Insights

3 Best Practices for Executive Onboarding

Posted by Reed Flesher

If you want to improve performance and retention organization-wide, making sure that you communicate with and integrate new hires into the organization is essential to success. Onboarding is one of the most important pieces of the employee recruiting phase and has been gaining attention as a critical way to ensure that green employees are ready for their responsibilities and feel comfortable in their new environment. Perhaps nowhere else is onboarding as important as it is in the case of new executives.

Those hired to executive positions can feel a lot of pressure to perform straight out of the gate. Empathizing with this feeling is how HR leaders can help their newly minted executives have a smoother transition into their new roles.

1. Reach Out Before Their Start Date

The dialogue your company has with new executives should begin well before their start date. Failure to communicate between their acceptance of your employment offer and their first day of employment sends the wrong message about your culture. Consider sending them a welcome email and giving them a few friendly phone calls before they begin. This sets the right tone and prevents them from feeling like they are going in blind.

2. Make Their First Day Awesome

Did you know that nearly four percent of new employees will leave a company because of a negative experience on Day One? Considering that executives and high-potentials likely have their pick of workplaces, you are wise to start your retention efforts early. Nobody wants to spend their first day bored senseless filling out tedious paperwork. Think about implementing the following steps to make the first impression a good one:

  • Having their office, electronics, email, and other accounts already set up when they arrive
  • Providing a welcome package with some gifts and kind messages from colleagues
  • Scheduling lunch with other executives and at least some of their new team leads
  • Sending a company-wide email to introduce them to the team
  • Spreading out paperwork over several days so as not to hit them with it all at once or, better yet, allowing them to complete it before they start

3. Extend Onboarding Well Beyond Day One

There is no “one and done” way to effectively onboard a new executive. This is particularly true because unlike regular employees, executives and other high-performers have increased responsibilities and pressures to which few can relate. Thus, newly hired executives need ongoing support that extends months or even a couple of years to feel comfortable in their highly visible role. While research shows that only two percent of companies continue onboarding efforts past the first year, there are abundant reasons to extend onboarding such as teaching young or newly promoted executives different and exciting ways to use the leadership skills they are acquiring to contribute innovation to the company.

Want more information on building a customized executive onboarding program? Contact us today and learn more about our state-of-the-art employee recruiting and retention system.

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