The column executive briefing

Issue #XXI

How to make the newly hired executive’s first day a positive start!

Successfully integrating a new executive into your organization must be handled with care. Do you remember what it was like when you joined the company? Wouldn’t it have been great if you had the Ambassador of Successful Integration assigned to help you quickly get your arms around an entirely new organization comprised of many moving parts and key people that you needed to meet in order to successfully integrate into your new role? The short answer is — Yes!

Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Following these steps — you will start your new executive down the path to a positive start:

  • In Texas, it’s called “Rolling out the welcome wagon!” Everyone reaches out and welcomes the new executive onboard. This includes recognizing their family too. A personal phone call, a simple hand written note congratulating them or a welcome letter makes a very positive impression!
  • Mail their new business cards ASAP along with a letter to again re-enforce how excited everyone is that he or she is joining the team. In addition, the new executive will be interested to know that preparations regarding their office and Executive Assistant are underway and will be completed by the time they come aboard. Also, include an itinerary of their first day and administrative things needed to be completed. Follow up with a telephone call to make sure they know where to show up and who to ask for when then arrive. Paving the way for a positive first day does not happen by accident, it takes planning and coordination.
  • During the transition period, reach out and assist the new executive in getting a lay of the land before they start. This would include sending general information that will help them get “up-to-speed” on the current standing of the company, the competition and current market conditions. Recommended reading might include review of the company website, annual reports and recent press releases to gain an understanding of the company’s leadership team, business model, organization and strategic goals. More detailed information can be provided once onboard
  • After completing the administrative onboarding part of the process — someone must be assigned to remain in close contact with them. This person will be the critical “link” in helping the new executive learn about the company and how to get things done. They will also help the new executive get introduced and connected within the company. Another big reason in doing this is you don’t want your new executive to get run over in traffic. Crossing the busy roads and bridges that span the various fiefdoms of the organization can be tricky. You must have someone that will hold the new executive’s hand (figuratively) and show them the way. Like it or not, in every organization there are toll roads and bridges — some with trolls underneath — and each with a price to pay for the unsuspecting.

Incorporating these steps into your onboarding process will make your new executive’s first day on the job a positive start.