Typically, a manager’s position in any company comes with challenges unique to their leadership position. Besides, maintaining the existing managerial qualities, a new manager has to adapt to the new working environment and organizational culture. This is why giving the onboarding process enough attention is important to a company’s productivity. 

Onboarding managers has some similar elements to onboarding new employees. However, onboarding a new manager is vital as it has much to do with the company’s future performance. It determines the success rate of the workforce team. Keep in mind that a poor onboarding process may turn away a manager with great potential to improve employees’ productivity and keep the company on course concerning the vision and mission. On the flip side, a great experience can set a manager up with the foundation they need to do great things.

1. Give a Company Overview

Giving a new manager the company overview is the simplest first step. However, this does not mean the process requires less attention. The first step familiarizes the executive with the primary goal of the organization. In turn, the new manager already has a picture in mind about the managerial model to integrate so that all the employees put maximum effort into attaining their daily targets. Begin by talking about the company’s offerings. What does the organization sell, produce, or manufacture? It is noteworthy to certify that the new manager has interest and knowledge in generating sales for the products, commodities, or services provided. Dealing with different offerings can be a headache for new managers because they have to shift their mindset and set new expectations. By giving an overview of the company offerings and supporting the new leader in managing their expectations, you are assisting them in gaining the confidence to maintain and increase the team’s energy levels.

Secondly, introduce the executive to the company’s values, mission statements, and vision. A new manager needs to understand who you are and the sole purpose of your organization. Remember that all the stakeholders have expectations, and the management department has a fundamental role in ensuring all expectations are met. Pointing out the organization’s values, mission statements, and vision assists the leader in establishing strategies geared toward accomplishing the company’s purpose. A particular management model may be perfect for one organization but ineffective for another. Therefore, it is the manager’s role to implement the best model based on leadership style, nature of work, resource allocation, and project priorities, among other critical features.

Third, highlight the organization’s management culture. A new manager needs to understand what makes the firm unique. They may drive the workforce to maintain a strong existing culture or cultivate a desired new one. Organizational culture is everyone’s responsibility; thus, a manager’s ability to make decisions while adhering to a company’s culture significantly impacts productivity. While management onboarding, it is also crucial to mention company policies. What is the code of conduct for employees, and what happens when there is a breach? What is the roadmap for daily operations? A manager must ensure employees comply with all the rules and regulations of the company.

Another crucial step of manager onboarding is reviewing employee benefits. The standard benefits for employees in most firms are medical coverage, life insurance, retirement benefits, and disability support. Benefits are relevant not only to employees but also to the company’s output. What benefits are in place? Are they the right benefits for employees’ performance? For instance, access to a large network of gyms benefits an employee’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. This directly affects their performance at the workplace. A new manager may introduce other comprehensive benefits packages to retain talent and recruit a more talented workforce.

2. Set Expectations

After giving the company overview, it is time to make sure the manager understands all the processes, goals, and outcomes they will be responsible for. Begin by outlining your expectations. It is through these expectations that a manager does what needs to be done to accomplish their goals, motivates the employees, and benefits the organization at large.

New managers should be aware of what they need to accomplish in particular departments. For instance, which sector needs substantial performance improvement? Which department is the best performing, and what should be done to maximize the performance? Management onboarding also involves mentioning the breakthroughs and achievements of a company. That said, the manager will incorporate effective strategies and management models to progress to the next stage based on the provided information associated with the previous milestone. While at it, it would be best to assist the manager in establishing a powerful performance management cycle. Thus, provide the manager with the last evaluation of the employee performance process and the current performance progress of every employee.

Aside from the responsibilities specific to their role, there are a few general expectations that should be set for all managers.

  • Accountability. Managers should understand that they are responsible for the outcomes their team needs to achieve.
  • Transparency. Managers need to instill in their employees the culture of reporting any updates, changes, mistakes, and setbacks, among other elements. This significantly helps with decision-making concerning necessary adjustments. Moreover, it builds and strengthens trustworthy relationships in the workplace. Transparency also plays an important role in recognizing the effort and accomplishment of every employee.
  • Culture. As leaders, every manager plays an important role in fostering a strong company culture. Make sure they understand the type of culture your organization is striving for and how they can promote it.
  • Delegation. What work do you expect managers to take on and what work do you expect them to delegate? Make sure this expectation is clear.
  • Communication. How often are managers expected to communicate results and challenges to leadership?

