7 Executive Onboarding Best Practices

How do executives build up the reputation they have so that they become a desirable commodity to an organization? Modern executive onboarding is about 99% perception and 1% reality. A new executive can be very hated just because of their leadership approach. If a team feels like they are being questioned instead of empowered, then that’s enough to kill the internal reputation of an executive. Even something as simple as distributing a book about improving team harmony can create a perception within a team that the executive believes they aren’t being harmonious.

This is why executive onboarding is such a critical component of a company’s and an executive’s success. 4 out of 10 executives that are hired today will fail within the next 18 months. 6 out of 10 executives that are hired into an industry that is not part of their overall experience already will fail in the same time period. The stakes are high. That’s why following these best practices is so important.

1. Have an Onboarding Coach For New Executives

Onboarding coaches in a company already know what the best practices of an organization happen to be. Why reinvent the wheel if the one you have already rolls well and supports the weight of the organization, right? Most executives want to come in and establish their unique brand identity on a team, but without the onboarding coach around, it can be difficult to position themselves in a way success can actually be achieved.

2. Create Multiple Times For Review

It’s far too common to let a new executive learn by fire. Instead of a comprehensive training and review process, they’re given the keys to the kingdom and allowed to go on their merry way – with no idea about what needs to be done. People without a clue don’t generally ask questions. They make assumptions. By instituting a comprehensive review period at the end of each 30 day period for a new executive, the onboarding process becomes more effective because it will align the executive’s mission with the corporation’s mission.

3. Evolution Before Revolution

Executive onboarding allows for new leadership to take the reigns of a team in an integrated fashion. It’s very easy to see even small changes from a new executive as a revolutionary tactic instead of an evolutionary tactic. Here comes this new manager who has no idea about what we do and now everything is changing. Evolution needs to take place first and that requires a new executive to get involved with their team.

Leaders might have a natural talent for leadership, but people don’t just follow someone because they’ve got a title. Leaders must earn the right to lead. That’s why executive onboarding is such an important part of the modern integration process. It provides a supportive method of integrating an executive into a team so they can get to know the environment and then begin working on efficiencies that make sense.

4. Align the Agenda

There are four strengths that every corporation has.

  • The mission. What a company does and how it does it matters.
  • The vision. Where a company plans to be in the future must be a cohesive goal for everyone involved.
  • The strategy. A company has a plan of action to achieve short-term and long-term goals. Everyone needs to know the strategy so it can be accomplished.
  • The capabilities. Each company has specific resources available to it. Executive talent is just one resource.
  • Instead of allowing the freedom to explore these strengths independently, the executive onboarding process provides an opportunity for new executives to get onto the same page. It creates a loop of feedback which is information that can be used by everyone to make sure that every action is a reflection of these four strengths.

    5. Start Before the Opening Bell

    Executive onboarding doesn’t begin when a new employee steps into the HR office, dressed in the best clothes that they own for their first day of work. It begins during the actual executive recruiting process. This is a natural place for a corporation to begin sharing information about itself, what its strategies happen to be, and what the expectations of company culture are. When hiring managers have this kind of information available to them during the interview process, they’ll be able to find people that are a better overall strategic fit for the organization.

    6. Prioritize the Roles

    New executives tend to get lost in the fine details of their job responsibilities because they are unfamiliar. To their team, a lost executive is an incompetent executive and that’s a reputation that may never be overcome. That’s why taking the time to prioritize a new executive’s responsibilities is so essential. Outline the complete expectations that a new executive has and even include a checklist that will allow them to keep track of each step that is completed. Prioritize their job for them over the first 90 days at minimum so that they can stay on track and earn the right to lead.

    7. Cultivate the Fit

    Having all of the written rules on hand for a new executive to study is a good thing. It’s needed information that must be known. The unwritten rules that a corporation or a team has are just as important. Executives need to know about the protocol and rules that they will be expected to follow and this makes including them part of the best practices for executive onboarding. It is necessary to cultivate the fit for an executive at first so they can establish a solid reputation.

    New leaders within a company face a unique set of challenges when they first come onboard. That’s why having a complete and comprehensive executive onboarding is so essential. It allows new leaders to set expectations within a comprehensive strategy so that the corporation can grow, change, and accept the new leader. By following these best practices, your next new executive may just become on the of the success stories instead of another failure statistic.

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