Retention of high-quality, motivated professionals is essential for an organization’s success. This is particularly true for C-level support. High turnover adds to expenses and can lower the morale of the entire company. It’s important to develop the full range of competencies needed to successfully onboard new talent and establish them in your organization. Here are some helpful tips on how solid leadership will help overcome the challenges of onboarding and improve overall retention.
A prominent challenge many leaders experience is making assumptions about expectations without actually communicating them directly. While intuition can be an important part of success, it can never be a substitute for clear communication. During the onboarding process, leaders need to speak with new employees often to learn what they need to feel comfortable. Most new employees want to set goals and milestones. Onboarding is a good time to set expectations so they have a clear sense of direction from the start. Talk with new employees regularly to learn about their career goals, current objectives and help them develop a plan. Search consultants can support managers with appropriate questions to ask as they understand the concerns of new hires as well as client companies and can align intentions to a mutually beneficial outcome.
Another important issue for transitioning new hires is time management. Often managers who are new to onboarding think it’s a one-week process. Many new leaders grow frustrated because the process requires more time than they expected. A search consultant can help establish some guidelines for the process. They can make sure both parties understand what to expect from onboarding and training. Even the most qualified candidates will require thoughtful training and communication. They have an entire organization to become acquainted with.
An effective onboarding process often takes several months to a year. In the first 90 days, the goal should be to make the new hire comfortable, while establishing clear expectations and ensuring that everyone understands objectives. An executive should have a 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day meeting with their new employee to review goals and share feedback in addition to daily action items and priorities. Our search firm offers a post-placement program where we meet with the leader and new hire on a monthly cycle, through some of the most difficult challenges and then move to a 9-month and 12-month check-in. The goal of the meeting is to exchange feedback and foster a connection and sense of shared accomplishment.
Good leadership and direct communication will enable a thoughtful and effective onboarding process ensuring your new employee is established in a timely manner and can begin meeting the goals and priorities you set together. Providing clear communication and immaculate guidelines are essential keys to a smooth onboarding process. Once an employee trusts you and feels supported, they’re much more likely to be productive and stay loyal to the organization.
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