We all know that first impressions go a long way when it comes to retaining employees! One of the best ways to do this is having a kickass onboarding strategy. And if there’s anybody who can benefit from a great onboarding programme, it’s the manager!
Let’s face it – people management is no joke. While managers don’t often get their hands dirty dealing with the technical responsibilities of the team, it doesn’t really mean that their jobs are any less tough! In fact, for a new manager pick up the reins and steer a group of people he hardly knows can be an incredibly challenging and stressful task.
A manager onboarding programme can be just the right way of making the ‘bosses’ feel comfortable in their skins right from the first day of work!
What Is Manager Onboarding?
Just like you would have an induction for trainees and new joinees, the manager onboarding programme serves to educate the new manager about their responsibilities. This programme need not be that expensive or elaborate, it can include simple activities like checklists, short videos and how to’s, meetings with other departments like HR, payroll, etc. since managers would need to interact along with other teams as well.
The prime goal of manager onboarding is to provide new managers with the tools they require to be successful. After all, the company has made the investment of hiring the manager and also need to support their decision by supporting new managers with an effective transition in place.
Why You Should Invest In Manager Onboarding?
Bad managers account for responsibility with low employee morale, poor engagement, lower productivity, and overall sagging employee experience.
According to Gallup, managers are responsible for up to 70% of the variation in employee engagement statistics.
To put it simply, good managers lead to happy employees, bad managers lead to unhappy employees!
Keep in mind that bad management practices are always not a result of the manager’s fault. Several new managers are pushed into leadership roles without guidance. They are often unsure about company expectations, culture, job responsibilities and the dynamics of the team.
Manager onboarding programmes will show that you care for your managers. This, in turn, will create a cascading effect that extends to all of their direct reports, team members and colleagues.
You have landed a fantastic new manager, but what’s next? Statistics tell us that around 50% of senior management outside hires fail within the first 18 months they are with the company. That is why it becomes essential to have a winning strategy in place to come up with a plan for success even before their first day on the job. Don’t let your new managers go in blind!
Steps To Ensure Effective Onboarding Of Managers!
After understanding the importance of manager onboarding, it is essential to implement an effective programme. So what are the secrets of a good manager onboarding programme that delivers the results you desire? Here are seven steps to doing it right:
1. Reach Out And Connect Well In Advance:
A staggering 73% of new employees state that they would like a review of company policies in the first week. So, why not allow them access right at the beginning? Connect with them and make sure that their questions are answered.
Send the management guidelines and company handbook a week or two in advance. This will help them imagine themselves in their new position and also give a good idea of the company culture. It brings on a welcome relief to new managers and alleviates their stress of knowing what to expect.
2. Communicate Expectations And Goals:
Apart from creating a connection with the new or promoted managers beforehand, it is important to stay aligned throughout the first few months. Don’t assume that just because they are experienced they will automatically know what to do.
Develop and align goals that will help them understand what is expected and their deliverables. Instead of going with the flow, it is essential to create a good foundation that will help them progress in their new role.
3. Align And Introduce The Team:
It’s a good idea to enlist a mentor to support the manager onboarding process. The mentor will be able to provide support to the new manager and help them acclimatize to a new culture.
Also, help the managers get to know their team members by providing a background about their strengths, weaknesses, interpersonal dynamics, and any other relevant information.
For instance, if someone on the team was passed over for a promotion, the new manager should know so that they don’t walk into a hornet’s nest!
4. Plan One-On-One Interactions:
One of the best ways to align new managers to their team is through scheduling one-on-one meetings during onboarding. These meetings don’t have to be too long. A few minutes with each employee will help the manager to get a feel of the opportunities and challenges that might lie ahead of them.
5. Implement People Management Training:
Just because an employee is good at his/her job, it doesn’t mean he/she are good leaders. You can have a training strategy in place to enable these new leaders to become good people managers. Instead of just tossing them into a new role, help them swim the tides of people management by training them.
You can also conduct personality and leadership assessments to get a feel of their leadership style. This, in turn, can help you equip the manager with the tools that will be required for their success.
6. Use Technology To Support:
Make use of tools like an effective Human Resource Information System to facilitate the manager onboarding process. The strategies you use for new hires can also be used to onboard managers.
For example, undertake career development discussions early, create goals and monitor progress. There are several tools you can use to keep everything on schedule and make it easy to complete paperwork and provide feedback.
7. Manage And Streamline Progress:
Track the new manager’s milestones and their progress as they take on the new role. Also, it would be good to have feedback loops to check if they are comfortable. Integrate “wow” moments in the process by including a welcome gift, lunch with the team, introduction in management meetings, a visit from a senior leader and more.
All this will help to create small wins that will go a long way to help the new managers feel welcomed.
Onboarding any new employee is crucial, but the way you onboard a new manager can have far-reaching effects. Getting accustomed to a new company or a new team is not something that can be done overnight. Take the time and have an effective manager onboarding process to ensure your new managers have a smooth ride down the road of success.