7 minutes

Onboarding is the process of integrating a new hire into a business or organization. This process kicks into high gear as soon as the job offer is accepted, and might not slow down until the new hire hits their three-month mark. The goal is to help employees become familiar with your products, services, and company’s culture and team, while giving them the tools and training they need to perform their role. For project managers, for example, the onboarding process requires a highly efficient plan of action. Luckily, this is made easier through the use of project management software, and by creating guidelines for being a good project manager from the get-go.

Ease into onboarding new project managers

The first day at a new job can be nerve-wracking, even for someone who has years of project management experience. After all, they’re back to square one for learning new procedures, working with a new team, and becoming familiar with company policies. The best way to relieve first-day jitters is by setting them up with an onboarding buddy – someone who can answer any questions they might have about clients, perks, benefits, or the company’s culture, internal structure, and workplace politics.

Another great way to welcome new project managers is with a welcome package. Upon their arrival, greet hires with company swag. This could take the form of a company-branded tote bag, notebook, mug, or whatever other fun things that will give a lasting impression. 

Engage your project managers before day one

No one wants to feel like the awkward, new kid at school so be sure to send out basic information prior to day one. Email every new hire a brief list of what their first day will be like so they know exactly what to expect–where to park their car, how to get into the building, dress code, any free office snacks/coffee, nearby eateries, etc. 

Create an onboarding project for supervisors 

Don’t waste time giving new hires a ton of stuff to memorize, instead, provide them with something they can refer back to. Not only will it streamline the administrative process, but save everyone time. Nutcache is a great tool for managing projects and unifying communication and can be helpful for onboarding. Simply:

  1. Create a Project. i.e. Leader Onboarding Template for John Doe or make a duplicate of the project and update the project name with their name.
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  1. Organize the project. Make a place for the essentials, like benefits, 401k, IT, Reference, etc. so employees can find immediate answers to questions about things like payroll, benefits, and time-off requests.
  2. Add tasks to each section. This section may include administrative-type tasks, such as: adding email to the directory, registering for benefits, enrolling in the 401k plan, and connecting company printers to personal computers.
  3. Create a social board. Set up meetings with so-and-so, schedule introductions, etc. This ensures every new leader is meeting the right people and forming relationships at the appropriate time.

 

Leadership Handbook for New Hires

While everyone has their own management style, each project manager should be following the same playbook specific to your company. Project managers face obstacles other employees don’t, so it helps to set some basic guidelines. During the training stages, provide new project managers with a leadership handbook that they can refer back to. It should provide information on the following:

  • How to give and receive constructive feedback
  • How to motivate high- and low-performing employees
  • Dealing with conflict
  • How hiring, interviewing, and onboarding work
  • How to fire an employee
  • Managing time off and absences 
  • Managing remotely
  • Giving a raise or promotion
  • How to say no to a request
  • How and when to give performance reviews 
  • More 

The handbook can also include book suggestions for improving management skills (it helps to have the books handy in the office!), inspirational quotes, and statistics. In fact, how about some books suggestions?

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Less Paperwork, More Face-to-Face Connections

In addition to general onboarding, it is important to provide new hires with information about teams and functions across the company. This could look like monthly onboarding meetings with leads from each team giving new hires a brief overview, casual one-on-one meetings, or a shadowing session. Understanding cross-functional connections will allow new project managers to see the little ways they can make an impact as well as help them understand how their efforts fit into the company at large.

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Solicit Feedback and Improve

Onboarding is one of the initial steps you take towards laying out the groundwork for project managers, and it might take some tweaking to get right. As more leaders join your organization, you’ll need to continue to adjust your processes. The key is to get input frequently – learn what works and keep improving on it.

Conclusion

In short, the importance of onboarding cannot be overlooked. Statistics released by UrbanBound stated that an effective onboarding program increases retention by 50%. Save yourself the burden of losing a potentially great leader and the stress of finding a new hire.