Studies show that 50-70% of newly hired managers and executives fail at their new jobs and leave within 18 months.
Hiring a new executive is a long-winded process. It can take ages to find the right person, negotiate a deal with them, wait for them to work their notice, and then onboard them successfully when they finally join your organization.
If everything goes well, your new senior is able to hit the ground running – inspiring and motivating their team, building strong relationships with your clients, and adding value.
In reality however, it’s likely that your new hire will hit some snags. They might struggle to connect with and motivate their team and feel isolated and alone. They might say the wrong thing when meeting an important new client, simply because they weren’t aware of your company’s tense relationship with that particular contact, or they might not be able to add any value for more than three months.
When this happens, the honeymoon period is cut short, productivity slows, and everyone – including your new hire – is left wondering whether they are right for the job.
Correct integration of senior hires is essential
Research from executive search and leadership consultants, Egon Zehnder, found that amongst 70% of senior executives who had transitioned unsuccessfully into a new role, identified a poor grasp of how an organization works as the main reason for failure.
This was closely followed by a mismatch with organizational culture and difficulty in forming relationships with peers and stakeholders. Nearly half also admitted that they failed to fully grasp the business model they were joining.
Industry experts have identified three key areas to integrate senior hires: commercial, culture, and operations.
This is probably the most obvious aspect for a senior leader, but it’s important to plan carefully and make sure your new hire is properly introduced and plugged in to key relationships.
You can really help your new hire get started on the right footing by making an effort to integrate them into the culture of your organization. It’s a good idea to plan a series of group and individual socials and ‘meet-and-greets’ to help break the ice.
Assigning a mentor, peer guide, or external coach is also a great way to help your new hire navigate things like office politics as they build their network and foster fruitful relationships.
Give your new senior hire the best chance at success by ensuring that they understand your organization’s unique processes and operations. You could facilitate this by getting other senior leaders to include the new executive when discussing operational efforts.
Continue to offer communication, feedback and support until the new hire is properly settled. This builds trust and makes the transition smoother for everyone.
Bolster your senior hire integration program with software from vi
vi INTEGRATE is a talent management software module that plugs into your existing solutions to help you integrate senior hires.
The software allows you to create a timeline of integration activities and actions for all new hires, ensuring that they are fully integrated into the cultural fiber of your organization. This is ideal for senior leaders joining an organization.