5 Essentials to Humanize Manager Onboarding

Listen to our interview with Sharlyn Lauby in the latest episode of WorkHuman Radio embedded at the top of this post.

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is hiring or promoting the most technically competent person without giving them the tools to be successful. It’s true that managers need to have technical skills. Employees want to know that their manager understands the work they do. But managers also need the skills to lead a group of diverse individuals.

Most companies have new employee orientation or onboarding. Organizations should consider adding a manager onboarding program, designed to set new managers up for success. Here are five activities the program could include to help managers humanize the work environment:

  1. Self-Management. Being self-aware is a powerful tool. Not only do most managers want to become more self-aware, they also want to instill this quality in their teams. An increased level of self-awareness helps with personal learning, conflict management, and communications.
  2. Wellness. Managers have a tremendous amount of responsibility. They need to learn their personal stressors and how to manage them. Many organizations have wellness programs; encourage managers to take advantage of them and to support their teams using wellness benefits as well.
  3. Curation. Technology is a huge part of our personal and professional lives. Curation is the art of filtering out the noise and finding relevant information. Organizations need managers who can find good information to solve business problems and share learnings with their teams.
  4. Mentoring. Managing can sometimes be a lonely job. Managers are entrusted with information that they might not be able to share at the moment. But they need someone to talk to. Organizations can give managers an outlet to work through challenges by creating a mentoring program.
  5. Feedback. To be successful, managers must be able to effectively communicate. They must share what’s going well and what needs improvement. Organizations should make sure managers have the skills to deliver both positive and negative feedback at any level in an organization.

This is a long list! If you only have time to focus on one of these items, consider starting with feedback. When managers know how to give and receive feedback, they’re in a position to become more self-aware. Managers can discuss wellness in the context of feedback. They can solicit feedback about the information they are curating and get better at it. And finally, managers can use their feedback skills to receive insights from a mentor (as well as be a mentor to others).

Managers are responsible for so much within your organization. They are relied on to select the best talent, develop employee skills, and engage people within the organization. It only makes good business sense to give them the tools to be successful – by onboarding them like a new hire.


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