Just before Easter I indulged in a bit of internet clothes shopping (it’s just TOOOOO traumatic having the kids in tow, or trying to fit in around work). I only ordered a few items, and then went upstairs to my wardrobe determined to find the same number of items to throw out or give to charity.

You see, I only have a standard ‘double’ wardrobe and frankly, it’s full. The only way I can get my new clothes in is to take some of my old ones out. It’s a habit I got into about 3 years ago, and it’s served me well. Not only do I NOT end up accumulating lots of similar items, but I have to think about what I actually NEED by taking stock of what I already have.

It’s good practice for new managers too. When they get promoted, they often just take on lots of new tasks without throwing anything out, duplicating tasks or just taking stuff on ‘because they like it, feel they should etc…’. Of course, new managers who do this quickly get overwhelmed and the dream of promotion quickly turns into a nightmare as they work longer and longer hours, become a bottle-neck for their team and rush from one crisis to another, never seeming to find time for all that sexy strategic stuff that sounded so exciting.

That’s why a new manager induction programme is vital. New managers need to understand what’s expected of them, what support is available to them, and how to do things! It sounds obvious, but so many managers are just thrown in at the deep end, and expected to get on with it. Without an induction, they have to guess, and that CAN’T be good for them, their business or the poor souls working for them.

Experienced managers recruited in to your organisation need an induction on top of the corporate one to help them to understand the managerial processes within their new environment. You would hope that they have been recruited because they have the necessary skills and experience, but the way they are expected to manage and report is probably quite different to their previous organisation. They need to know which forms to use when, where to find them, who to contact if… etc.

Managers who are promoted internally may have a reasonable understanding of the processes, but this is HUGE assumption. They may have worked for poor managers who didn’t set the right example, and even if they worked for good managers, there will be parts of the job that they were unaware of. But more than that, they will need a lot of help and guidance about the behaviours, skills and best practice to make the transition from team player to team manager.

There’s an old saying “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”. Don’t risk your whole organisation by failing to induct your new managers properly.  Instead, set them up for success.

Sheridan Webb

Keystone Development – Specialists in Training Design & Induction

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