3. Start the Training Process

Just like any employee, managers need to be trained on the processes and software. This includes getting their email set up, briefing them on your calendar or scheduling system, adding them to any communication tools, and industry-specific software.

Does your company require training on equal employment opportunity laws, workplace harassment, or sensitive data policy? Your managers should be enrolled in these sessions.

Even if your new manager is being promoted from within the company, there are still processes and tools they will be unfamiliar with, like approving budgets or conducting performance reviews. These are critical managerial skills they wouldn’t have picked up as an individual contributor.

In addition to training on tools and processes, your company may want to train new managers on soft skills. Some areas to focus on can include:

  • Conflict management
  • Communication
  • Managing former co-workers
  • Identifying skill gaps


4. Introduce the Team

It is now time to familiarize the manager with the team. This is critical as it creates a rapport between the leader and the team members. Keep in mind that the manager and employees are dealing with a change, which can be challenging. Although both parties will slowly adjust to the changes over time, it is significant that they are open-minded and comfortable with each other’s presence. Therefore, the new leader and the team should help each other accept, understand, and adapt to adjustments. A good starting point is to establish preferences for communication. Is it more effective to send a message or have a quick video chat? Will you communicate mainly via email or through a different tool? Establishing these preferences will help to shorten the adjustment period and build trust between the manger and the team.

Another critical step of onboarding managers is briefing them about the responsibility of each team member. The performance of every individual affects the company’s productivity directly or indirectly. It is the manager’s role to ensure every member is trying to perform to the best of their ability. This can only happen if the manager understands every employee’s current responsibilities, performance, and full potential. This step also helps in the proper delegation of tasks and authorities. Mismatch of job responsibilities can create a lot of confusion, miscommunication, and poor performance in the workplace. In addition, make a point of highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of every team member. The manager will thus establish the most constructive technique to aid employees in working on their weaknesses and utilizing their strengths.

In conjunction with that, set up a one-on-one meeting for the team members and the new manager. There is a need for the leader to know all the team members on individual levels. What are their interests and hobbies? Face-to-face communication comes in handy when delegating tasks and giving projects. This is how the manager, to a larger extent, understands every team member’s individual capabilities, creativity, and innovation abilities. Additionally, encourage the new manager to schedule a team-building activity to build morale, improve socializing, and encourage team spirit. While at it, the manager will have a convenient consultation session with the employees about their preferred management styles, the challenges they are currently facing, and practical ideas to keep the company on the right course.

5. Check In Regularly

New managers may be just as anxious and uncertain as new employees. Therefore, do not expect them to be perfect and meet all the expectations during the first few months. It would be best to set up meetings between new managers and the HR department to monitor the progress of the new leader. Note that the acclimating process is not only about improving the company’s productivity but also prioritizing the manager’s wellbeing. A leader’s mental, emotional, and physical health is just as important as an employee’s. That said, other than performance, keep track of the new manager’s insights and thoughts about working in the new environment. Give the new leader endless opportunities to open up about challenges they face in guiding their team. It is also advisable to introduce the manager to a mentor who will assist in improving problem-solving abilities and managing work-related stress and pressure.

An onboarding process does not mean one is incapable of performing their duties. It is one of the most effective methods to assist the workforce in adjusting to a new working environment and, at the same time, attaining their maximum potential. Onboarding new managers is, therefore, a critical process as it determines the performances of individual employees, the productivity of a particular team, and the accomplishments of the entire organization. For this to happen, you have to master effective steps of a successful acclimating process. 

As you continue to build out your onboarding process, you may begin to find areas you want to improve and focus on—like some of your wellness programs and benefits. To get started improving these areas, talk to a wellbeing specialist today!




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