The Risk of Mixing Up Integration and Onboarding



Over my last twenty years in HR, I have seen every variation of a typical onboarding program. Many companies don’t have a formal strategy, others have made substantial steps towards onboarding a new leader. But there’s one element that all the onboarding programs I’ve seen have in common – and it’s that traditional onboarding programs alone are putting your company at risk.

It’s a risk to assume a new leader will naturally assimilate into your company’s cultural, functional, organizational dimensions. A typical onboarding program is a tactical snapshot of what your company is and what your company does but doesn’t cover how to be successful in this new environment.  

Significant resources have been invested to fill an executive role, whether an external hire or internal promotion, and yet the Harvard Business Review article, "Executives Fail to Execute Strategy Because They’re Too Internally Focused" reports that 61 percent of executives are not prepared for their new leadership role and 50-60 percent of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job.

As Marshall Goldsmith states in his well-known leadership book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, even the most experienced executives are entering a completely new political landscape. The success strategies that worked in one organizational environment will not necessarily translate into success in a new one.

In this competitive talent environment, you should be doing everything in your power to protect your Human Capital investment. Leadership integration does just that. It is a strategic and intentional process that positions the new leader for accelerated assimilation by equipping them with an intentional plan for success. This plan of action includes the functional, cultural and organizational leadership imperatives of a new role, or rather all the strategic elements we have assumed onboarding will address.  

New executives are expected to hit the ground running. Without a road map, their chances of finding the shortest and fastest route to success can be like a scavenger hunt. It takes time and resources away from meeting the critical priorities of their new role. Leadership Integration takes the guesswork out by answering questions like what does success look like? What does failure look like? How do I prioritize initiatives and set a strong foundation? How do I establish productive working relationships?

It’s time to be intentional about the way you prepare and support your new leaders. Each consultation I have with a client, I encourage them to ask themselves, “What do we need to provide in terms of resources to ensure new leaders can proactively identify and synchronize their winning strategy with that of the organization?” Leadership Integration is your progressive and comprehensive solution.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: