Hiring capable and talented employees is a challenge for any organisation, with competition for the best applicants heating up all the time. But hiring executive-level employees is particularly important, as these are the people you need to provide clear, effective, and consistent leadership.

Although senior hires are brought in specifically to provide leadership, that doesn’t mean they can just be thrown in at the deep end and left to fend for themselves. As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential.

This is where a good executive onboarding programme can make a huge difference – helping new leadership-level colleagues in getting to grips with their new job and hitting the ground running. So here’s how long executive onboarding should take and how our 90 Day Accelerator programme can help executives as they get accustomed to new roles.

 

What is executive onboarding and why is it important?

Executive onboarding is the process of bringing a new executive-level hire into an organisation and helping them adapt to their new role. It is vitally important because successful executive onboarding programmes help to reduce staff turnover at leadership level, which saves organisations the costs associated with recruiting and training replacements.

Whatever previous experience an executive has on paper, they’re still going to need support in those early months after starting a new job. This is why employers must provide new leadership-level hires with an onboarding programme that can help them as they grapple with the challenges they face early on in their new role, and let them know what’s expected of them.

New executives who are simply left to sink or swim are more likely to become disorientated and demoralised. As a result, there’s a good chance that they’ll leave and take their talents to somewhere more supportive and appreciative – leaving you to go through the hassle, and the expense, of finding and hiring a replacement.

According to Forbes, 30% of new hires are leaving their roles within 90 days. This underlines the vital importance of getting executive onboarding right, in order to set the scene for a successful integration into the business.

 

How long does executive onboarding take?

The first point to make here is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to executive onboarding. Different employers in different industries face unique challenges, and your executive onboarding programme has to be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation and incoming new leaders.

Your executive onboarding programme needs to give incoming executive hires enough time to integrate themselves into the organisational culture and the team they’re a part of, as well as giving them a clear grasp of their responsibilities. There needs to be an onboarding plan, including a conscious effort to nurture stakeholder relationships and cultural immersion.

It should go without saying, therefore, that this process will inevitably take time. The 90 Day Accelerator, a bespoke coaching programme developed and delivered by Metisblue, supports executives during those crucial early months as they integrate into their new role.

The 90 Day Accelerator provides new senior hires with a one-to-one coaching plan during the first three months of starting a new role. This helps to accelerate integration, support progress and give new executive hires the helping hand they need. In turn, it ensures they can deliver concrete results sooner and that their employer enjoys a higher return on their own investment.

Setting new executives up for the long term

It really is worth taking the time and effort to devise a comprehensive executive onboarding programme. The onboarding process can be crucial in determining whether a new executive hire stays and succeeds over the long term, or whether they lose focus and morale before moving on to pastures new.

High staff turnover rates are damaging enough at any level of an organisation, but especially so at leadership level. The cost of replacing executives is higher than that of replacing more junior employees, so it’s in your interest as an employer to take executive onboarding seriously. For Intuitive, this is a key priority, which is why almost 90% of our candidates are still in their role after two years.

The rise of hybrid working also means that there needs to be a more concerted and deliberate effort when it comes to executive onboarding. Employers must make extra effort with new executives and help them forge strong working relationships with their colleagues as well as immersing them in the culture and values of the organisation.

At Intuitive, we place great emphasis on culture fit because we understand how important it is in ensuring that leadership-level hires share your values and ethos. If you’re a transport sector organisation looking to hire a new executive, or you’re a candidate with an eye on an exciting new executive-level career in the industry – get in touch with us today and find out more.

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