How to onboard a new boss

Successfully onboarding a new boss can be challenging. Open mindedness and a positive mindset can make the transition smooth.

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Onboarding a new boss can be an intimidating experience. Yet, it is essential to establish a positive working relationship with one’s new boss to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some ways in which the process can be facilitated.

Introductory meeting

To start things on the right note, it is essential to schedule an introductory meeting with the new boss. This meeting should be used to introduce the team and discuss their roles and responsibilities. It will also help establish a rapport with the new manager(s) and learn about their management style. This is also an opportunity to ask questions and clear any doubts that people may have.

Anil Gaur, group CPO, Akums Pharmaceuticals, believes that the most important things to consider while onboarding a new boss are technical and functional knowledge, organisational structures and an understanding of the company’s products, services, customers, technology, systems, processes and policies.

“To successfully onboard a new boss, one must have a clear understanding of the company’s structure, culture, and practices and be able to communicate this information effectively to the new boss.”

Anil Gaur, group CPO, Akums Pharmaceuticals

Information sharing

Gaur further adds that, during the onboarding process, it is crucial to share the right information with the new boss from the right perspective. This includes, providing historical knowledge and information about the business, offering reverse mentoring and acting as an enabler.

The organisation should clarify expectations with the new boss. Expectations for roles and responsibilities must be explained and clarification must be sought in areas where there is uncertainty. It is crucial to ensure that the organisation understands its priorities and goals for the team. This understanding will help the organisation align its efforts with the new boss’s vision.

Sharad Sharma, CHRO, Pramerica Life, says, “When new bosses join the organisation, it is important to engage with them to provide a clear picture of the company’s context, profile of employees, business channels, strengths and high points. Before updating them on HR policies and completing joining formalities, it is crucial to ensure that they do not feel out of place on their first day.”

“This can be done by organising an induction programme that includes presentations on key differentiators, meeting the team and setting expectations. It is also essential to provide support and logistics as required and organise informal meetings or meals with direct reports to facilitate bonding,” explains Sharma.

Sharing knowledge about the company’s team and projects with the new boss is also important. Insights into the team dynamics and any ongoing issues have to be offered along with information regarding the team’s successes or challenges faced.

“When new bosses join the organisation, it is important to engage with them to provide a clear picture of the company’s context, profile of employees, business channels, strengths and high points.”

Sharad Sharma, CHRO, Pramerica Life

Communication

Communication, and proactive communication at that, is very important while onboarding new bosses. Keeping them informed about ongoing projects, updates and potential issues is crucial. Progress reports should be proactively shared and guidance sought when necessary.

Gaur opines “An open and transparent culture is essential in organisations, and it is crucial to communicate both written and unwritten practises to the new boss. Political learning should also be considered, including decision-making processes, diversity, equity, equality and inclusivity.”

“To successfully onboard a new boss, one must have a clear understanding of the company’s structure, culture, and practices and be able to communicate this information effectively to the new boss,” advises Gaur.

Most importantly, the person who is onboarded and the organisation, both should be open to change. The new bosses may have new ideas and approaches for the team, and the organisations should be receptive to their new ways of working. Embracing the opportunity to learn and growing under a new leader is the right way to go forward. Organisations may be surprised by the new perspectives and insights brought to the table by new bosses.

Onboarding a new boss requires effort and open mindedness. It is crucial to establish a positive working relationship with the new boss to ensure a smooth transition. Following these strategies will help onboard a new boss effectively and demonstrate the organisation’s value.

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