Effective onboarding of new team members is critical to the long-term success of the organization.  Successful onboarding drives employee productivity accelerates delivery of results and significantly improves talent retention – all contributing to bottom-line productivity.  Yet few organizations manage the different pieces of onboarding in a strategic, integrated, and consistent manner.

 

The first step in the implementation of a good onboarding program is persuading the new manager and his supervisor to participate. I’m not talking about Executive Orientation; I’m talking about integrating the new manager seamlessly into the culture of the organization.

 

Persuade the Manager and Supervisor to Participate

 

This may sound easy but it’s not.

A big challenge to integration is that new managers often don’t see the need. After all, they have been successful in the past so why not now with this new group and company.

 

And the supervisors likely won’t see the need either. They will have a laundry list of things they want the new hire to do right away.  Networking or informational meetings will be seen as just getting in the way.

 

The fact is that each situation is new and different.  Even if a new manager is moving within the same industry company cultures are markedly different.  Communication techniques or behavior that worked at the last company could spell disaster at the new one. Past experience doesn’t necessarily translate

 

We have to remember that we hire highly qualified, successful competent people who may well expect that their success in their previous firm will automatically translate to success in this position. It is hard for them to see the importance of understanding the culture and politics of a new company and the subtleties of how the baton is passed. And we can’t expect that they will ask for assistance.  So you have to be proactive and make it happen. We have to explain to the hiring manager why this will help their department’s productivity and to the new manager how this will help him succeed even faster in his new environment. The question for the new manager is not “can I help you,?” but “what help do you need.?”

 

Tim Ruef is President and CEO of Ruef & Associates, a retained executive search firm located in New Jersey.