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Enable the Transition to Leadership for First-Time Managers

Move beyond a do’s and don’ts training deck to create a robust first-time manager development program.

  • Organizations tend to prioritize development at higher levels of leadership while first-time managers receive minimal training and support as they transition into their new roles.
  • Due to a lack of investment and attention, leadership development for first-time managers often comes in the form of self-help, leading many first-time managers to be ineffective.

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  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Developing first-time managers is a shared responsibility that must be prioritized. Comprehensive, end-to-end development programs that include key players set first-time managers up for success and positively impact the business.

Impact and Result

  • Outlining expectations and including various stakeholders in first-time manager development, not just the first-time managers themselves, creates a culture of support and development that sets new leaders on the path to success and drives organizational outcomes.
  • Identify and address critical knowledge and competencies that your first-time managers should be well versed in, to ensure their path to leadership begins on the right foot.
  • Create an ongoing development program that engages learners and sustains and reinforces key concepts for demonstrated results.

Enable the Transition to Leadership for First-Time Managers Research & Tools

1. Establish first-time manager expectations in the organization

Determine first-time manager expectations according to the administration, team management, people development, and personal leadership development components of the role.

2. Assess the current state of first-time manager development initiatives

Assess existing first-time manager development activities to find gaps, establish goals, and set metrics for a new first-time manager development program.

3. Design a first-time manager development program

Add or tailor development initiatives in the new first-time managers development program to design a first-time manager learning path.

4. Implement the program and measure success

Determine a roll-out strategy for your first-time manager development program and assess the program based on feedback and analysis.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Establish first-time manager expectations in the organization
  • Call 1: Confirm first-time manager expectations at the organization and ensure critical components are being addressed.

Guided Implementation 2: Assess the current state of first-time manager development initiatives
  • Call 1: Analyze data findings to determine gaps in the existing program or initiatives.
  • Call 2: Set goals and metrics for the new first-time manager development programs.

Guided Implementation 3: Design the first-time manager development program
  • Call 1: Evaluate whether current initiatives are being met and determine how to incorporate or modify existing initiatives.
  • Call 2: Craft a first-time manager learning path.

Guided Implementation 4: Implement the program and measure success
  • Call 1: Determine an appropriate first-time manager program roll-out and communication strategy.
  • Call 2: Analyze data to determine program strengths and areas of improvement.


  • Lorena Alcantara, HR Business Partner, Unilever Canada
  • Nitzan Cohen Arazi, Co-Founder, Jolt
  • Korinne Collins, VP, Professional Development & Education, Canadian Credit Union Association
  • Melanie Denis, CHRP, HR Generalist, Andrew Peller Limited
  • William A. (Bill) Gentry, Ph.D, Director, Leadership Insights and Analytics & Senior Research Scientist, Center for Creative Leadership
  • Ayiri Harrison, CHRP, HR Generalist, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Ed Holinski, Strategic Learning Consultant, Conduent Learning
  • Karmen Knezevic, Senior QA Analyst, Project Management Office Division (PMOD), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Anonymous, Director Talent Management, Various Industries
  • Roberta Matuson, CEO, Matuson Consulting, Author of Suddenly in Charge and Talent Magnetism
  • Teal McAteer, Associate Professor, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University
  • Linda Miller, Executive Coach and Consulting Partner, The Ken Blanchard Companies
  • Elena Palumbo-Sergnese CTDP, Manager, Learning & Development, HOOPP (Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan)
  • Yael Rimon, Employee Success Manager, Jolt
  • John M. Roberts, Founder and Principal Managing Director, Philomathia Group
  • Rika Snip, Learning & Development Consultant, Lethbridge College