How Do You Onboard A New Leader?
Onboarding a new leader should be a time for celebration.
You’ve done the hard work of attracting and engaging a pool of talented prospects. You’ve invested valuable time and energy into identifying which applicant aligned best with your company’s goals, culture, values, and mission. And you’ve secured your top pick’s signature with an attractive offer.
But you shouldn’t get too comfortable yet. The hard truth is, if you want to make the most out of your new team member, the hiring process is only half the battle.
If you want your new leader to perform their best, win over their team, and become a long-term asset for your company’s growth and profitability, you need to be prepared to execute the final step of the hiring process — onboarding, orienting, and integrating your new leader — flawlessly.
Unfortunately, an alarming number of businesses see this step as an afterthought with little to no impact on the overall success — leading to flash-in-the-pan hires, costly turnover, and profit-killing chaos.
If you want to sidestep these avoidable issues, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to break down executive onboarding best practices, common problems, and successful steps to assimilate your new leader.
How Do You Successfully Onboard an Executive?
Before you can understand how to successfully onboard an executive, you have to define what success looks like for your company.
After all, it can be hard to gauge progress, identify sticking points, and provide timely support to new leaders if you haven’t outlined an ideal onboarding experience. Common indicators of a successful executive onboarding experience include:
- Having a Plan: When it comes to onboarding an executive, it’s critical that you have a plan. A smooth onboarding process can’t be left up to chance.
- Aligning with the Mission: New leaders becoming aligned with your company’s mission is an excellent indicator of successful onboarding. Why? Because alignment requires understanding and embodying your organization’s:
- Building Bridges: New leaders that have connected, communicated, and collaborated with their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates are another great sign of successful new leader orientation.
- Demystifying the Role: Demonstrating a well-rounded, multifaceted understanding of the role’s expectations, responsibilities, and key performance indicators also indicates a new hire is enjoying a successful onboarding experience.
- Arming with Assets: Another strong indicator of successful onboarding is when new leaders understand the suite of tools, technologies, and other resources available in your organization and how to use these assets to meet their role’s objectives.
- Engaging Experts: The final universal indicator of a successful new leader orientation experience occurs when new leaders understand how to capitalize on their network of specialists and experts. When new leaders begin reaching out to other leaders, technicians, or specialists for support, they’re nearing the completion of an excellent executive onboarding process.
What Do New Leaders Need to Know?
Now that you have a better understanding of how to recognize a successful executive onboarding process let’s talk about what new leaders need to know.
While the specifics of what your new hires need to know will vary depending on your organizational expectations and goals, there are a few things every new leader needs to know to set the stage for success, like your company’s:
- Mission, Vision, and Values
- Ideal Management Style
- Key Stakeholders
- Top Priorities
- Tools and Assets
- Policies and Procedures
What Challenges Can a New Manager Encounter When Starting to Manage an Existing Team?
As a business leader, you’re probably more than aware of the problems new managers encounter when first meeting with a new team. Next time you hire a new manager, make sure they’re prepared to encounter common issues like:
- Building Credibility
- Maintaining Morale
- Setting Expectations
- Establishing Authority
- Inheriting Existing Issues
- Understanding Team Dynamics
- Dealing with Underperformance
- Navigating Resistance to Change
How Would You Onboard a New Team Member?
Let’s use the information we’ve covered so far to create a simple six-step onboarding checklist for a new team member.
- Clarify the Role
- Establish Alignment
- Build Relationships
- Other Departments
- Introduce Assets and Resources
- Establish Early Goals
- Success Metrics
- Performance Forecast
- Match with a Mentor
How Do You Onboard a New Team Leader?
Onboarding a new team leader should follow a very similar process, with a few additional steps. Let’s take a look at four steps you should add to the onboarding process when bringing on a new leader.
- Break Down the Leadership Framework: Make sure new leaders have a clear and comprehensive understanding of your company’s preferred leadership style, strategies, and hierarchy framework.
- Dive Deeper into the Business: Providing new leaders with deeper insights into your company’s financials, market positioning, competitive landscape, and strategic goals ensures strong alignment.
- Define Decision-Making Authority: Help new leaders clarify their decision-making scope, responsibilities, and approved processes to avoid unnecessary stress or missteps.
- Support Team-Building: A healthy relationship between your newly hired leader and their team is essential. Set them up for success by arranging one-on-one meetings, group chats, and team-building exercises.
How Do You Support a New Leader?
Providing support to new leaders is an easy, yet often overlooked, strategy that supports strong performance and signals your commitment to their success.
We recommend scheduling casual check-ins and formal meetings with new leaders to ensure they have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, share concerns, seek guidance, and get connected with other leaders in your company that can provide insight, training, and support as they navigate this transitory stage.
How Medallion Partners Can Help You Onboard New Executives
Interested in building an executive onboarding process that promotes long tenures, steady success, and engaged employees? You’ve come to the right place!
Medallion Partners has provided industry-leading organizational strategy guidance and support for more than 15 years. Contact us today to take the first step toward revolutionizing your onboarding process.