Statistics show that 40% to 60% of newly hired executives are unsuccessful in their transition to new firms. You’ve invested a great deal of time and money in search fees. You’ve dealt with diminished productivity and other frightful things. You’ve every right to expect the executive to fit in and perform. Understand, however, before that can happen, the new hire needs time to have the beginning of a level of comfort with the culture, key relationships and essential priorities. Instead of a 1-day orientation, consider a longer-term on-boarding process.

How do companies help ensure success with on-boarding? Create opportunities for the new executive to focus on three critical areas:

  1. Learn about the culture.
    They need to understand how things operate in the company, how decisions are made, how risk and innovation are encouraged.
  2. Build relationships.
    They need to know the key stakeholders – their employees, customers, colleagues and boss. They need to be clear about what others expect of them, and what they expect from others. Put yourself in their place. How comfortable would you be in a new environment with new people, ways of doing business, and other idiosyncrasies?
  3. Focus on priorities.
    They need to set a few significant objectives that can be achieved in the first six months. Early success builds trust and confidence. Directing their energy on what counts is most important.