Yet, intentionally focusing on and investing in this transition
is one of the most overlooked or undervalued strategies in business today.
Effective onboarding goes well beyond landing the ideal candidate for the role and showing them to their office on day one. Integration is doing what it takes to make the new hire a fully functioning and contributing member of the team—as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Too many times, a new leader is expected to know what to do or how to sort things out with little or no guidance because they’ve been successful in the past. Sadly, the statistics show otherwise.
According to a global survey of 588 senior executives who recently transitioned into new roles, it was organizational culture and politics—not lack of competence or managerial skill—that were the primary reasons for failure. Almost 70% of respondents pointed to a lack of understanding about norms and practices, and poor cultural fit was close behind. When asked what would reduce failure rates, they emphasized constructive feedback and help navigating internal networks and gaining insight into organizational and team dynamics. (source: HBR Article, 'Onboarding Isn't Enough', From the Magazine May–June 2017)
Unfortunately, this makes sense. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, new leaders generally "fail" for one or more of the following reasons:
- They fail to establish a cultural fit.
- They fail to build teamwork with staff and peers.
- They are unclear about the performance expected of them.
- They lack political savvy.
- Their organizations do not have strategic, formal processes to assimilate executives into the organization.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Investing in a career coach can be an extremely effective strategy to avoid the time, headache, and substantial costs that come with an unsuccessful onboarding and integration.
New Leader Integration Coaching Programs
Our New Leader Integration Coaching Programs are typically 6 months in length and include the following three phases:
- Assessment & Planning. To kick-off the engagement, the coach holds an alignment meeting with new leader’s manager to fully understand the position, key expectations, and a view of what success will look like for the new leader at the 30-day, 90-day, and 6-month milestones. Then, prior to their start date, the coach has the new leader complete a leadership self-assessment utilizing the Leadership Circle Profile™ to help them understand the competencies the most effective leaders are fully engaging in and how they rate themselves against these competencies. In addition, the coach conducts interviews individuals involved in the recruitment process to help the new hire understand how their strengths and potential opportunities for development are currently perceived. With this assessment data, the coach assists the new leader in creating a 6-month onboarding plan they’ll use as a roadmap for coaching.
- Coaching to Plan & Progress Review. Coaching sessions are 1-hour in length, occurring weekly or bi-weekly, and beginning prior to the new leader’s start date. Coaching is assists the new leader in strengthening self-awareness, uncovering hidden beliefs or mindsets that may hold them back, practicing new skills, and continuing to explore their “internal operating system” by discussing real-time situations. To ensure ongoing alignment between the new leader and their manager, the coach also facilitates regular check-in meetings to review progress and ensure positive movement during this critical transitional period.
- Close Out the Engagement or Continue. At the end of the new leader’s 6-month coaching engagement, the coach, new leader, and new leader’s manager will meet to review progress and determine whether to extend the coaching engagement.