Human Resources

How to Empower Managers to Onboard Effectively

By EverwiseFebruary 23, 2017

A new hire’s first 90 days could very well be the most crucial. According to the Academy of Management Journal, it typically takes new employees about 90 days to adjust to a new job. During that time period, they typically build a rapport with their co-workers and managers, and become familiar with the company’s values.

When you think about the term “onboarding,” you probably picture putting together a training manual, making introductions, and setting up workstations. While those steps make for a great start, effective onboarding goes a step further. In fact, the faster new hires become properly prepared for their new jobs, the faster they’ll be able to start contributing to your company’s success.

Here are some things you can do to empower your managers to onboard their new hires more effectively:

Make sure your managers take the lead role

Instead of dictating to your managers what sort of onboarding program they should be implementing, get them involved in the creation of the program itself. If you trust your managers to essentially run an entire department, then no one is better equipped to understand the job responsibilities and needs of the new hire better than them.

Meet with your manager prior to a new hire starting to make sure they have all the tools they need to ensure a successful onboarding process. Do they have a plan in place? Do they have all the proper HR forms? And most importantly, do they feel confident in the success of the program?

Send reminders to your managers immediately prior to new employees starting

Google recently revealed their onboarding process, which they said improved their onboarding results by 25 percent. One of the reasons for their success was the fact that their managers were properly prepared in advance of the new hires’ start dates. By sending reminders to their managers the week prior to the new employees starting, and getting the managers to think about it immediately beforehand, they were able to reduce new hire time to productivity by a full month.

Give your managers an outline

Google also provides their managers with a general to-do list that serves as suggestions for their new hires. The trick is to not fill in the details, but to just outline the main points of what you want them to do with the new hires. For example, Google’s outline looks like this:

  1. Have a role and responsibilities discussion.
  2. Match your new hire with a peer buddy.
  3. Help your new hire build a social network.
  4. Set up onboarding check-ins once a month for your new hire’s first six months.
  5. Encourage open dialogue.

These five steps are simple and leave the interpretation and implementation actions up to the manager, giving that manager ownership and guidance at the same time.

Be open to feedback

As with anything else, being able to accept feedback and learn from it, is essential in empowering your managers. Ask them for feedback after the conclusion of each new hire’s onboarding process. Give them a feedback survey or meet with them in person to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and if they have any new ideas on ways to improve.

Be in it for the long haul

Don’t be complacent with your onboarding process, and don’t let your managers be complacent either. Encourage your managers to experiment with different approaches to see what works best. Even if you think you have a winning formula, there is always room for improvement.



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