Why do some new managers succeed while others fail? It all depends on the first three months – the critical time when the new hire is learning the ropes. The new manager’s boss plays a vital role in the orientation process. Here are four strategies to quickly get the new hire up to speed and working productively

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Clarify goals and priorities.

What are the performance expectations and deliverables for you and your team? How is performance going to be measured/success evaluated? What are the key business issues that you need to focus on?

Define responsibility and accountability.

How much operational freedom/autonomy is there? What types of decisions require approval, consulting, or advising, and/or are subject to veto? Who else is significantly involved in any decision-making? On what basis?

Agree on communication.

What is the frequency and type of preferred communications? Is it regular meetings? Written, e-mail reports? Event-based communications?

Identify current ‘hot issues’.

What do you need to watch out for? For example: Relationships among team members; client histories and experiences with the company; operating and performance problems.

The good news is that orientation offers an opportunity to build a lasting impression of the new company. The bad news is that that is going to happen whether you plan it or not.

Make sure you get your new managers off to a great start. Employee orientation, whether it takes one hour or one day, is a critical opportunity – don’t waste it. What’s your orientation program like? Do you even have one?


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