Business leaders and Human Resources executives have known for some time that getting an externally recruited executive started well in a new role and their new organization pays dividends in terms of their long-term tenure and performance.
Effective management on-boarding, also known as integration and assimilation, has proven a wise insurance policy engaged to follow up any investment in executive search.
After all, if your organization feels compelled to spend what's required to identify and recruit a proven business leader, shouldn't it also feel obliged to provide that individual with some feedback about the early impression they've made?
The value of on-boarding externally recruited leaders rests in systematizing feedback that can provide a nice morale boost in the event they're off and running to a terrific start in the role and company culture, or the kind of actionable intelligence they need to course-correct their behaviors so they can get back on track if needed.
Without this feedback about their early performance in a new role, executives may commit fatal missteps such as overlooking influential colleagues or failing to communicate effectively with their team and eventually leave or be forced out.
Yet while the focus of on-boarding has been set squarely on externally recruited executives, the experience of senior Human Resources leaders suggests that on-boarding is also an essential tool for those promoted into new roles and/or transferred from one business unit to another.
In fact, the stakes for internally promoted leaders may actually be higher than for outsiders, in large part because their knowledge of what worked in their prior role, in their previous division and/or in another region may prejudice their behaviors and outlook about what's required of them now.
Yes, the performance feedback provided to externally recruited executives also proves of vital importance to long-time employees who find themselves with new responsibilities but some of the same behavioral sensibilities more in tune with their former role than their current one.
Yet Human Resources leaders also acknowledge that getting insiders to commit to an on-boarding regime may be more difficult than securing the buy-in of externally recruited leaders who understand the risks inherent in their transition. Nonetheless, it remains a pivotal commitment that should be expected of any business leader navigating a new role.