How to improve onboarding support for line managers

The onboarding process can be a frustrating experience for a line manager.

Once a candidate has been selected and the onboarding phase begins, what kind of role should they be playing?

Often, a hiring manager is left feeling left ‘out of the loop’ as the HR team takes on overall ‘ownership’ of onboarding, managing the tasks that need completing before a new hire can start.

But an alternate problem is when a manager feels they are having to take on too much of the ‘load’ with not enough support being received from their HR. This can be a particular problem when branch offices handle their own hires.

Getting this balance right is difficult and either way, a lack of teamwork between HR and managers is liable to create a confusing muddle of responsibilities and communications. 

Here’s a look at how to tackle the issue:

1. Review your current set-up

Talk to your managers – what kind of frustrations do they experience when new hires are brought into their teams? How do they feel about the level of support and communications they receive from HR?

By addressing these frustrations, you can start to identify ways to improve the process. Often, simple changes can deliver significant benefits, whether it’s making sure a manager is copied into communications or better assigning of roles.

2. Roadmap your onboarding process

Any changes to your process need to be documented. You should have an onboarding plan that identifies the roles and roles of everyone who’s involved in onboarding. This allows managers to see what role they play in the ‘bigger picture’ with responsibilities clearly outlined.

Creating a plan which everyone understands and accepts creates the foundation for a more collaborative and ‘joined-up’ approach. If problems occur, it also helps to identify who is responsible.

3. Make best use of available technology

Technology is transforming the way that HR and hiring managers communicate during onboarding. Cloud-based tools and real-time communications allow information and task schedules to be easily managed across a company.

A system such as Webonboarding provides an integrated system that tracks and manages each stage of the process in real-time. It creates a flexible approach in which collaboration between HR and hiring managers can be finely tuned.

4. Break down ‘us and them’ barriers

With effective tools and a commitment to collaborate, the barriers that often exist between HR and other areas of a business can be broken down. Reducing uncertainty and confusion helps to remove the ‘us and them’ attitudes and recriminations that a messy process can cause.

Moving to an automated and paperless process allows HR to take on more of a flexible role, able to support or delegate onboarding responsibilities with line managers being a much more integrated part of the process.

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