Operations Manager On-boarding Program

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.



An intelligent, hard-working business owner from Massachusetts called me the other day to give me the great news:  He finally hired his long-sought after Operations Manager!  Pop the champagne, and get the party started, happy days are here again!  

After our authentic, albeit abbreviated celebration, the business owner and I developed an On-boarding Program to engage the new Operations Manager, introduce him to the company culture, and specify key points of accountability.  Listed below is some of the primary content of that On-boarding Program.  

First 30 Days 

  1. Get a username and password for Manager’s computer, phone, email, BOSS, and Office 365 access. 
  2. Meet essential staff and attend the formal Company New Employee Orientation Program.
  3. Review the Company’s current job location geography.
  4. Attend five walk-throughs with the Owner and customers to learn the Company’s partnership model.
  5. Visit 10 active properties to review the Company’s typical level of job quality.
  6. Spend time with Field Supervisors and Account Managers to understand their roles.
  7. Learn the organizational chart, each team’s responsibilities, and their performance expectations.
  8. Learn the business goals, culture imperatives, and operational initiatives that define Company success.
  9. Learn how to navigate Company files and forms in Dropbox.
  10. Learn how to set up and utilize BOSS dashboard reports.
  11. Create and fill out a work order opportunity in BOSS.
  12. Create/edit Vehicle and Equipment Repair Forms.
  13. Make face-to-face contact with all current landscape maintenance, construction, and snow clients.
  14. Ensure yard departure and yard returns are completed on time, efficiently, and without overtime.
  15. Attend all Training and Safety Tailgate Sessions.
  16. Become familiar with the Company’s Safety Program and why it’s important to Company customers.
  17. Demonstrate proficiency with the Company’s timekeeping system and approval process, work ticket management, scheduling, purchase receipt, and administrative paperwork procedures.

First 60 days 

  1. Understand how gross margin is calculated.  
  2. Understand the Estimating and Sales Process.
  3. Visit all remaining properties, and engage with all crews.
  4. Create Rotation Maps for all Maintenance jobs to improve gross margin and accountability.
  5. Understand how to create a Job Folder in Dropbox with documents, Save As, add photos, customize, save to PDF, and print.
  6. Conduct Job Quality Audits.
  7. Submit, review, and do a follow-up on Enhancement proposals each week.
  8. Review the Maintenance and Construction Team Leader Training Programs. 

First 90 Days 

  1. Fully understand the Company’s human resources program.
  2. Align Career Path Matrix based on Job descriptions, Training Programs, and Performance Evaluations.
  3. Spend approximately five hours per day in the field, on the job sites, and/or with customers.
  4. Complete informal development performance appraisal review of all Team Leaders for the Owner’s review.
  5. Prepare materials for attending monthly field operations financial review meetings. 
  6. Develop Field Operations Action Plans for each job, along with Field Supervisors and Account Managers, to ensure contract retention, and track KPI progress each month.
  7. Comply with Company Client Relations Management Program expectations. 
  8. Prepare a 90-day summary of key recommendations to improve Field Operations performance metrics.

Well-designed On-boarding Programs that are aligned with Company business goals, congruent with the organizational culture, and supported by ongoing communication are critical to employee retention, procedural efficiency, and Company success; especially for management staff.

Do them the right way, and let me know how the champagne tastes!

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.