How HR can help new executives adapt

by HCA17 Mar 2014
Anyone who has recently tried to recruit an executive, or any key professional, knows that the talent game is definitely back on. So once you’ve appointed the right person, the last thing HR needs is to lose them over poor acclimatisation.  
For employees, “The journey up the corporate ladder can still be daunting,” said Kellie Northwood, Australian Catalogue Association executive director.
Part of the issue for new executives can be confidence, Northwood said, but there are a number of ways HR can help new executives land successfully and confidently, and to start performing quickly.
“You’ve worked long and hard to hire your new executive; don’t waste all of that effort by allowing a poor induction experience to impact their impression of and connection to your organisation,” said HR professional, Kelly Rafferty.
Even before your employee commences, Rafferty said there are a few simple things you can do to assist with their assimilation into your organisation.
These include:
  1. Sending a welcome package. “It might be appropriate to send some corporate merchandise and a welcoming note from the new exec’s leader,” Rafferty said. “I’ve also forwarded a copy of the week one schedule to new hires, to help them get prepared for the busy week I’ve outlined for them.”
  2. Helping them build strong personal connections. Think about who your new executive needs to know, and who they will need to influence, then “get these introductions into the diary quickly,” she said.
  3. Making sure their leader schedules time for them. “There’s nothing worse than your new hire not having any face time with their leader until their second month with your organisation,” Rafferty said.
  4. Explaining HR policies and practices (think performance management, annual reviews, remuneration frameworks and employee engagement surveys) and help them understand the culture of your organisation. “Give them the low-down in ‘how we do things around here’,” Rafferty added.
  5. Working with the executive to help them ascertain their team’s capability and effectiveness. “It may help to have a facilitated session to expedite team relationships,” she said.
Steve Johnson, Managing Director, Transfirmation Partners, will discuss ‘On-boarding at the top: Helping newly hired executives to adapt quickly’ at our 2014 HR Summit, held in Sydney on April 1-2. For more information, click here.


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