6 Ways to Bring New Managers Up to Speed

All new managers I’ve known walk in their first day feeling good about themselves. They feel good about their new promotion or new job. They are excited and determined to succeed. There is usually an underlying anxiety as well. They need to prove that they are worthy of the promotion or their new manager title. Management training can help.

learn leadNEW DAY EXCITEMENT
Without support, new managers quickly lose that first day zing. I remember a friend who as newly promoted into her first supervisory position. Within the first month she was overwhelmed and was pining for her former job. She had excelled in her former position; in her new job she was floundering. Her anxiety took root and planted doubts. By the second month, she told me she was constantly questioning herself and her abilities. And, most importantly, she hated her new job.

Those of us in the training and development field know that proper support is critical. Without it, new managers face a difficult road and a journey that impacts their entire team. While there’s no question in my mind that ongoing management and leadership skill training are an integral part of any manager’s development, new managers need more.

They need to be coached, inspired, and challenged. Like all employees, they need to know that what they do matters – especially in the context of managing their teams. When dealing with management, there’s a lot on the line. Ironically, our most inexperienced managers impact the most people in an organization. Usually they have the most direct reports, and in customer-driven organizations, they’re also the manager who is closest to the customer.

AN ORGANIZED TRAINING PLAN
One of the easiest ways to show a new manager you want them to be successful is to present an organized and well thought-out training plan on their first day. Organized is the key word here. A structured plan for learning is reassuring and announces to new managers that you know they have things to learn and that it’s okay. It tells them that you are giving them what they need to be successful. It takes the pressure off.

How detailed and elaborate your training plan is, depends on you, the new manager, the manager’s boss, and the job requirements. Will it be a checklist of training points to discuss? Or will it be an outline including operational skills that need to be practiced and mastered? Will it focus on soft skills like how to delegate or how to supervise former peers? Or will it include new managerial tasks, such as submitting payroll?

To support new managers, we suggest:

  1. Meet with the new manager’s boss. Before the new manager’s first day, meet with his or her boss to determine training needs. Ask questions about anticipated rough spots (for example, the new manager will be supervising former peers). Listen to the boss’ ideas and expectations and discuss both soft skills and operational needs. Determine a realistic schedule for training and who should manage the training. If the organization already has a training plan in place, use it as your framework.
  2. Create the training plan. The training plan should include:
    - Each day’s learning objectives.
    - Time set aside for instructor-led, soft skills training classes or online self-study opportunities.
    - Time for the new manager to meet with his or her boss (or you) to discuss progress.
    - A target date to begin a mentoring relationship.
  3. Identify a peer partner. I like the idea of a peer partner – another manager that can field questions and provide encouragement and feedback. Sometimes it’s less threatening to call a peer with a question about how to do something than call the boss. When considering possible managers, it’s important to think about the manager’s personality, style and example. Select a manager who transitioned well as a new supervisor and is positive and upbeat about the job and company.
  4. Identify a mentor. A mentoring relationship can be highly motivational, inspiring, and challenging. But, a mentor shouldn’t be chosen lightly. Get to know the new manager. Talk to the new manager’s boss about personality matches. Consider several mentor candidates based on their leadership example, position in the company, and willingness to mentor. Then, consider personality and learning styles. For a mentoring relationship to work, it needs to be a suitable match. There needs to be a connection. There’s too much at stake to arbitrarily select someone and hope it works.
  5. Ask candid questions. Meet with the new manager and his or her boss to talk about the training plan. To establish credibility, encourage the boss to detail the learning plan and offer your support as necessary. Encourage and reassure the new manager, as needed. Express confidence. But, the new manager’s boss (or you) should also ask open-ended, candid questions about the new job responsibilities and any concerns. Consider:
    - What concerns do you have about supervising your former peers?
    - How are you feeling about managing friends?
    - What areas in particular do you think you need to learn or think you’d like to improve to excel in your new role?
    - Which new job responsibilities are you most excited about?
    - Which new job responsibilities do you think you need the most support on until you get up to speed?
  6. Follow up. Regular follow-up during the transition is important and should be built into the training plan. Most follow-up should be between the new manager and his or her boss. But, you should check in as well. Check in with the boss (think of it as another opportunity to build a training partnership with one of your customers). Consider asking the boss’ perspective on:
    - How the new manager is doing
    - Strengths and development areas
    - How to build on the new manager’s strengths
    - How the development areas are affecting the team
    - How the team is transitioning to the new manager
    - Whether the training plan needs to be revised

Check in with the new manager. Ask:

  • How things are going
  • How the training is progressing
  • How the team is transitioning
  • Challenge

Doing these things will help set up your new manager for success. I also agree with the idea of storytelling and asking new managers to share the characteristics of their favorite manager / leader. All managers should probably go through that activity from time to time to help validate the most important part of their jobs.

