Manager Assimilation Process
The purpose of the Manager Assimilation process is to ramp up the integration of a newly appointed manager/leader with his or her direct reports. This process is a valuable step to ensure that a team quickly becomes productive after a management change.
Select an objective and neutral facilitator that has excellent coaching and facilitation skills and has experience of facilitating the process.
The facilitator meets with the new leader to build commitment to participating in the process and to prepare for a successful session. The facilitator explains how the process will work, the expected benefits and the leader’s role in the process.
The new leader schedules the assimilation meeting and invites the entire team to participate. The meeting should be held in person, within 2-6 weeks of the start date, in a private conference room. Typically these sessions require a half day, and are often combined with a team building activity.
2. Assimilation Meeting
The meeting begins with the new leader welcoming everyone and stating his/her goals for the meeting. The facilitator then reviews the steps of the process and establishes agreement that everything discussed in the meeting will be anonymous. The leader then leaves the room.
The facilitator then provides the team with a list of questions that will be discussed with the group.
What do you already know about the new leader?
What would you like to know about him/her to work effectively?
What are his/her expectations of you?
What should he/she know about us?
What does he/she need to know to be successful in this new role?
What significant issues need to be addressed immediately?
The facilitator then leads the group through a discussion to get everyone’s input on each of the questions. It is likely that there will be different perspectives that can be discussed. Key points are recorded on flip charts and written in a way that preserves anonymity.
The group then takes a short break. During the break the facilitator meets with the leader to give a high level summary of topics discussed.
3. Assimilation Discussion with Manager
The meeting then reconvenes with the group and the leader and the facilitator reviews each of the key points captured on the flip charts line by line with the leader and clarifies the points as needed to ensure understanding. Throughout the review the leader should address the comments/concerns/questions to build understanding and alignment of expectations. The facilitator manages the dialog to ensure healthy and open discussion that is constructive. The facilitator should also capture agreements and actions on the flip chart.
The leader thanks the group for participation and commits to getting back to the team by a specified date on any open issues.
The facilitator meets separately with the new leader to review the session, provide any additional feedback and coaching, and define next steps for the teams development and the leaders on-boarding.
Posts on Facilitation
New Manager Assimilation Guide