13 May Plan to Win: Prepare your Top Talent to Rise in 2020
It was hard enough getting new team members up to speed a few months ago. How the &%!$ do you do it now???
New hire assimilation is a monster that already wasn’t getting enough attention; now, it’s in dire need of a whole new plan.
Under normal circumstances, assimilating top talent to a new role is HARD WORK for the company and individual, and it’s incredibly easy to screw up. Typically, the first 6 weeks are spent trying to grasp the day-to-day work, with another 3 months to gain buy-in with their leader/team, and 6 additional months before they understand the full impact their new role has. All the while, behind the scenes there are stress curves both the company and the individual is working through (think buying/selling homes, late night work sessions, changing family surroundings, etc.)
The reality is, it takes new employees an entire year to understand the fullness of their new opportunity, and how they’ll create long-term value. If that didn’t make things hard enough for companies…enter this new work environment.
In addition to working remotely for what may be the first time, in many cases, overarching organizational strategy has shifted. By the time a new hire begins their new role, the company they learned about during the recruiting process has evolved, along with the job responsibilities they thought they had. The stress from all sides of this is ripe for disaster!
Plan to WIN: Prepare Your Top Talent to Rise in 2020
Companies need their new talent to learn, adapt, and overcome. And if you need that from them, they need you to learn, adapt, and overcome your approach, too.
Medallion Partners has guided companies through the ups and downs of assimilating leadership teams and compiled a list of critical components your new assimilation plan needs to enable new hires to rise to the top.
Overcome Change and Uncertainty with Immersive Time
A lineup of 30–minute one-on-ones won’t cut it. And drowning them in PowerPoint won’t add clarity to the big fears. They need structured and unstructured time to be with their peers and leaders that provides space to ask questions, observe others work, and even get to enjoy the team culture together. They will need a healthy dose of vision and strategy from leadership balanced with opportunities to hear others’ perspectives and questions. The big aim with this is to build TRUST.
Form Adaptable Priorities with Feedback Early and Often
“Identify the situation” is the first tactic to problem solving, and in this case has become exponentially more difficult. They don’t have the historical knowledge or the access to assess the full situation with remote or limited interactions. At the same time, part of what you hire top talent for is to bring their unique perspective to your situation. Providing early and often sessions for feedback where there’s a rolling priority list allows for a fast start and adaptable game plan. You’re encouraging different thinking, and more importantly gaining commitment and accountability.
Create a Foundation of Good Conflict Using Uncommon Vulnerability
Beneath the surface, teams can struggle with dysfunction that prevents performance. With a scattered workforce, limited interaction, and universal stress of the times it becomes even harder to root out the dysfunction lurking under the surface. The key to unlocking this is in sharing your own vulnerability. No matter how uncomfortable, teams need to know they can be honest and open without retribution. Developing good conflict through vulnerability encourages others to become more honest and bring things to the surface that may have otherwise been a hidden barrier. Healthy conflict brings in faster collaboration and prevents future failures.
Fight through Exhaustion with Empathy
Imagine how a new leader must feel as they try to make the kind of explosive impact you’ve hired them to bring while being physically cut off from everyone?! In some cases, new talent may have never even seen the office, never met their supervisor in person, and likely haven’t talked to the team they’ll be leading. They are going to lack the professional immersion and intake of tribal knowledge. It’s like learning how to swim by taking a shower and watching others swim! Can you imagine the daunting task? Carry that empathy in your conversations with your new leader. They’ll be more forthcoming with you in the challenges and opportunities they encounter along this path to the “new normal”. Results follow quickly thereafter!
We know that needs for assimilation are ever-changing, and we’re dedicated to assisting our clients in bringing the best out of their newly acquired talent. What are some key strategies that have led your new teams to a successful assimilation in 2020?