Leadership and executive onboarding can ensure the long-term success of your new leaders. While most organizations provide some form of orientation to new employees, many overlook the needs of new leaders and those who have been promoted or transferred to new leadership roles.
Onboarding best practices include extending support to those in leadership roles, specifically:
First time leaders, new to the supervisory role
Experienced leaders new to the organization, including executives
Onboarding for New Supervisors and Managers
The transition from employee to leader can be one of the most exciting and difficult career moves. One of the challenges often faced by a new leader is the power shift that occurs when they become the supervisor of former co-workers. While the new leader may have strong technical or job expertise, offering training, mentoring, and coaching can help them avoid struggles around the people issues. We strongly recommend supervisory or management training supported by coaching and mentoring to support a new leader as they establish relationships with their team.
Onboarding for Leaders Joining the Organization
Often overlooked in onboarding are experienced leaders who are new to the organization, particularly those at senior and executive levels. These leaders possess strong technical and functional competence, and bring well-developed leadership skills. However, they can benefit greatly from support in learning the organizational culture, identifying key stakeholders, and understanding the nuances of key projects and initiatives.
New leaders bring fresh ideas and practices with them that can serve as a catalyst for positive change. Through leadership and executive onboarding, you can encourage this innovation while still ensuring consistency in management practices throughout the organization.
Tailoring Onboarding to the Individual
Leadership and executive onboarding must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Work with new leaders early in the process to discuss their needs and arrange for appropriate onboarding support. Best practices demonstrate that leadership and executive onboarding can include strategies such as:
mentoring by another leader at their level or a more senior level;
training and coaching from Human Resources and other support functions in how to use management tools;
accompanied site visits to various business divisions and company locations;
informal meetings with groups of employees and team leaders; and
opportunities to meet key customers and stakeholders.
Considering their scope of influence and their ability to impact organizational success, it is important not to overlook the value of including leaders in your organization’s onboarding activities.
Leadership and executive onboarding will demonstrate your organization’s commitment to the success of all its employees, including leaders.
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Wendy Phaneuf is a professional speaker and author and a global expert in employee motivation and retention. Wendy is also the Founder of The Training Source and www.LeadingforLoyalty.com — a one-stop information source that helps leaders and their organizations enhance employee motivation and retention.