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Helping new managers fit in

December 21, 2020

Helping new managers be successful and fit into the company culture requires more than merely onboarding them, as one global survey found. 

Egon Zehnder’s online survey found 57 percent of leaders took over six months to be effective in their new job. One-third reported becoming a manager was a complicated process. Those surveyed indicated the top problems were not skilled-related, but instead interpersonal. Sixty-nine percent indicated they had a poor grasp of how the organization worked, while 65 percent said they felt like a cultural misfit and 57 percent had trouble connecting with their peers. 

It is unfortunate that companies can find the right skills and talent for leadership positions but fail to help them integrate into the culture, which is essential for success. The result is that these managers often leave their jobs before achieving the results that were anticipated when they were hired. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Businesses that focus on helping new managers fit in will be better able to get the most from the new hire than organizations that fail to offer such assistance. 

Onboarding vs integration

One of the challenges for organizations is understanding the difference between onboarding new hires and integrating them into the company. Onboarding new managers can include ensuring they have an office, a phone, and a working computer or other devices to do their job. However, to be successful in a leadership position, managers need more. 

Integrating managers into the company goes more in-depth than ensuring they have a physical space in the building. It involves connecting them with others and helping them understand the inner workings of the organization. It is crucial to keep in mind that a manager’s performance can directly impact everyone on their team, not to mention the company. Therefore, it is in an organization’s best interest to integrate new managers and equip them for success. 

Tips to enhance integration for new managers

New managers need some help to fit into their new position and organization. Successful integration will lead to better outcomes for a new hire and the company and all the employees. Here are some tips for integrating new managers. 

Mentoring

Workplace mentoring programs are vital to helping new managers learn the ropes and feel more at home. Success will come when they can understand the company culture and work within it to achieve business goals. Pairing a new manager with a more senior member of staff can cultivate a great learning experience. During the mentorship, the manager can set goals they’d like to achieve and have their mentor guide the process. This type of connection will also create a unique experience for the mentee manager, who will absorb company policies and culture from their mentor. 

Training

Consider some management training courses to help your new manager get up to speed. Skills like communication, coaching, and providing constructive feedback are essential for successful leadership. However, not every manager has them. Your organization can also customize the training sessions, so managers learn more about your business and processes. Extra training can be seen as an investment in your new hire. 

Learning

Encourage ongoing learning. To be successful in any role requires continuous learning. Things change, and managers need to stay on top of the curve to keep the business moving forward. Encourage new managers to embrace learning opportunities and read as much as possible about your industry and business in general. 

Introductions

Introduce new managers to stakeholders. Managers need to have a deep understanding of the company, including its goals and strategy for the future. One way to help new managers develop this understanding is to introduce them early on to stakeholders. Allow for an appropriate amount of time where the stakeholders and new manager can get to know each other. A casual lunch or afternoon session should also involve some question and answer time to help the new manager grasp the big picture. 

Team building

Plan some team building activities. To help implement a new manager in their position of authority, organize team-building activities. These can be done in many ways, including virtually, to help solidify the connection the team has. It can also help a new manager better understand the individuals they will be responsible for and working with during their time with the organization. 

Strategy

New managers need a strategy and philosophy. Stepping into a new management role requires some strategic thinking about leading others and where to lead them. New managers should develop a strategy that outlines what they want to achieve at the company and how they intend to do that. Tied into strategy is a manager’s philosophy about their role. What are their goals and values, and how does it tie into the business’ approach? Defining these can help a new manager grasp the bigger picture and also give them a starting from which to lead.

Wrapping it up

Giving new managers the tools they need to succeed involves much more than providing them with a team and a computer. It requires a deliberate strategy to integrate them into the company. Organizations invest a significant amount of time and effort in finding the right candidate for leadership positions. Businesses that focus on helping new managers fit in set their hire - and their company - up for long-term success. 

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