Managers are essential in any business as they are the guardians of project objectives ultimately lining up to a business goal. In addition, their work is fundamental in keeping employees motivated, developing them and making sure a team achieves great results. They make an impact on building an efficient, integrated team.
Due to all of that, we developed NewMAP, the workshop we deliver each time a new manager joins intive; it stands for the New Manager Assimilation Program. Does it sound like a too serious matter? It is a serious business to us, that’s why we do it with openness, honesty and with a smile. New managers’ onboarding was noticeably highly demanded by managers themselves but also, by the team members. We could relate to the fact that joining a team, especially as a manager, can be quite a challenging experience. And this workshop aims to make it easier for both managers and teams.
NewMAP is a ‘formal starting point’ of working together. Our goal is to enable a joint performance easier than usual for the team members and the managers. intive wants to make onboardings faster and better. The goals to achieve are:
Creating a space to openly share concerns and fears, the team can anonymously express any concern at the very beginning so to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
Harmonization of information according to the new manager's role and responsibilities. By the time we deliver the workshops, the team members already gathered lots of useful information to share with the manager being onboarded.
Creating a common understanding of how we want to work together as an expectation management approach for both sides. Here we provide transparent communication and clear rules of cooperation.
Finally, ensuring that topics are fully recognized, and progress is tracked. The team and manager can, with this, accelerate establishing a relationship base, a trust base which will have its positive effect in the future of their cooperation.
You're probably wondering how it looks like in real life. The HR team takes the lead and organizes the days of workshops. Two HR Business Partners co-lead the entire thing. At the beginning, HR BPs meet with the manager and the team to explain the workshop. There are several stages, and it's important that no one gets lost. Later, the manager leaves the team in HR hands. During that time, the team collects questions for the manager.
These questions cover two main areas. First, the team works on questions for the manager. They describe what they already know about the manager, professionally and privately, as well as aspects that they want to ask about because there are still question marks. In the second part, the team prepares information about themselves. They reflect on what they want the cooperation to look like, what worries them about a particular topic, etc. They also prepare answers to what are the most important challenges for them in the following 12 months.
In the part where the team focuses on themselves, answers cover questions such as "what should the manager know about us?", "What to do to be unpopular very fast?". This last one helps the manager to get the "no goes" early on and become aware of expectations, anticipating unpopular behavior.
It is also an opportunity for the team to show what makes them successful as a team and what things they already have or do that they’d like to maintain. The team does not just show expectations. The purpose of the workshop is also to tell the manager how we can support him, and that he/she can count on us and in what aspects.
After a large part of the intro meeting happened, the HR BP facilitators split up. One HRBP member continues to work with the team on preparing their presentation, adding expectations and suggestions for the new manager.
The other HRBP member works with the manager on his presentation, in which the manager works on answering all the team's questions.
The most interesting part begins once the manager and the team have developed their presentations and everyone returns to work together as a full group. To begin with, the manager provides answers to the team's questions. Everyone listens with great curiosity, as they can finally get to know the person! Now that all the worries of the team are clarified, in the second part it is the team that presents their content to the manager. It's a goldmine of knowledge for this new manager as he/she learns all about the people with whom he establishes cooperation.
The most important rule is that the NewMAP is a confidential space. As much as "what happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas", what we do during the workshops stays within its participants. Each workshop member's contribution is important and valuable to create a good common base, and HR works as moderator who supports the group so that they stay focused and keep the pace. As moderators, HR members are somehow the protection shields for keeping all team concerns anonymous in order to create space to speak openly.