Helping employees understand and acclimate to your company’s culture is a critical part of any new hire onboarding process. But when it comes to onboarding new managers, there are additional considerations to keep in mind.
As a key leader in your organization, a manager needs to be familiar with more than just their individual department—they also need to understand how their department fits into the structure and goals of the entire company. Below, eight Young Entrepreneur Council members offer some of the elements needed in manager onboarding if you want to set them—and your company—up for success.
1. Extensive Shadowing
No matter who you’re training, I strongly believe that more context is better. Giving new employees the opportunity to understand the “why” behind what they do is a powerful motivator. It also enables them to feel more engaged from the start. When it comes to onboarding a new manager, this is especially important, which is why I believe training should consist of extensive shadowing of the customer journey and of multiple roles. This will allow the new manager to really get a glimpse into the day-to-day experiences of the customer and team so they can improve those experiences for everyone. – Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep
2. Close Monitoring For Culture Fit
The onboarding for a new manager hire differs from a non-management employee depending on the situation. If the new hire has management experience, the interview process is significantly different so we can determine whether or not their management style is compatible with our culture and values. In this case, the difference in onboarding is subtle. They go through our standard Blue Corona U curriculum with a few additional modules covering topics like interviewing, FMLA, performance reviews, etc. On the other hand, if the new hire doesn’t have previous management experience, in addition to the standard onboarding and management modules, they would also be closely mentored to ensure that the management approach and style they develop fits our culture. – Ben Landers, Blue Corona
3. Training On How to Treat Employees
When we are teaching a new employee, we train them on how to treat clients. When we are training a new manager, we are teaching them how to treat our most important asset as a company—our employees. When we brought in our first level of management, it was a huge struggle because I was trying to learn from them since I had never been a manager in my career. Instead, I learned that what I needed them to do the most was treat each of their direct reports the way I would. – Marjorie Adams, Fourlane
4. Team Introductions And Descriptions
Employee and manager onboarding require different frameworks. For example, a new manager should be well-versed in the team they are managing. Accordingly, when onboarding a manager, you might want to plan meetings and activities according to groups and departments. Additionally, new managers need to quickly familiarize themselves with the entire team. They may need a description of each team member, performance highlights, colleague dynamics and more. These reports will be more detailed than documents you would send to an employee. New managers are like new employees, but there are crucial differences because their responsibilities are different. Because new managers are representative of the organization, they require a more comprehensive and detailed onboarding framework. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever
5. Support For Their Ideas And Decisions
Set your managers up for success by immediately supporting their ideas and decisions. Give them the freedom to manage and do their job, resisting the urge to overmanage them. What is needed is not as much in the onboarding as it is in the hiring process. Take your time in hiring, and then by the time the manager begins, they are absolutely clear on the duties and expectations of the position and how you will measure success. Then give them the freedom to do their job as you set forth. Overmanaging a new manager does not effectively onboard them; it communicates to the teams beneath them that the manager is temporary and potentially ineffectual. Set the tone of confidence right after you hire and give your managers the confidence to lead. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
6. Practice Work
Bringing in a new employee has different needs than bringing in a new leader. For one, the roles they’re to play in the organization require different skill sets and have different impacts. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that practice projects in combination with meaningful meetings with important players in the organization can help to situate your lead talent coming into the company. The practice projects should be structured in such a way that reiterates group success. No matter how talented a leader is, the best metric of performance management is the success of the company or team members as a whole. It’s the best bet for the long-term success of the organization. It’s also in this process that they connect with other leaders and staff. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
Because a manager role requires more responsibility, it also requires more attention during the onboarding process. This is someone who will be a leader for the company, and hiring the wrong person could make or break the company’s progress. To set a leader up for success, it’s important for other leaders to show them the ropes, answer their questions and be around for general help, especially at the beginning. There should be enough time for the new leader to get situated in their role and feel comfortable taking over completely. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
More follow-up is needed. If a new employee misses the boat on a few things in the first few days, that’s easily fixable. If a manager does that, you could damage their credibility with their new team. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance