New Manager Onboarding

Achieve an Easy Transition Into a Managerial Role


A new manager onboarding process must be strategic and well-designed. Managers have complex roles which require a longer-term plan that emphasises progressive learning goals. In addition, the leadership behaviour and actions of the manager should align with the company’s culture.

In the last 24 hours, 82 promising leaders arrived into newly appointed executive roles. A year from now, 40 of them will have failed. Nearly two-thirds of all leaders entering executive roles are not prepared for what they will face. That’s probably why 50% of them fail, according to Navalent.

In this article, we will discuss onboarding for managers. We will start by discussing why onboarding for executive roles needs strategic consideration. Additionally, we will briefly touch on the checklist involved in a new manager onboarding. You will discover how it influences the effectiveness of the newly employed manager.

Get also this guide exclusively made to onboard new managers. Find a complete timeline made just for their needs.

New Manager Onboarding Insights

Nearly two-thirds of all leaders entering executive roles are not prepared for what they will face. That’s probably why 50% of them fail.

—Navalent, ‘Rising to Power – The Journey of Exceptional Executives’.

The Executive Onboarding Process

Complex roles require a longer-term plan that emphasises progressive learning goals.

—Adam Hickman, Ph.D. & Senior Workplace Strategist for Gallup.

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New Manager Onboarding Definition


The process of onboarding for managers refers to the sum of all sub-processes, actions or steps taken in order to integrate a new manager into a company. This strictly refers to bringing new leaders on board from outside the organisation. When an existing employee receives a promotion to a leadership role she/ he will participate in a crossboarding process.

Onboarding managers has to be slightly different from onboarding regular employees. Sure, there will be common elements. The clearest examples are that all new employees will need a new job orientation programme, and preparatory work prior to their first onboarding day.

Another example, is that all new hires will require some sort of training. But there will be slight differences between a new manager training and a new employee training.

Yet, there is more at stake when dealing with the leadership of an organisation. This means that onboarding for managers needs more attention. So let’s review why manager onboarding matters most.


Why Does New Manager Onboarding Matter?

Managers are responsible for up to 70% of the variation in employee engagement statistics, according to data by Gallup. Managers are an important pillar in defining the workplace culture. This entails, among others, creating an environment which fosters responsibility, initiative, engagement. As highlighted by Gallup, managers can “build workplaces that are engines of productivity and profitability.”

On the other hand, poor management can alienate talented employees. You might have heard the saying “People don’t quit bad jobs, they quit bad managers.” As cliche as the saying might be, there is a relation to real employee experiences.

Dr. Bob Nelson, the world’s leading authority on employee recognition, motivation and engagement highlights the role of the manager for employee motivation. “An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.”

Would you like to work for a manager that micro-manages you? Or that pushes specific ideas in spite of your technical expertise? Why waste time in a business organisation that allows unfit people be in charge? The leadership culture of a workplace is essential.


What Does New Manager Onboarding Include?

So, a new manager onboarding has very high stakes. A regular employee will act in accordance to some predefined objectives and modes of action. But, it is the management that has to define those very objectives and modes of action. Additionally, the manager has a large role in shaping the culture of a workplace.

Anyway, both employee and new manager onboarding processes are very similar. They normally include:

  • Set and align expectations and responsibilities
  • Connect with the team and company
  • Understand and be part of a new Culture and working processes
  • Train basic tasks for each position
  • Complete some paperwork
  • And so on.

So, there are many important aspects to include in a new staff onboarding process.

New Manager Onboarding Insights

Managers are responsible for up to 70% of the variation in employee engagement statistics.

—Gallup, Business Journal.

The 3 Best Practices for a New Manager Onboarding


Integrating a new manager into the new company’s system entails an effective onboarding process that aids their comfort right from the first day at work. The purpose of manager onboarding is to educate new managers about their roles and responsibilities in the workplace. They play a vital role in the successful running of the company’s activities.

Undoubtedly, the primary aim of manager onboarding is to provide new managers with the right tools needed to succeed in their roles. Therefore, the onboarding guide for managers should assist them in achieving an effective transition into the new work environment. We have highlighted the best practices to create a successful new manager onboarding experience. Take a look:

1. Create a Comprehensive Planning

The onboarding plan for new managers should assist them in understanding the company’s expectations, job responsibilities, and the team’s dynamics. According to Business Insider, 50% to 70% of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a management role.

Once acknowledging how much is at stake when onboarding new managers, the next step is planning on all the steps that will ensure a successful integration.

A well-structured manager onboarding takes into consideration the new manager’s needs and specific measures of success at the operational, leadership, cultural, and organisational levels.

2. Define and Align Clear Expectations

When the manager onboarding is done properly, it will prevent the new manager from going into his role blindly. The onboarding process will ensure that you as a new manager understand what you need to succeed during and after the onboarding campaign.

Navalent, an organisational and leadership consulting firm conducted a 10 year study of executive performance. With this study, they were able to identify various challenges that new executive face. One of these challenges, is being able to fully grasp the challenges they would face in an executive role. In fact, 45% indicated they had minimal understanding of executive role specific challenges. Should we insist on how detrimental this is? The data says it all.

When you start a new job as a manager in a company, you need to fully understand what you are up against. It doesn’t even matter if this is your first management role, or not.

Thus, clearly communicating expectations for progress and success is something your employer must do. This will enhance your ability to acclimatise to the new role, and start building confidence and trust.

3. Build Executive Training which Has an Impact on Culture

A new manager onboarding process should make the new manager feel valued and engaged, thereby creating the right impression in him. This can only be achieved with proper training. Executive training will spur you as a new manager to steer the wheel of the company’s leadership in the direction that yields the desired results and productivity.

The same study from Navalent showcases the unmet expectations with regards to preparing new executives become successful in their new roles. In fact, 76% of new executives indicated that the formal development processes of their organization were not, or were at best “minimally,” helpful in preparing them for their executive role.

Part of being a leader is also acting with the awareness of how your actions are reflecting and contributing to the culture of the workplace. According to the 2020 Global Culture Report from O.C. Tanner, leaders have a major impact on the company’s culture and the employee experience.

New Manager Onboarding Insights

50% to 70% of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a role. Regardless of whether they were an external hire or promoted from within.

—Business Insider, 4 Common Reasons Half of All New Executives Fail.

Onboarding Checklist for Managers


The onboarding checklist for managers showcases the set of activities that any new manager has to go through in order to achieve full integration into their role and company. All of these activities would ideally make the experience of a newly employed manager to be pleasant right from day 1 at work.

We have drafted a separate article on the subject of the onboarding checklist for managers. There, you will also find a free onboarding checklist template, which is structured on the framework of the 4 C’s of Onboarding (compliance, clarification, culture, and connection).


Must-Have Activities on an Onboarding Checklist for Managers


In the current section, we chose to present some activities that we think should not miss from a new manager onboarding checklist.

Executive Training

Different companies might have very different approaches to leadership and management. So, you might expect having to participate in a manager training programme, even if you already have management experience on your resume.

Training programmes will boost your leadership and decision-making skills, thereby improving your ability to manage the human and other resources at your disposal. You need to make sure that any future decisions and strategies are fully in accordance with pre-existing company policies. These policies will define the ways in which certain situations have to be handled.

New Team and Departments Connections

We already establish that a manager plays a pivotal role both within a team and the larger business organisation. Thus, as a new manager, it is essential to start establishing connections based on trust and a shared purpose. So, for example, it is essential for a new manager to get to know his/ her team. This will ensure grasping the strengths and shortcomings of the team. Additionally, it is also essential to start connecting with fellow managers. Leadership culture is a sum of both policies and practices from fellow managerial staff.

Provision of Mentorship

Mentorship should not be regarded as something beneath the time and and scope of a new manager onboarding.

You will greatly benefit from having someone with the right leadership qualities among the top management team by your side at the beginning of your new employee journey. But a mentor provides much more than a support network. It also helps you build confidence, and it provides an alternative source of learning and development. Mentorship facilitates your understanding of workplace culture and helps you build a sense of commitment to your new role.

Regular Check-Ins

Your new manager onboarding plan should allocate a considerable share of activities to regular check-ins and tracking your progress. This will provide the basis for addressing any upcoming challenges. As a consequence, you and your direct supervisor can map out a plan to address any arising issues.

Progress Tracking

The check-in meetings also provide the opportunity for providing evaluations based on your onboarding metrics. This will ensure that you are meeting the necessary milestones. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback. Your own experiences can shape future onboarding efforts both for new hires that will come under your leadership, and any other new hires across the organisation.

Find below, a simple and graphic onboarding journey for your new managers:

New Manager Onboarding

New Hire Checklist for Managers: Focus on the Hiring Manager


Leading up to day 1 at the new workplace, your company has to ensure proper preparation to enable new managers’ success from the very beginning. The hiring manager will play a crucial role in this preparation. Since we already discussed your checklist for the newly hired manager, let’s turn things around and discuss the activities of your hiring manager.

The new hire checklist for managers will contain all the key activities where your hiring manager will participate as a facilitator of their integration:


Complete Background Check on the Newly Employed Manager

Background checks ensure the safety and security of clients and workers by taking an inventory of the new manager’s antecedents with other companies in the past.

Set IT Onboarding in Motion

Depending on your contract, you will receive various pieces of equipment. Additionally, you will need access to tools, access credentials to communication platforms, access to facilities (if working on-premise) etc. All of these activities fall under the realm of IT Onboarding. The hiring manager has to set this in motion as soon as you sign your contract. This will ensure that, by the first day comes, everything is ready for you.

Additionally, your IT onboarding does not stop when you you log in to your new workstation and company software. Depending on the degree of specialisation, you might require some walkthrough sessions in order to be fully confident with every single tool. Many companies might put a learning catalogue at your disposal, and you are free to pick those elements you are not familiar with. This can be done in collaboration with your hiring manager, and whatever you select should be present on your onboarding plan.

Onboarding Planning: The New Manager Onboarding Checklist

This means that your hiring manager drafts version 1.0 of your new hire onboarding checklist. This will serve as a guideline prior to starting the job. You can expect the first 1:1 meeting to focus on the checklist and check if any alterations should be made. Additionally, as you progress in your journey, when you identify new needs, you can document it all in your checklist.

this involves the detailed documentation of the company’s goals and work priorities that align with the company’s goals. No doubt, this serves as the new manager onboarding guide to keep you focused on the key outcomes expected from you.

Communicating Your Arrival

Your team needs to know when you arrive. There might be some coordination involved in getting everyone to have breakfast or lunch together. The welcome email to new staff will inform the team about your arrival date, your role and even a few details about you.

This allows the existing team members to welcome you on the first day and how they will be of assistance to you.

The manager checklist usually sets the tone of the hitch-free manager onboarding, and this is further enhanced with the proper employee onboarding software such as introdus. As a tool, introdus will simplify manager onboarding with a programme that will boost your confidence to perform on the job. With introdus, you are assured of a streamlined platform with the right education to manage people and other resources.


New Manager Onboarding: In Closing


With effective manager onboarding, an organisation is assured of a process that will painstakingly aid in getting and retaining the services of a competent manager.

As stated earlier, the manager is the face of a company. S/he is responsible for making vital decisions. Bad managers are responsible for low employee morale, poor engagement, lower productivity, and poor employee experiences. No doubt, with a competent manager, an organisation is assured of achieving the desired level of productivity from its workforce and thus accomplishing its goals in the process.

The entire team at introdus, employee onboarding software, is committed to crafting the best employee experiences, regardless of the level of seniority or the stage of the employee lifecycle. Our specialists are active in creating new tools that can aid your integration, or departure from a company. Some examples are the offboarding checklist template and the onboarding checklist template. We also prepared a sample of onboarding survey questions. You can all of these and more in comprehensive articles on our blog-HR.

New Manager Onboarding Insights

Leaders must understand their role in shaping an organisation’s culture, and organisations must make intentional efforts to help develop their leaders.

—O.C. Tanner.

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