When hiring new leaders, good companies focus on the on-boarding process but amazing companies pre-board also. Pre-board I hear you ask, what is this?
For us pre boarding is a proactive strategic approach to assimilating your new employee well before their first day in the office (if offices still exist). It involves informing, preparing and exciting employees prior to their first day.
In our opinion, pre-boarding can reap rewards when it comes to future performance, impact and retention and also makes the entire onboarding experience seamless, as well as mitigating risks.
During this period, you might have hired someone having never met physically and without them getting a real ‘feel’ for your company. This is your chance to get them set up and ready to hit the ground running.
8 tips for preboarding executive hires
Make the implicit explicit
One of the key challenges for those in Leadership positions joining remotely is that there are few opportunities to gather insight into the informal working practices, behaviours, cultural values and ways of doing things.
A: Brief them thoroughly on their peers, team and how things get done.
There is always a huge amount of information to absorb and the quicker it happens the quicker your new recruit will be able to impact.
A: As soon as you feel comfortable doing so, share relevant data that will help the individual to build a picture as to what is really happening in the company and, if a functional director, what is happening in their department.
Set Clear Objectives
For a new joiner at any time, whether CEO or Director, there should be clarity of the outcomes that they are being asked to deliver.
A: We strongly recommend that these are clearly articulated and documented in a success profile to ensure there is an objective assessment of the individual’s progress and clarity if in time these are not being met
How do you ensure that your new employee is going to be engaged when they join?
A: Make sure you speak to them regularly in the post-offer phase. Making the human/emotional connection strong by relationship building is fundamental. We recommend calls, video calls, and training sessions in the pre-joining phase.
Personalise the Plan
Worried that one size doesn’t fit all?
A: Share your plan for the onboarding process so they can see what the weeks will look like and how you’ll communicate with them. Enable them to have oversight and prioritise who they speak to first and in what order. Also, spread out the meet and greets to ensure there is depth of conversation.
Get the kit list right
The small things make a huge difference and seriously add to the stress in the early days.
A: Make sure the ‘office’ kit list is right. Is the Executive a Mac or PC user? iPhone or Android? Have they got a suitable chair and desk? Do they have the right programmes or access to the cloud?
Set up a support call with IT to cover the basics of getting online and then put in another session later in the week if necessary. Also, make sure their kit arrives preloaded, set up and ready to go, and most importantly – on time!
For some joining a company can be an anti-climax….
A: Our recent survey stressed the importance of purpose so take the time to discuss your mission and values, how the company began, and your plan for the future. Include the new hire in those plans and discuss the part they will play in it. Tell them what parts of working at your company other employees value the most.
We have seen leading companies sending out branded welcome packs including personalised messages from peers, water bottles, stationery and brand-appropriate gadgets, stationery and even tea bags and biscuits. Yes it might be gimmicky but what’s not to like in a freebie.
Establish their norms
Working and personal lives operate in tandem, and currently many people’s lives are in flux.
A; Don’t forget that people have lives as well as work lives. Yoga at 0630-0730, drop the kids to school on a Tuesday and pick up Friday? These type of questions need to be asked and clarified to ensure employees feel valued as people not just as an asset.
If you’re looking to make an executive hire or need help restructuring your team to overcome new challenges, get in touch today.