Thursday, May 14, 2020
In the current talent environment, doing everything possible to protect your investment in a strategic hire means committing to a strong Leadership Integration process. In the context of the global pandemic and preparing for a very different future, implementing this process through a strong Virtual Onboarding program is critical.
Leadership Integration is a strategic and intentional process that positions the new leader for accelerated assimilation by equipping them with a plan for success. This plan of action includes all the strategic elements of a new role, including functional, cultural and organizational leadership imperatives.
Significant time and financial investment has gone into filling a key executive position and yet, we know leaders are not always prepared and don’t always succeed in their transition:
An effective process provides the framework for defining what success means for a new leader – it’s a foundation for them to build from and understand what “excellence” will look like in their new role. It provides a comprehensive road map for the organization’s priorities. We must prepare and support the integration of new leaders and ensure resources are in place for them to be successful.
The shift from traditional onboarding to Leadership Integration is much more than just getting a leader started in their role. The typical onboarding process is only the beginning – but is an important first step. Even highly experienced executives are entering a completely new landscape and their previous success strategies might not transition successfully to their new one. They have to re-establish political capital, develop new relationships, learn the culture and connect with their team and new peers.
At Bedford and Teal we believe organizations need to be committed to an effective Leadership Integration process now more than ever. As companies strive to define a “new normal” in these complex times, there is relentless pressure on employers to ramp up new leaders earlier in their tenure so they have a more meaningful voice in defining the path forward. For the new leader, integration starts with a clear onboarding program that translates current practices into meaningful context. This includes:
Once an employer captures the organizational, cultural and strategic context, the key is to convey this information to the candidate in a way that will be meaningful to them so they can accelerate their ability to contribute tangible value. The move to virtual onboarding creates the opportunity to enhance current onboarding practices and move away from checklist procedures. The goal is to leverage the virtual environment to make a more personal introduction that gives the incumbent the opportunity for greater focus on establishing relationships – a key part of acclimatizing to the culture for a new leader.
The specific design parameters for a virtual Leadership Integration program will vary based on the unique features of the organization and the demands of the role. From our perspective at Bedford/Teal, there are a core set of elements that should be included in a best in class virtual onboarding program:
While it may seem daunting to translate to a virtual environment and ensure all elements of onboarding are maintainted, virtual onboarding can be very effective and an even more personal process through actions that welcome the new leader to the team in a meaningful and intentional way.
In this competitive talent environment, organizations should be doing everything they can to optimize their investment and to continue to move forward building their teams with strategic hiring plans.
Bedford and Teal offer advisory services in Leadership Integration program development and execution. We advocate a customized virtual onboarding program that is structured over a period of time, with clear steps, stages, timelines and schedules, providing a 30, 60- and 90-day roadmap at the start. The entire Virtual Onboardingprocess may be delivered over the course of six months to a year.
We work with our clients and advise them to develop and establish an effective onboarding program now in order to retain their top talent. To learn about Bedford’s Leadership Virtual Onboarding Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.