One simple way to accelerate senior leader onboarding

What’s the difference between regular onboarding and senior leader onboarding? The stakes are even higher, much higher. Senior leaders understand the massive expectations of them,] especially when they join a new organization, and the 10X magnifier on their every move. Their onboarding process needs to be comprehensive and precise to protect these talented additions from unintentional gaffes (hello…going to work in a suit on the first day when everyone else is in hoodies) and dings to their authority before they’ve even gotten their feet wet.

Senior leaders have ascended the ranks and achieved expert status, but they’re not experts in your company yet. They don’t know your culture, your office quirks, and much more. They need a guide to get them up to speed, fast.

Enter, modern onboarding: Senior Leader Edition.

Just like regular onboarding, the process needs to be an automated, seamless journey that intuitively guides them into the organization. It also needs to be complete but concise, since their time is not only valuable but limited and typically spread thin. The big difference from standard onboarding is the depth, breadth, and level of detail needed to be included to empower them to succeed from day 1.

Each senior leader should be provided a digital repository (and potentially even an old school binder) filled with critical information. It should include major initiatives and current status, information about their direct reports and admin, and department-specific information.  This dossier – essentially their cheat sheet to the organization – ensures they have all the knowledge they need to be successful and feel prepared for this new role and company experience. You don’t want them to be blindsided by something they could have been prepared for with a bit of upfront insider information.

Senior leaders are under immense scrutiny when joining a new organization. Their peers are wondering if they’ve got the chops, their direct reports are questioning their competence and authority, and the leader is wondering if they can do the job and if take the role was the right choice.

Remember: knowledge is power. Equipping your new senior leaders with this dossier prepares them, demonstrates your genuine investment in them, and helps quell the nerves they’re likely facing about this big change. Your senior leaders may be able to recover from an unintentional blunder due to poor onboarding, but they really shouldn’t have to.

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