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New Manager Onboarding: Setting New Managers up for Success

Whether recruiting internally or externally, hiring a new manager is an opportunity to introduce new perspectives, improve your organization’s efficiency, and boost your employees’ morale and engagement

Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to train (and retain) managers, with data showing that almost two-thirds of those hired—about 60 percent—fail within their first two years. Meanwhile, 80 percent of new hires say that a bad onboarding experience would cause them to quit

The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by creating and implementing a solid new manager onboarding plan. 

But what should be included, and how do the considerations differ when hiring internally vs. externally? 

We’ll answer those questions and share some best practices for hiring new managers. 

What should be included in manager onboarding?

Whether your new manager is coming from outside the company or has been promoted from another role, there are numerous points that your onboarding process should cover. 

These points include, but are not limited to: 

  • Who they’re responsible for managing, collaborating with, and reporting to 
  • Information about each team member’s role, skills, and challenges
  • Information about team budgets
  • Company culture, missions, and values
  • Weekly, monthly, and quarterly performance goals 
  • Various company policies, such as bonuses, paid leave, and performance reviews 

Read on to learn more about onboarding new managers and some best practices to provide a positive onboarding experience.

New manager onboarding best practices

Every organization has unique onboarding needs. However, there are some fundamental best practices that all organizations should follow when hiring new managers. 

Whether you recruit new managers from inside or outside your company, following these practices will help make your onboarding process as frictionless as possible, setting your people—and your business—up for long-term success. 

  • Set clear expectations. Communicate your expectations about what tasks and responsibilities the new manager will take on and the goals you expect them to accomplish. For example, you should set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals and individual, department-wide, and company-wide goals. 
  • Check-in and communicate often. Practice open and frequent communication throughout the onboarding process, like scheduling one-on-one meetings where questions can be answered, and concerns can be addressed.
  • Create opportunities for learning and development. Offer training programs and educational content targeted at helping managers develop and hone their leadership skills. The Learning Cloud from WorkRamp makes learning fun, easy, and accessible for new (and not-so-new) team members. 
  • Ask for—and act on—feedback from new hires. Your new hires can provide actionable feedback about how your manager onboarding process could be improved. 
  • Accommodate different learning styles. Everyone has their own way of learning, and different methods offer different benefits. For example, there are advantages to formal learning vs. informal learning or instructor-led training (ILT) vs. online learning. Your onboarding process should incorporate multiple methods and types of content, which will help ensure that new hires absorb the information. 

How to onboard new managers

Now that you’ve learned about some best practices for onboarding new managers, the next step is putting them into action. 

Whether your organization is large or small, here are seven practical tips for bringing new managers on board smoothly. 

  • Introduce company values and leadership styles. External hires must be educated about your company’s culture and values. Both internal and external hires should be taught about your preferred management style, such as collaborative, participative, or transformational management.
  • Arrange team introductions and regular meetings. Introduce new managers to the people they’ll be working with beforehand. It’s important to clearly communicate your team’s hierarchy and where the new manager stands.
  • Discuss budget-related information in detail. Managers must be given accurate and transparent information about their budget and how it may be allocated. This will help them make cost-effective decisions about spending, such as how much to allocate toward team-building events and employee development.
  • Provide both initial training and ongoing leadership development. Remember that professional development doesn’t stop when onboarding ends. Learn more about leadership development and how to design leadership training programs that work.
  • Explain your feedback and performance review process. Performance reviews are essential, but every company handles them differently. Explain how your new managers should provide feedback and how often they should do so.
  • Consider pairing newly-hired managers with mentors or coaches. Learn more about the benefits of workplace mentorship and how to create a coaching culture
  • Use the right onboarding software. A cloud-based onboarding platform can help you decrease ramp time and boost productivity.

How to onboard new managers who are internal employees

How is the process different when someone is promoted to a manager from another role within the company? 

When onboarding new managers from within, the process is similar to onboarding external hires.

The chief difference is that because they are already employees, internal hires will already have some familiarity with your workplace culture and company policies. They will also already know some of the people they’ll be working with, which saves time on introductions. 

While this provides a useful base of knowledge, internal hires will still require training to help them develop leadership skills and transition into a management role. 

For example, they will need to be educated about the budget they’ll have to work with, different management styles they can use, and appropriate strategies for workplace conflict management. 

Streamline your onboarding process with the Learning Cloud 

Your onboarding process can make—or break—the long-term success of your managers and other team members. Be sure you’re setting new hires up for success with tools designed to make the onboarding process easy, engaging, and enjoyable. 

Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you deliver a better onboarding experience for your new managers, internal employees, and customers. 

Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 

Complete the form for a custom demo.

Emily Homrok

WorkRamp Contributor
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with over eight years of writing experience. She graduated from Drexel University in 2011.

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