Onboarding Advice for Newly Hired Candidates Joan O’Rourke, Partner, OneWorld Consulting, Turkey

Onboarding coaching is increasingly being used by organisations as a means to help their new employees ensure that they know what is expected of them and assist them to focus on forging the relationships they need to succeed in their new role.  International experts recommend that new leaders during the onboarding process “negotiate success” which can be defined as proactively engaging with one’s new boss to ensure targets are clear and achievable, and building relationships with new colleagues and direct reports. Transition experts also recommended that new leaders create coalitions which involve identifying those people who will be important for the new employee’s success and to diagnose informal networks of influence.  Working with an experienced coach can help facilitate this process.

 OneWorld Consulting believes that onboarding coaching support is extremely valuable; it sets the foundation and direction of an individual’s performance and success in the new role. We provide onboarding support to all our newly hired candidates and the feedback we get from them on this process is always positive. In our experience the transition skills an executive in a new role needs to use are often underused and underestimated so encouraging the newly hired candidate to invest time thinking about their transition process  and the skills they need to apply is one of the keys to a successful transition.  There are couple of great books we share with our placed candidates; Michael Watkins’ “The First 90 Days” and Niamh O’Keeffe’s “Your First 100 days: How to Make Maximum Impact in Your New Leadership Role”.   There is also an iphone and android app to suppor the First 100 Days approach which is helpful –  http://hbr.org/books/watkins

The common mistakes we often see people making in the early days of their new role are them succumbing to pressure to make decisions either too quickly or too slowly; not fully understanding the culture of their new organizations and or investing the time they need to fully understand it; relying too much on what may have worked for them in the past; lacking clarity and understanding of what is expected of them in their new role; and not building the relationships they need to integrate them into the new organisation.

Based on our experience our advice is always to encourage the newly placed candidate to create a detailed onboarding plan noting what do they want to achieve on their first day, first week, first month, and so on. Secondly, take time to learn the culture of the new organisation. Thirdly, invest time in the establishing relationships with all stakeholders. Finally, ask for and be prepared to give feedback. Our experience shows that the use of feedback has a big impact on how people view their onboarding as being successful or not.