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Onboarding process: what role for the manager?

Within a company, all the players (HR, recruiters, and managers) need to work closely together to ensure that the business runs as smoothly as possible. In this article, we invite you to discover the specific role of the manager in the process of integrating new employees, and how managers contribute to engaging, satisfying and retaining talents.

role manager onboarding

The manager: a key player in the successful integration of new employees

The manager is an essential player in the life of a company. From supervising teams to taking strategic decisions and managing resources, they ensure the coherence and coordination of the organisation’s functions without losing sight of the business objectives. As part of the onboarding process, managers play a crucial role in helping new hired to integrate more easily into their new working environment. Depending on the company’s size or business area, the manager may be entrusted with various tasks and responsibilities when it comes to integrating a new recruit:

1. Planning and organising the induction day for new candidates

The onboarding process does not begin on the first day of a candidate’s employment. It must be carefully and meticulously prepared to ensure the successful integration of the new recruit into the company.

As a result, the manager, working closely with the human resources team, has to plan the candidate’s induction day with a comprehensive, personalised onboarding programme (induction meeting, tour of the premises, team-building games, etc.).

In addition, the manager must inform and prepare his team for the arrival of a new member by clearly explaining his role, while encouraging the team to work together to facilitate the integration of the new recruit.

Lastly, the manager must communicate regularly with the candidate to give them the information they need for their first day on the job (access, working hours, day-to-day routine, etc.) to reassure them and enable them to join the company with complete peace of mind.

2. Welcome and presentation of the company and the team on the day

The first day on the job is a crucial stage that will give the new recruit a first impression of the company, which will help to influence their motivation, commitment and job satisfaction in the long term. As the guarantor of the company’s image, the manager must give the new recruit a proper welcome, with the aim of guaranteeing a satisfactory experience, establishing a relationship of trust and creating a positive dynamic, right from the first day on the job. In particular, they must :

  • Give the new recruit a warm welcome and introduce them to the company and the various members of the team;
  • Offer a tour of the establishment and its premises;
  • Settle the new employee into their office and make sure they have all the equipment they need to carry out their work (computer, office supplies, internet and telephone line, entrance badge, etc.);
  • Offer a “Welcome Kit” containing a welcome manual with practical information (presentation of the company, its values and policies, access map, working hours, telephone numbers, etc.), words of welcome from the whole team and goodies (personalised mug, pen, notebook, stickers, sweet treats, etc.) bearing the company’s logo.
  • Invite new recruits to a welcome lunch to help them settle in and have informal, spontaneous discussions.

The manager is one of the people with whom the new employee will interact frequently during the first few hours/days after joining the company, so it is important to create a healthy, trusting relationship from the outset.

3. Defining and clarifying the company’s expectations/objectives

Managers have essential managerial skills that enable them to steer, guide and mobilise their teams with ease towards a common goal.

As part of the onboarding process, the manager’s role is to communicate clearly on the company’s short, medium and long-term objectives to the new employee, in addition to the specific expectations associated with their new position. This will enable the new recruit to familiarise themselves with the company’s policy, culture and values, as well as the responsibilities that will fall to them in their new role.

To do this, the manager can organise a one-to-one meeting with the new employee to discuss mutual interests, or plan an introductory meeting to outline the company’s various current projects.

In addition, the manager must also be attentive and listen to his or her team to answer their questions and ensure that all employees are aligned with the company’s vision, with a view to readjusting strategy if necessary.

4. Long-term support and monitoring

An onboarding strategy is more than just a presentation of the company and its team. It needs to be thought through in its entirety to offer your new employee a complete, smooth and seamless onboarding experience.

As a result, it is the manager’s responsibility to provide long-term support and monitoring to ensure that the new employee fully integrates into the company’s culture, does not encounter any particular problems and makes significant progress with objectives shared with those of the company.

To achieve this, the manager can schedule regular meetings with the employee to take stock, discuss their progress or answer any questions they may have. It is also important to encourage open, transparent and honest communication, so that the new recruit feels at ease and can freely express any concerns or needs without fear.

By opting for regular support and follow-up, the manager will be able to monitor the candidate’s progress effectively, quickly identifying strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas for improvement to optimise the candidate’s performance/productivity.

Advice for L&D managers: to get managers involved and give them all the keys they need to make a success of the candidate’s integration process, we recommend organising coaching and training sessions, or drawing up a checklist of the key points that need to be taken into account.

The manager-employee relationship: how does it contribute to engaging and retaining the company’s talent?

In addition to their purely managerial skills, managers play a decisive role in the recruitment and retention of talent within a company. According to a Gallup study, 50% of employees leave their company because of their manager.

In addition, the global health crisis has led to significant changes in the world of work, impacting in particular the relationship between line managers and employees. Because of the various restrictions imposed (physical distance, teleworking, closure of non-essential businesses), organisations have had to adopt new methods of integration and communication to maintain a positive work dynamic.

During the onboarding process, the manager helps to engage and retain the new employee in a number of ways, by:

  • Fostering a sense of belonging: employees who enjoy a sense of belonging enjoy a certain level of well-being, which is reflected in their motivation, commitment, and loyalty over the long term. To foster a sense of belonging, the manager can organise events to enable the team to create/maintain links (round table discussions, team-building activities, happy hours, etc.), as well as encouraging free and transparent communication.
  • Acknowledging the work and efforts of the employee: feeling recognised at its true value is a great source of well-being and motivation for employees. Whether the achievement is small or large, the manager needs to know how to acknowledge the work and efforts made by the company’s employees. In particular, they can make positive and encouraging comments about their team, offer benefits or organise events (team lunches, etc.).
  • Encouraging skills development: a competent and successful manager must be able to identify the potential in each of his employees and offer them training opportunities to perfect/develop their skills. In this way, by encouraging employees’ professional growth, the manager helps to strengthen their commitment by offering them interesting career development prospects.
  • Providing constructive feedback: to engage, motivate and retain employees, managers need to be able to provide their teams with constructive feedback on the status of company projects (progress of current projects, work accomplished, objectives still to be achieved, positive or negative points, etc.). They also need to be able to suggest possible areas for improvement with a view to achieving the objectives set by the company.