Will Stricker

Will Stricker
NATSB
will@natsb.com

12 Days of Christmas

urine cup in christmas treeOn the first day of Christmas NATSB found for me, a urine analysis collection cup in a Christmas tree!

On the second day of Christmas NATSB found for me, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the third day of Christmas NATSB found for me, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the fourth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the fifth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the seventh day of Christmas NATSB found for me, seven continents served (yes, we’re global), six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the eighth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, eight attendees signed up for training, seven continents served, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the ninth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, nine new clients, eight attendees signed up for training, seven continents served, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the tenth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, ten MORE I-9′s with errors! Nine new clients, eight attendees signed up for training, seven continents served, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the eleventh day of Christmas NATSB found for me, eleven DUI’s, ten MORE I-9′s with errors! Nine new clients, eight attendees signed up for training, seven continents served, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three I-9 errors, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas NATSB found for me, twelve drug-free workplace seminars in 2014! Eleven DUI’s, ten MORE I-9′s with errors! Nine new clients, eight attendees signed up for training, seven continents served, six sex offenders, FIVE PANEL DRUG SCREENING!!! Four felony charges, three DUI’s, two identity theft cases and a UA cup in a Christmas tree!

 

The EEOC, Background Checks and NATSB’s Job Matrix

The EEOCDo you want to comply with the EEOC’s (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidance that was issued in 2012 dealing with background checks? We can help you build targeted, position specific background checks through our Job Matrix. Using our Individual Assessment tool, we contact your applicants and assess them for you. In 2012 and 2013 the EEOC has been extremely active. Even though the courts have been siding more with the employer, the EEOC is not showing any signs of going away.

At NATSB, we have learned a few things from recent cases:

  1. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC, as the plaintiff, cannot proceed to trial without making a threshold showing of disparate impact.
  2. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC can only sustain this showing with reliable expert statistical evidence, and cannot necessarily rely on nationwide criminal justice statistics.
  3. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the employer does not have a single-step, across-the-board screening process, the EEOC cannot merely challenge the process “as a whole,” but it must demonstrate that the alleged disparate impact stems from specific elements of the process.
  4. Employers that want to assess potential disparate impact risks should conduct a review of their screening policies to identify areas to fortify Title VII compliance. Some questions to consider: Has the policy targeted background checks for different roles in your company? Does the policy account for the developing body of criminological literature discussing recidivism?

Now that you know the EEOC is active, you will need to know the steps to stay compliant. When ordering a background check, order one that is Job Related and Consistent with Business Necessity. This shows that you are building a targeted background check for the position you are screening. Each of your positions need to have position specific search criteria that includes the data behind the decisions for the background check.

When reading the background check, look at the crime and consider the nature behind it. Also, look at the nature of the job and the time elapsed from the crime. You can then provide an opportunity for an individualized assessment for applicants excluded by the background check to determine whether the policy is job related and consistent with business necessity. Always keep information gathered from background checks confidential. Only use the information for the purpose of hiring, retaining, not hiring or dismissing an applicant or employee.

The EEOC indicates that individual assessments should take into account any information provided by the individual in question regarding:

  • The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
  • Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison;
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
  • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
  • Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training;
  • Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and
  • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.
  • If an individual does not respond to the employer’s request to conduct the individual assessment, the employer can then make a decision without the information, according to the Guidance.

The EEOC did spell out what they view to be “Employer Best Practices” and they cite the following:

  • Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers about Title VII and its prohibition on employment discrimination.
  • Develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants and employees for criminal conduct.

