Managers have one job – to find and train their replacement.
When managers are focused on that one job, they hire the best talent, train for success, coach for high performance, and retain employees. They can take a vacation or attend a conference with confidence, knowing that the department isn’t going to fall apart. Managers who are focused on their one job can participate in that super-secret special project that will get the attention of senior management. They can do cool stuff that will enhance their skills and knowledge.
Managers who focus on finding and training their replacement aren’t dispensable. They’re promotable. And, organizations that want managers who will hire, train, and retain the best talent need to set those managers up for success.
Unfortunately, many organizations hire or promote the most technically competent person into management. The new manager gets training on-the-job, which isn’t bad. On-the-job training can be very valuable. But too often on-the-job training happens after the new manager makes a mistake. A mistake that could have been avoided if the new manager had received proper training in the first place.
One way to give a new manager the tools they need for success is with onboarding. Think about it – companies currently provide onboarding to new hire employees. Why not onboard new managers?
I believe onboarding managers isn’t the same as management or leadership development. Those programs offer skills that employees can use immediately like communication skills, decision-making, and problem-solving. A manager onboarding program includes skills that managers need the minute they become a manager such as workforce management and employment law. There’s a place for all of these programs.
Creating a manager onboarding program doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, I have a resource that can help. “Manager Onboarding: 5 Steps for Setting New Leaders Up for Success” is a practical guide for designing and implementing a manager onboarding program. It’s available at the SHRM Store (and on Amazon!) I’ll be signing copies on Sunday, June 18 during the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Expo in New Orleans. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!
Your manager is an important part of your organizational success. Give them the tools to meet their goals. Starting with Day One onboarding.