Think back to your first day on the job. Information is flying at you from every direction. Everywhere you turn, there is someone new to meet. You feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know how you can possibly get anything done without screaming from the top of your lungs. If you are a new manager, however, you have even more to worry about: keeping up with the company’s culture, learning all of the policies that you are expected to implement, and so on.
As a manager, it’s crucial that you go through an onboarding program, just as employees do. As with any process, there are always bad habits that form as time and management changes. Below are 5 of the top bad habits to avoid when onboarding your new manager and how you can adjust each for success:
Don’t leave your employees in the dark
Change in management affects everyone in the organization. Make sure you are openly communicating with your employees so they know what to expect through the transition and in the months ahead. According to a study, 70% of organizational changes fail with unproductive management processes, like lack of communication, being a large contributing factor. Be proactive and honest, because leaving employees to learn their or their department’s fate through media or the grapevine will be detrimental to organizational trust.
Do this instead: Involve employees at all levels of the organization either with informational bulletins or actual deliverables that affect the transition. The involvement gives employees a hand in some of the adjustments and gives them investment in a smooth transition while open communication facilitates trust between the new leader and existing team.
Read more on how to create a meaningful onboarding program.
Don’t let them go in blind
You’ve landed an awesome new manager, but what’s next? Around 50% of senior outside hires fail within the first 18 months they are with the company. By not having a winning strategy, you are not only hurting your leader, but you are also hurting your organization. Help ensure that this does not happen by coming up with a plan for success before they start their first day on the job.
Do this instead: Develop and align goals that will guide the position deliverables and help the new manager understand their career’s progression. By no means do you have to stick with that strategy as time goes on, but it will at least give the company, team and leader a foundation. Not to mention how satisfied everyone involved will be when a task in the plan is achieved. This clear window of expectation clearly points out when the organization is one step closer to the desired end goal.
Don’t forget to reach out beforehand
It doesn’t matter how many jobs you’ve held in the past, the first day is always overwhelming. One of the scariest parts is not knowing the basic company rules and guidelines that are second nature to an experienced employee. Think: where to park, what people do for lunch, where the bathroom is, etc. Build a new manager’s confidence by reaching out beforehand to cover the basics. They may be simple, but to someone who has never worked for the organization before it will truly ease the mind.
Do this instead: Send the management guidelines and company handbook a week or two beforehand. A staggering 73% of new employees say they would like a review of company policies in the first week, so why not allow them access to both even before the first week? With these policies in hand, the new manager can begin imagining themselves in their new position as well as visualizing the company culture. For bonus points, pick up your phone the day before and make sure they have all their questions answered.
Don’t miss these 3 most overlooked steps in onboarding new employees.
Don’t overwhelm them
While it may be tempting to give the new manager the work that’s been piling since the position opened, don’t. This will only overwhelm and if you think even experienced middle and upper managers won’t be turned away by disorganization and late nights, think again. Around 16% of managers leave jobs early on, so while the first day will be busy, work to ease into the huge deliverable list.
Do this instead: Allow for a grace period for acclimation. Introduce their team and, if possible, find time for small or individual meetings throughout the first few weeks so he or she can learn employees on an individual basis. Be open with team dynamics and give examples of what has and hasn’t worked in different management processes. Basically, discuss all things that won’t be found in the handbook.
Don’t ignore them
A few months or so and the manager is no longer new, right? No matter how green or experienced your hire is, be sure they aren’t treated as a tenured employee. Of course, they are skilled and capable, but there should be an open form of communication so that if they happen to be experiencing any discomfort or stress, it’s addressed.
Do this instead: Meeting with your new manager every week or every other week for the first 6-12 months of their employment. This doesn’t have to be rigid during as time wears on, but having a time they can expect to have the chance to discuss problems or challenges is important for both you and the busy manager. Work these into your calendar so that even a 15-minute chat is available, so they know to use you as a resource whenever they need. This practice keeps you aware of what the manager and organization are facing.
Onboarding any employee is important, but the way you onboard a new manager can have lasting effects on employee engagement and motivation. No matter the expertise, getting accustomed to a new company and team cannot be done overnight. Take time to ensure that communication is open with employees and with the new manager to ensure they have a smooth onboarding process that can lead them down the road of success.
If you’ve finally found the perfect manager, but don’t want to onboard them alone, don’t sweat it. Our team at Click Boarding wants to support you and your new hire with an amazing onboarding process.