At NATSB, our mission is to be the ultimate source of services to hire and retain superior employees and volunteers for our clients. Our core values consist of integrity; people first; client oriented; and innovation. We respect the value of human dignity. With people first, we’re building safe and secure workplaces along with nurturing relationships with our employees and clients. Always designing services to meet our clients’ needs. Providing education to add value. Making ourselves available to listen to our clients. With innovation, we embrace technology. Promoting industry best practices. Constantly improving service and products. We hope this is evident in the personal service and expert advice you’ll receive from our screening specialists.

CONTACT US: If you would like more information you can visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection or the NATSB website. To learn more how NATSB can help you with your background screening needs, please contact us at admin@natsb.com or call us at 316-263-4400. We can customize any background check to meet your unique needs. We offer volume pricing, NO signup fees, and NO minimum orders.

Successful Hire Seminar

Successful Hire SeminarThe Successful HIre Seminar has begun. With two locations under our belt, we are encouraged by the response of our attendees. Some have come to learn about EEOC compliance part of the background check. Others to see, just how our Electronic I-9 system actually works and to ask questions about I-9 audits. Drug Testing and how to implement a Drug-Free Workplace has been another big pull to the Successful HIre seminar as well. It’s a common thing for employers out there, even today, to not have a drug-free workplace in place. This may shock you! It has shocked some of our attendees. But it’s true. We see it everyday. Other topics also include HR Strategies and Development. This category is mainly focused on NATSB’s HR training courses. Our lead instructor, Dan Oblinger, briefly walks attendees through a few of our courses. Many attendees have already booked Dan to come onsite for training this fall. Our Successful Hire seminar is extending into the workplace of our attendees. The Successful Hire seminar was designed to help human resource professionals: maintain compliance in doing background checks; know the implications of not having a full drug-free workplace program; save time by implementing an electronic I-9 system with auditing; continue learning through NATSB training courses. Come to the Successful Hire seminar and learn more about these different topics and ask questions about the human resources industry. We look forward to having you at the Successful Hire seminar in one of the following cities. So come see us in Topeka, Salina, Manhattan, Lawrence, Emporia, Hutchinson or Wichita.

Dan to Speak at KS SHRM State Conference

Six stories up on a warm Kansas evening. I was an inexperienced patrolman. She was a young drug addict, suicidal, and dangling off the edge of the guardrail. That was my definitive high risk listening situation. Many years have passed, but I will always remember how emotionally draining it was to try to carry on a compelling conversation with an emotionally compromised stranger for 45 minutes.

My name is Dan Oblinger. Now I’m a trained and experienced hostage negotiator. The role of a negotiator is to listen. The risk of negotiating is always life or death. The reward is the ability to bring order from chaos, to aid the vulnerable, and to have those bent upon violence turn back from the brink. In a similar way, human resource professionals make workplaces orderly, just, and safe using highly refined communications strategies.

Listening is a perishable skill, requiring empathy and attentiveness. There are basic techniques that enhance the listening process and influence our communications partners. As the lead trainer for the National Screening Bureau (NATSB), I work with business leaders and HR professionals to promote excellence in a wide variety of industries. They realize that listening is the “forgotten skill”, the key to unlocking their potential as leaders and lovers, and a task that demands formal training to achieve excellence – formal training that less than 5% of the population will ever receive.

  • Do you desire formal training in listening, THE foundational organizational leadership skill?
  • Do you catch yourself interrupting those speaking with you?
  • Do you want to know the secrets of the listening universe?
  • Do you wish you had a grab bag of tactics to use in unpleasant and challenging interactions with colleagues, superiors, and loved ones?
  • Do you know the 7 active listening techniques used by crisis negotiators all over the globe?
  • How good a listener do you want to be?
If so, then plan on attending my presentation, “Listen Like a Negotiator” during the Kansas SHRM Conference. I have been training folks just like yourself to build more richly rewarding careers and personal relationships using the same principles that I use to defuse armed barricades and dissuade suicidal jumpers.
The Kansas SHRM Conference runs September 25-27, 2013 in Overland Park, Kansas. Register today at this LINK. While you’re there, swing by the NATSB booth to meet me and the NATSB crew, learn about our innovative pre-employment screening and training services! You will pick up more listening tips, see live demonstration of “state of the industry” tools, and even get a chance to put on headphones and take the “Listen Like a Negotiator Challenge”! Stay safe, and keep listening!
To see a preview, visit NATSB’s Speakers Bureau website.
Dan Oblinger, Director of Training, NATSB
dan