Onboarding Checklist for Managers

Laura Parker
Dec 2023

Embarking on a managerial journey within an organization is both an exciting opportunity and a significant responsibility. An effective onboarding process is pivotal in this transition, not only for the new manager but also for the team and the company as a whole. This is where a well-crafted onboarding checklist for managers becomes invaluable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential elements that should be part of this checklist. From crucial employee onboarding documents to practical onboarding checklist templates, we will cover everything you need to ensure a smooth, efficient, and impactful managerial onboarding experience. Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or a manager looking to streamline your team’s integration, this article offers valuable insights and tools to elevate your onboarding process, including links to onboarding checklists and templates.


What should be included in manager onboarding

When crafting an onboarding process for managers, it’s essential to go beyond the basics and consider what truly makes a manager effective in their role. A comprehensive new manager onboarding template should include several key components:

  • Organizational Overview: This includes the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture. It’s crucial for new managers to align with these elements to lead their teams effectively.
  • Role-Specific Training: Detailed information about their specific role, including expectations, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Team Dynamics: Insights into their team’s structure, strengths, weaknesses, and working styles. Understanding team dynamics is vital for effective leadership.
  • Process and Tools Training: Training on the specific systems, tools, and processes used within the organization, including practical applications of tools like the onboarding checklist template.
  • Leadership Development: Opportunities for new managers to develop leadership skills, including conflict resolution, communication, and team motivation.
  • Mentoring and Support: Assigning a mentor or point of contact for ongoing support and guidance during the transition period.

This holistic approach ensures that new managers are not only well-informed about their administrative responsibilities but are also prepared to lead, inspire, and drive their teams towards success.

What are the responsibilities of managers in onboarding

In the onboarding journey, managers are not just leaders but also navigators, guiding new hires through the complexities of a new environment. Their responsibilities are integral to a successful onboarding process, and these include:

  • Orienting New Hires: Managers should start by introducing the broader aspects of the organization, including its culture, values, and goals. This sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the company’s ethos.
  • Utilizing the Onboarding Checklist: A key tool in this process is an onboarding checklist for managers. This checklist serves as a roadmap, ensuring that all critical steps – from administrative setup to team integration – are comprehensively covered.
  • Providing Context and Clarification: It’s crucial for managers to explain the intricacies of the role, including expectations, deliverables, and how the role fits into the larger organizational framework.
  • Facilitating Connections: Encouraging new hires to build relationships within the team and across departments. This fosters a sense of community and collaboration.
  • Offering Support and Resources: Ensuring that new hires have access to necessary resources and support, enabling them to navigate their roles effectively.
  • Monitoring Progress and Adjusting as Needed: Regular check-ins are vital to understand how the new hire is integrating and to make any necessary adjustments for a smoother transition.

By effectively balancing these responsibilities, managers can create an onboarding experience that is not just about ticking boxes, but about building a foundation for long-term success and engagement within the company.

What should be included in an onboarding checklist

Creating an onboarding checklist that effectively ushers new employees into their roles requires a balance of detail and clarity. Central to this is the incorporation of an employee onboarding documents checklist, a critical component that ensures nothing gets missed. Here are the essential elements:

  • Legal and Procedural Documentation: These steps ensure collection of key payroll information, the distribution of policy manuals and compliance guidelines, necessary for a new hire.
  • Administrative Setup: Steps for establishing email accounts, granting access to essential company systems, and equipping with the necessary technological tools.
  • Detailed Orientation Plan: A comprehensive schedule for the first few weeks, laying out meetings with key personnel, introductory training sessions, and an immersion into the company’s culture and ethos.
  • Role-Specific Training Modules: Customized training plans detailing the specific responsibilities and expectations attached to the role.
  • Goal Setting and Performance Metrics: Clearly defined objectives and KPIs to guide performance and contributions to the organization.
  • Feedback Mechanisms and Support Systems: Established channels for ongoing feedback, performance evaluations, and access to support networks within the organization.
  • Resource Compilation: A directory of resources, including HR contacts, IT support, and professional development opportunities, to assist in the employees journey.

This checklist, with its comprehensive coverage and structured approach, ensures that every new employee is equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary for a successful integration into their new role.

What makes a good onboarding manager

The role of an onboarding manager transcends mere procedural oversight; it’s about fostering an environment where new hires can thrive. Key attributes of a successful onboarding manager include:

  • Communication Mastery: Exceptional skills in articulating the nuances of the role, company culture, and expectations, ensuring clarity and understanding for new hires.
  • Empathy and Insight: The ability to empathize with the challenges faced by new hires and provide supportive guidance.
  • In-depth Organizational Knowledge: A thorough understanding of the company’s values, processes, and objectives, essential for guiding new hires in aligning with the organizational ethos.
  • Leadership and Mentorship: Being a beacon of support and guidance, not only during the initial phase but throughout the employee’s journey in the organization.
  • Flexibility and Personalization: Tailoring the onboarding experience to individual needs, thereby enhancing its effectiveness and impact.
  • Commitment to Continuous Improvement: A focus on regularly refining onboarding checklist templates to ensure they remain relevant, comprehensive, and user-friendly.
  • Technical Savvy: Proficiency in leveraging digital tools and resources that facilitate a streamlined and efficient onboarding process.

In essence, a good onboarding manager is one who skillfully combines empathy, knowledge, and technical prowess, using tools like onboarding checklist templates to create a welcoming and productive onboarding experience.

