Staffing Management

Dear Workforce We’re Developing Onboarding for New Managers. What Should Be Included

By Staff Report

Mar. 1, 2010

Dear Change Manager:

The transition to new teams, and especially to first-time leadership positions, can be the most difficult that an associate will make in his or her career. Moving into leadership for the first time is the most stressful life event in a person’s professional career. An onboarding process to ease that anxiety is a great step toward ensuring an employee’s success in the new role.

Conduct a selection review discussion
The onboarding process is not only for the associate—you should help new leaders by providing them with any available assessment data you have from the selection process (360 feedback, tests, assessments, batteries, etc). By arming new leaders with this information, they can help create a short-term (roughly six weeks) development plan with their associates. Leaders need to help their new team members make a strong start—they need to encourage networking, coach for success, guide them as to how they can leverage their strengths, and help them understand their development needs.

Interpersonal skill development
There are a number of critical interpersonal skills that will help these associates successfully make that transition—skills such as the ability to embrace or lead change (depending on their new role/level), move beyond conflict, provide and receive feedback, and value differences in the styles, abilities and motivations of their colleagues.

Formal learning, accompanied by support and coaching from the employee’s new leader, increases a person’s speed to productivity. Additionally, if the associate’s new leader has the employee’s selection data, the leader can better prioritize which of these skills are most critical to success in the new role.

Encourage purposeful networking
Probably the most critical part of any onboarding process is purposeful networking. More than reaching out to new team members and new internal partners, purposeful networking is about reaching out to those team members and colleagues who can help them in their new role.

These are colleagues who can help them to learn written and unwritten team rules or provide coaching, guidance or information they’ll need in their new role. By adding a networking component into the onboarding process (either through formal learning or on-the-job experience), you are developing people who will be more confident and collaborative, and they will possess a broader understanding of how your team fits into the larger picture in your organization.

These elements, coupled with standard or formal organizational policy reviews, will help set these associates up for a successful transition.

SOURCE: Aviel Selkovits, project manager, leadership & workforce solutions, Development Dimensions International, Pittsburgh, February 19, 2010

LEARN MORE: Some steps on how to reinforce leadership training.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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