The Trouble With Managing Managers’ Feedback

One of the biggest challenges that teams who manage the onboarding process face is managing feedback throughout the process. This makes it difficult to identify areas to improve and work out what is being done well.

Gathering Feedback

The issue for these teams is that the feedback they gather is often ad hoc and gathered from various sources. We were recently told about a situation that came out of a leavers interview. 

The HR team were told about feedback that had been given to the Hiring Manager. This was passed on in the first week of employment and related to something that had happened during onboarding. While the Hiring manager had appeared to listen to the concerns they were not addressed or fixed. In fact, this was partly the reason that this recent hire was leaving the company.

No managers want to be disengaged from their team and will typically listen to new employees concerns. However, with the large list of priorities that they need to focus on, they might not act on or report these issues. 


This is where ownership is important from the person who controls the entire onboarding process. Everyone connected to the new hire has some responsibility in the process but someone has to take control of it. That person, or team, can make sure all the key items are done and coordinate efforts to improve it. 

Recruitment or HR teams can check in with people in several ways. They could book in time to review the process with the new hire; or go through it with the hiring manager. The teams could even make sure that they have time to discuss it with both parties. That way they still have control over the feedback process and have ample chances to pick any issues up.

Often people map out onboarding processes that include a check-in with the new hire after, 7, 30 and 90 days. But no step for HR or Recruitment to check in with the manager. It is important that everyone discusses concerns and feedback on the process so that actions can be decided. If you control the process you need to give people the pathways to do that.


It is also important that you encourage managers to communicate things back to the new hire. The managers need to let them know their concerns have been heard and that some assessment on how to correct things has taken place; even if it won’t happen immediately. 

Finally, why don’t you ask for feedback while someone is being onboarded not just at the end of the process? There is no better time for you to get feedback that will make a difference to the process overall when it is fresh in someone’s mind. 

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