What is the role of a manager in onboarding

The role of a manager in onboarding is vital in setting the tone for a new hire’s journey and success within the organization. Key responsibilities include:

  • Integration Guide: Managers are essential in introducing new hires to the team and familiarizing them with the company culture. They act as guides, helping new employees navigate through the early days of their journey.
  • Clarity Provider: Clearly defining the job’s responsibilities, goals, and standards is critical. Managers must ensure that new hires understand what is expected of them in their new roles.
  • Resource Facilitator: It’s crucial for managers to provide new hires with the necessary resources for a successful start. This includes not only tools and equipment but also important onboarding documents for new hires, which encompass everything from policy manuals to procedural guides.
  • Support and Feedback Source: Offering ongoing support and constructive feedback is a key part of a manager’s role, helping new hires adjust and thrive in their new environment.
  • Mentorship and Coaching: Beyond the initial onboarding, managers should continue to mentor and coach new hires, aiding their professional growth and development.
  • Onboarding Process Assessor: Continual evaluation and refinement of the onboarding process ensure that it remains effective and beneficial for future new hires.

Through these responsibilities, managers play a pivotal role in ensuring that new hires are not just informed and equipped, but also feel supported and integrated into the company.

What is an onboarding checklist

An onboarding checklist is a structured tool designed to ensure that all necessary steps in integrating a new employee into an organization are completed efficiently and effectively. A manager onboarding checklist serves as both a guide and a record, ensuring that no critical component of the onboarding process is overlooked. Key elements typically included in an onboarding checklist, especially tailored for managerial roles, are:

  • Pre-Arrival Preparations: Steps to be completed before the new hire’s first day, such as setting up workstations, email accounts, and access to necessary systems.
  • First Day Agenda: A detailed plan for the new hire’s first day, including orientations, introductions to team members, and initial training sessions.
  • Documentation and Compliance: Collection and verification of necessary documents, which includes legal forms, policy acknowledgments, and other regulatory compliances.
  • Training and Development: A schedule of training sessions tailored to the manager’s role, focusing on both the operational aspects of the job and leadership development.
  • Goal Setting and Performance Metrics: Establishment of clear objectives and key performance indicators for the new manager, aligned with organizational goals.
  • Regular Check-ins and Feedback: Setting up periodic meetings to monitor the new manager’s progress, address any concerns, and provide ongoing support and feedback.
  • Long-Term Integration Plan: Steps for continued integration into the company, including ongoing training, mentorship opportunities, and involvement in key projects.

An onboarding checklist is not just a list of tasks; it is a comprehensive strategy that ensures new managers are effectively oriented, trained, and prepared to take on their new roles successfully.

What should be included in an onboarding form

An onboarding form is a critical document that captures essential information about a new hire and lays the groundwork for their integration into the organization. To be effective, particularly for managerial roles, the form should include the following key elements:

  • Personal Information: Basic details such as name, contact information, emergency contacts, and any other necessary personal details.
  • Job-specific Information: Position title, department, direct supervisor, and a brief description of the role and its responsibilities.
  • Administrative Data: Information related to payroll, benefits enrollment, and other HR-related processes.
  • Compliance and Policy Acknowledgment: Sections where the new manager can acknowledge the receipt and understanding of company policies, ethical guidelines, and compliance requirements.
  • Training and Development Needs: Areas to outline any specific training or development requirements the new manager might have, helping to tailor the onboarding experience to their needs.
  • Feedback and Expectations: Space for the manager to note their initial expectations and any specific support they might need during their onboarding process.

An onboarding form acts as a hire checklist, thus, serves as a foundational tool in the onboarding process, ensuring that all critical information is captured and addressed right from the start.


How do I create an onboarding checklist in Excel

While creating an onboarding checklist in Excel is a common approach, it’s important to consider more efficient alternatives like beSlick, which can streamline the process further. If you choose to use Excel, here’s how to create a functional checklist:

  • Identify Checklist Categories: Define the main categories such as administrative setup, training, and documentation.
  • Detail Specific Tasks: Under each category, list specific tasks. You might want to incorporate elements from beSlick’s onboarding checklist template free resources for a comprehensive approach.
  • Assign Responsibilities and Deadlines: Clearly assign who is responsible for each task and set deadlines for completion.
  • Implement Checkboxes for Tracking: Use checkboxes in Excel to track task completion, providing a clear visual progress indicator.
  • Utilize Conditional Formatting: Highlight tasks that are nearing their deadlines or are overdue to ensure timely completion.
  • Include a Notes Section: Allow space for additional notes, comments and feedback for each task.
  • Regular Review and Update: Continuously update the checklist based on feedback and evolving needs.

For a more dynamic and interactive approach, consider using beSlick. Unlike static Excel sheets, beSlick offers real-time updates, automated reminders, and customizable workflows. This platform allows for greater flexibility and can adapt to the specific needs of each manager’s onboarding process, making it a more efficient and user-friendly option than traditional Excel checklists.



In conclusion, the creation of an effective onboarding checklist for managers is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth, efficient, and engaging integration of new employees into your organization. This checklist, whether created using traditional tools like Excel or more advanced solutions like beSlick, should be comprehensive, covering everything from basic administrative setup to in-depth role-specific training and integration into the company culture.


However, as we’ve explored, platforms like beSlick offer a more dynamic and interactive approach compared to traditional methods. beSlick‘s real-time updates, automated reminders, and customizable workflows simplify the onboarding process, making it more efficient and user-friendly.


We encourage you to explore how beSlick can transform your managerial onboarding process. Its intuitive design and versatile features make it accessible for all users, from seasoned professionals to recent school leavers. With beSlick, you can ensure that your onboarding process is not just a formality, but a foundation for long-term success and growth within your organization



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, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.