Managers are accountable for leading, engaging and developing the most important assets in any organisation - people. But despite the criticality of their work, in many instances there is not enough being done to set up new managers for success - and it is costing businesses plenty.

Onboarding of new employees is a high priority in most organisations but there doesn't seem to be the same focus in relation to people who are new to manager roles (either existing employees or external recruits moving into leadership positions).

It is commonplace that people are promoted into leadership roles primarily on the basis of their technical rather than people skills. Often new managers are thrust into a people management role with no prior leadership experience and little or no management training or education.

An organisation wouldn't put a person without relevant experience or qualifications straight into an important role such as an engineer, accountant or IT professional, yet there seems to be an assumption that anyone can be an effective manager and simply pick it up as they go along.

Unfortunately we have all seen examples where this assumption has proven incorrect and damaging to both the manager and the people who report to them, often resulting in reduced engagement, lower productivity and resignations. In such cases, the new manager hasn't been set up for success. Both they and their team suffer the consequences.

What proportion of organisations onboard new managers effectively and consistently? Each organisation needs to have a mechanism for informing managers about what they are accountable for as a leader, for assessing and addressing their individual leadership development needs, and coaching and supporting them to be effective in their role as quickly as possible.

By putting in place a manager onboarding process many organisations could realise improvements in employee engagement and reductions in employee turnover. It is simply good business sense to protect the investment in the recruitment and promotion of people into management roles by having a manager onboarding process. What is it costing your organisation if you don't?

It would be great to hear about those organisations which are successfully onboarding new managers. How are they doing it?

AuthorMichael Sleap