an orientation session to bring your manager up to speed on what is expected of them in their new roles. 

An orientation session for managers is just as important for new hires. It tells them all they need to know about job expectations, resources and tools at their disposal, and insight into all skills they will need to develop and harness over the length of their service.

Some examples of activities to include in your orientation:

  • Offer insight into expectations that need to be met as managers for the next 30, 60, and 90 days
  • Provide a presentation that gives them an in-depth look into the culture of the organization, expectations of managers, and additional skills that need to be learned
  • A list of available managerial resources and how they can gain access to them.
  • Develop and align goals with them to help them understand the expectations and deliverables

The important thing to do in this stage is to communicate expectations and goals. However, it is also the perfect stage to create an effective workflow and foundation to help the new manager get the hands of their new responsibilities.

3. Introduce The Team

This step fosters familiarity and encourages relationship-building between teams and the new manager. The manager should get to know the team members in the establishment, including their collective roles and objectives. This will facilitate familiarity and begin the process of creating a sense of community in the workplace.

During the introduction, the new manager should be given insight into relevant information about team members, including strengths, weaknesses, and relationships among other team members.

This helps new managers get to know the teams and most members personally. This is important because effective leadership requires a healthy relationship with the employees whom the manager is leading. It also provides an opportunity for the new manager to understand the needs of every team, the challenge these teams face, and the solution to solving these changes.

4. Personalize Interactions

Manager onboarding shouldn’t be a rigid process. It should be tailored to a self-paced learning pattern that the new manager will find more effective and rewarding for them.

More importantly, the onboarding process should not be a one-size-fits-all pattern. It should be made to fit the individual’s skills, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, one manager’s forte might be communication and conflict resolution, and their weakness might lie in time management. Another manager might have strength in the organization and trouble communicating with employees. As a result, it is more profitable to work with the individual manager’s strengths and weaknesses rather than adopting a generalized approach.

Let the managers choose the areas they need to prioritize training. They know themselves best and will be more efficient when given the training they need and not the one the organization wants them to have.

5. Make The Onboarding Process Continuous

Set your new manager up for continuous success by ensuring they always get help. Do this by leaving the door open for them to ask for help even when the official onboarding is over.

Don’t let the onboarding process screech to a halt just because it is over. Implement helpful programs to ensure the manager continues to get useful training for as long as they find it necessary. This will ensure the manager continuously gets the support they need to find their footing in the establishment. It also means the manager will be more efficient than when left to fend for themselves.

Offer manager education programs, mentoring & coaching programs, manager-specific Slack channels, and other growth opportunities made specially to help your manager succeed. This will ensure your new manager continues to lead employees with confidence.

Five Key Steps To Effective Manager Onboarding Process

It is unavoidable for newly-hired managers to feel disoriented about their new roles and responsibilities. However, preparing them for their new roles will ensure they have everything they need to succeed. To prepare your managers to succeed from the start, some steps you can take include:

  • Connect With Them: In the first 90 days as a manager (and even before they commence their role), it is important to establish a relationship with the new manager. This will lighten the burden of their new responsibilities, making it easier for them to adapt to their new role.
  • Align: Choose an executive member to mentor and assist the new manager with their onboarding process. This mentor will show the manager the ropes, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary leadership skills. The mentor will also act as a support system and show the new manager several work styles, the art of emotional intelligence at work, and help the manager build trust in their new workplace.
  • Manage: The third step is to manage the manager. On the first day of the manager’s job, schedule a meeting to highlight daily connections, such as the manager’s goals, objectives, and values for the day. For the next few days, make it a point to discuss relevant issues of the day and tailor a growth strategy for the manager. This will help with their transition into their new role.
  • Plan: Set weekly goals with the new manager. Schedule meetings and shadowing opportunities with necessary stakeholders and create a plan for strategic discussions. 
  • Streamline: Track the manager’s weekly milestones of all plans created. This will act as growth progress to gauge how the manager adapts to and grows in their new role. Include or schedule time for constructive feedback and recognition of the time victories as necessary.

The Manager Onboarding Checklist You Need

Onboarding a new manager can be understandably tiring. To ensure the process is seamless and productive, here is a manager onboarding checklist you can use.

  • Begin the onboarding process even before the manager starts their job in the establishment 
  • Remember, every manager is human, and even the tiniest and most modest acts of kindness go a long way
  • Be upfront and honest without being mean
  • Make time to discuss at length the corporate culture and how the new manager can fit in
  • Allocate time to discuss the necessary company policies
  • Assign an executive mentor to the manager
  • Schedule relevant meetings according to relevancy
  • Review the presence of loyalty programs in your company 
  • Introduce managers to employees as soon as possible
  • Although it is important to give new managers time to settle into their new roles, it is equally important to know that time is a resource that shouldn’t be wasted.

Onboarding Your New Manager Effectively

Designing an adequate and efficient manager onboarding process is essential and crucial to the success of any establishment. After all, managers play significant roles in a company in such a way that a failing manager may cause an establishment to fail.

By following the five key steps outlined in our guidelines, you can ensure your new manager feels supported, engaged, and equipped to lead their teams effectively. With the presence of consistency, creating an onboarding strategy using our tips will make it easier to create efficient managers that will drive the success of your company for years.

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