Leadership Launch 1.0
Leadership Launch is about onboarding new managers and empowering them for success early on.
Employees in general are unsatisfied with how companies approach onboarding. Why do we say that? A Gallup study found that satisfaction is so low it approaches single digits, meaning almost 9 in 10 employees are not impressed with how they come on board to a company. And these numbers are pre-pandemic (2019)! The trend has certainly not improved since then.
Since the pandemic many companies went to “virtual onboarding”, and the reviews of those are pretty sketchy according to the Society of Human Resource Management. More to the point, a McKinsey study found that 70% of senior leaders are only somewhat or not satisfied at all with the performance of their frontline leaders.
That might have something to do with the fact that onboarding new managers, distinct from employees in general, has not been going well lately.
How can we improve new manager onboarding?
Give Your New Managers Some Focused Attention During Onboarding
An overall process for onboarding should have several components according to SHRM. New leaders should get some special attention whether they are promoted from within or hired from the outside. The process includes several steps we call the 5 C’s:
Let’s explore each step in a little more detail:
Clarity: The first step to a successful transition is gaining clarity about the new role. A new manager needs to be able to list their responsibilities, know what expectations are, set key goals, and gain clarity about what their manager or boss expects of them. With clarity comes confidence, enabling them to make informed decisions and lead their team effectively.
Compliance: New managers will encounter various HR processes and legal requirements that are essential to their role. HR should ensure that a new manager is able to handle employee-related matters, such as hiring, performance evaluations, and legal obligations.
Culture: Understanding and embracing the company’s culture is vital to becoming an effective leader. We believe that a strong company culture drives employee engagement, productivity, and overall success. The culture step guides a new leader in exploring their organization’s mission, vision, and values, helping align their managerial approach with the company’s ethos. Managers need to know what makes their organization unique.
Connection: Leadership is not just about managing tasks; it’s about connecting with your team on a personal level. The Connection step emphasizes the importance of building meaningful relationships with team members on a firm foundation of good self understanding. We encourage self-reflection, helping managers understand their leadership style, strengths, and areas for growth. Good connection with the team should lead to better communication, trust, and collaboration. These are essential for a high-performing team.
Check-in: To support a leader’s ongoing development, periodic check-in’s are key. Through regular meetings with the boss or mentor, check-in’s occur at strategic intervals after a new manager’s start date, typically at one week, one month, and again at 90 days. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss a manager’s progress, address any challenges, and receive valuable feedback.
Getting Specific: What's Involved?
To effective launch your new leaders, you need a well-designed process that you can actually implement. We suggest the following key steps.
- New manager survey – Start with having your new manager complete a self survey so they can see where they are.
- Team survey – Follow the same process with a slightly shorter team survey to involve the team members and gain their input efficiently
- Understand the new role – Meet with the boss or manager and review the job requirements and expectations together.
- Meet the new team – Structured meetings between the new manager and the team they are leading are a great way to get off on the right foot–once the right foundation has been laid. This is where the survey results and thinking ahead of time will facilitate a productive meeting and a great personal connection.
You can do a lot yourself, and we have some tools to help you. Just complete the short form below and we’ll send those to you.
Think you might want some help with this process or want to customize it to your organization? We’re happy to help! Just check the box on the form for us to follow up and we’ll be in touch shortly.