Utilising the role of the manager in the onboarding process

Published by Lily Winslow on

Utilising the role of the manager in the onboarding process

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There are lots of people involved in the onboarding process of a new employee: for example, HR, IT, a buddy, the new hire themselves.

The role that can’t be understated is that of the manager.

Not only does a manager understand what a new starter needs to accomplish. They understand what is required for them to make a difference in the team and the connections they need to make, in order to successfully contribute to the team and organisational goals.

With that in mind, it’s the manager who can have the biggest impact on the success of a new hire at your organisation.

Research into new hire performance states that the biggest reasons for failure are a poor grasp of how the organisation works, a misalignment with organisational culture and a difficulty in forging alliances with peers.

All of these factors are within a manager’s influence. A manager holds the key to successfully onboarding new hires quickly and effectively, and effective onboarding increases employee engagement and retention. The role of the manager is clearly crucial in the onboarding process. So how can you inspire managers to deliver great onboarding experiences? And what tools do they need for success?

Make the onboarding process easy

Make onboarding a new hire easy for managers.

This isn’t about lowering advanced information to beginner level, but about making things as easy possible to do.

Giving managers a clear set of onboarding tasks is the most effective way to do this.

Be clear about what a manager needs to do in their new hire’s first day, first week, first month and first six months. When people don’t complete a task, it creates tension that they want to resolve. This tension helps us to remember information and motivates us to complete it (McKinney, 1935).

colleagues shaking hands in a meeting room

Make the onboarding process attractive

You could argue that it’s ‘just part of a manager’s job’ to onboard new hires into their team, but often, it’s something managers have to fit in alongside their other deadlines and responsibilities.

To get the most of out a manager who is onboarding someone new, you have to make the task attractive to them. Tell them what they stand to gain and make them feel good about themselves for successfully supporting their new hire through the onboarding process.

People are more likely to do things that make them feel good (Fogg, 2019). Try sharing stories of successful onboarding experiences across your organisation, highlighting the role of the manager.

Make the onboarding process social

People are heavily influenced by what other people do – especially by those they resemble or want to be like (Cialdini, 2007).

To get the most out of your managers, show them a manager who onboards new hires really well. Ask them to directly share their onboarding tips and tricks with other managers.

This will work to motivate and inspire those who are onboarding new hires, as well as creating a network where managers can ask for and share advice at the point of need.

Designing and implementing an effective onboarding process

The role of the manager in onboarding cannot be overlooked or assumed. It needs to be part of the design of your onboarding systems and processes. To get the most out of new hires, you need to consider how you are going to make the manager’s role in the onboarding process easy, attractive and social.

At BAD, we combine easy, attractive and social to make digital onboarding portals –  a central space where managers can see what’s required of them, get help and resources, and connect with other managers who are onboarding new hires into their teams.

We’ve seen 50% reductions in onboarding time and improved employee satisfaction scores through their usage in customer environments.

Get in touch if you’d like your new hires to learn through immersive digital experiences.

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