One of the obvious keys to a successful organization is having a highly skilled management team, but how do you incorporate the experience of new managers into the current culture? The best and most successful way is to use the resources of existing managers to help train to the culture, processes, and business functions. I have been lucky enough to see this process play out from an almost non-existent program to one that provides proctoring to new managers at every level of the organization, and it has improved our performance in every way.
I started with my current employer a little over 10 years ago in my first management position. I was so enthusiastic and excited to be starting with a new company, meeting my team, and the opportunity to lead my department in new directions. My first day, I met my new boss in his office. We stopped by the Human Resources department to get my ID badge, and then I was shown to my new office and introduced to my team. And that is where my “formal” orientation ended. I was left to fend for myself, to find people who could educate me on past history, teach me how to operate new systems, hunt to find policies and procedures. Add to that, my new boss was requested to find employment elsewhere during my second week, and our CEO was let go prior to the completion of my second month on the job. Needless to say, those first few months were the most difficult, but pivotal in helping me to find my inner strength.
The organization went through many changes over the next few years, we had several interim C-Suite executives, as well as quite a few mid level managers who came and went. At my two-year anniversary, I had become one of the most tenured leaders within the organization, and found myself becoming a resource for most of the new managers. Training is always a time-consuming activity, so you want to be sure to share everything needed to help new managers do well and prosper. But the training program was still weak, and it became evident that we had to do something to improve how we on-boarded new leaders to help them succeed.
It finally took the addition of a new CEO to create a plan that would facilitate the training of new managers; the organization he had come from had an extremely successful program that had a proven track record in retention . A process improvement team of six was put in place to identify what processes, policies, and education had to occur to drive success. A checklist was created that identified all of the key areas requiring training, and identified the managers who would provide the support. During the first week of employment, the new hire would be assigned to managers in each area, allowing ample time to demonstrate systems and processes needed to perform daily functions. This also provided the new hires with the appropriate resources that would help them through their evaluation period.
Since the program was implemented, management turnover has decreased significantly. Managers finally had the foundational training and resources needed to positively integrate into the organization. As one of the proctors, I see the extreme value in the service I provide in training and educating, and I have had the opportunity to make some very good friends along the way. This program has been able to increase the cohesion between the management team, helped to facilitate the building of trust relationships, and made the organization stronger and more ready for long-term growth.
I enjoy hearing about programs that have had similar success, so feel free to share your experiences. I would love to hear from you!