…So between 30% and 60% of executives hired from the outside fail in their new role within 18 months; they fail for a myriad of different reasons, including a failure to adapt to the organizational culture, poor networking, murky expectations and/or feedback, and – in perhaps a minority of cases – technical competency.
With all that said, perhaps no success factor is more correlated with sticking in a role than how a quickly a leader is able to demonstrate value after starting. This process of immediately making an impact – also known as getting a “quick win” – is perhaps the most reliable way to demonstrate one’s mettle to a new organization, confirming the wisdom of the hire with the leadership team and laying the groundwork for accomplishing other tasks (like those noted above) integral to a leader’s long-term success.
…Of course, getting a meaningful quick win is much easier said than done, as generating one requires a leader to (i) accomplish a visible, clearly quantifiable objective that (ii) doesn’t distract his/her team from their day-to-day objectives whilst (iii) allowing others to share in the glow of success – in the process creating team-building and networking opportunities.
Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about the role HR should play in this process. I am a big believer in the role of HR in making introductions and facilitating conversations between anyone just beginning a new role (particularly external hires) and the key stakeholders they will need to connect with in order to be successful… but beyond that introductory process have often struggled with just how much support I should be providing to new incumbents. One of the best HR Managers I’ve ever met had a process wherein they (i) scheduled time for any new hire to meet all of the department heads in the organization, (ii) trained him/her on the process stuff integral to getting things done, and (iii) had regular follow-up and touch points with them early on to ensure that all was well.
^Unless I know the hiring manager is owning each of these items, I also try to do all of the same things to the extent that I am able anytime I’m on-boarding new talent – regardless of level.
What else, though? I don’t know. Having been new to organizations myself in the past – and having experienced first hand the value of having the aforementioned steps taken on my behalf – I want to take every step I can to ensure a new hire’s success.
…But ultimately one has to fly on their own, right?
Talent pros / Generalist: What steps do you take when onboarding your new hires – executive or not – to position them for success. And conversely, what things have you found it’s a good idea not to do.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.