Key considerations when virtually onboarding your Interim Manager

Dani Hussey
With 10 years’ experience within the Interim Management and recruitment industry, Dani leads Valtus UK’s internal and external operational activities, including IT, marketing, contracts and Talent Management strategies.
Introducing a new employee without meeting them in person is a challenge, is onboarding an interim more difficult? With our help, experience and support, it doesn’t need to be.

The purpose of an interim generally lies outside ‘business as usual’, they are only around for a set period of time as their presence is required to enable change. If you aren’t able to meet them in advance, that can add to the challenge, but only if you allow it to.

With many years of experience in both managing Interims and solving recruiting issues, we are well placed to assist our clients with the process of integrating an interim.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your business-critical transformation is not hindered by poor planning and a failed virtual onboarding process.

Be prepared with Key Information

Do your preparation by compiling a document that has all the key information the manager will need to commence their assignment.

As a customer of Valtus, we will present you with an onboarding guide to ensure that all the key information is downloaded virtually to your Valtus Manager, This will generally include:

  • Preparation of the practical and logistics resources required to ensure effective delivery of the assignment (cf. focus ‘Resources required for the assignment’)
  • The Interim Manager’s frame of reference: responsibilities, decisions and delegated powers (if any)
  • The sharing of key company information
  • Announcing the arrival of the Interim Manager
  • A checklist of practical resources required
  • An outline of the recommended integration programme for the Manager’s initial days
Arrange an informative ‘kick-off’ meet to clarify and agree on deliverables

Define your assignment goals, challenges and limitations clearly in advance and hold a kick-off meeting to commence the assignment. Create a clear outline of what deliverables the manager is expected to achieve to be agreed upon by all parties; this forms a common understanding and ensures that you and your manager start the assignment on the right foot. Our Valtus Managers are already prepared with a bespoke reporting package and tools that includes an initial document that allows you to align and agree the next steps with your Valtus Manager and Partner.

Make virtual introductions to the right stakeholders

The role of an Interim Manager is often quite isolating as they are responsible for business transformation that lies outside of the ‘business as usual’ context and they are often only around for a time period of six to nine months. However, introducing your Manager to all key stakeholders of the business who may impact the assignment is very important.

Plan virtual meetings to introduce each stakeholder, explaining their duties and if relevant, what support they are expecting to receive

Stay informed

After the initial meeting with your Manager, it is essential to continue the communication. Make it clear how and when you would like to receive updates and progress reports. Plan to meet monthly or bi-monthly (depending on the duration of the assignment) and keep to the schedule.

Valtus Managers are fully equipped with progress reports for every stage of their assignment and they are briefed to clearly communicate with you at a productive and convenient time.

Get support

Your interim manager should not work in isolation; if they need interaction with a larger team with broader knowledge of the business, ensure that this is available.

Valtus Managers meet with the Valtus Partner responsible for their assignment at key stages during the assignment. Using the Valtus reporting matrix given to them at the start of their project, they present their achievements, challenges and current stage of the project to the Partner, who is able to add insight from the unique experience bank at Valtus, which is then fed back to the customer in a tri-party meeting. This ensures that aims, objectives and performance are aligned every step of the way.

A new way of working and better communication

It is possible to successfully embed interims and new employees virtually if you follow a good process, even in an environment where you may not meet them face to face. Valtus have a new way of working and it has many benefits.

Communication is the key to success. Give your interim or new employee the information they need, introduce them to the right stakeholders and carry out regular progress meetings. Offer support and experience where it is needed and maintain an understanding of the common goals.

If you would like to discuss how Valtus can help you embed an interim manager, understand how we support them during an active assignment, or discuss the experience of our Partners and how they can assist you through your current transition plans, contact us today.

Download the PDF copy of this paper here