Excerpts from an interview I did this week.  More later when the interview is published.

What is onboarding?

Activities to acquire, accommodate, assimilate and accelerate new team members

Why do onboarding?

1)    Reduce the risk of failure.  Heidrick and Struggles internal study of 20,000 searches revealed that 40% of executives are fired, forced out or quit within 18 months.  PrimeGenesis’ onboarding efforts have reduced that failure rate to 10%.

2)    Speed to productivity. PrimeGenesis onboarding has helped new employees and their teams get done in their first 100-days what would normally take 6-12 months.

3)    Culture transformation.  If everyone is onboarding people the same way, it transforms the culture for the better.

What are the main onboarding issues for a global company?

1)    Isolation – either the new employee on his or her own, or the new employee and his or her boss, or the local geography.  The answer is to integrate across: first the new employee and his or her boss, then the boss with peers across functions, then the geography with the rest of the world.

2)    Doing it To them.  Few like having things done to them.  Most like having things done with them.  The answer is to pivot off the moment of acceptance and co-create a personal onboarding plan.

3)    Dealing with issues separately.  There are a lot of pieces of onboarding.  Dealing with them in a disconnected fashion is often counter-productive.  Instead, start with an integrated Total Onboarding Program, get people aligned around it, and implement it in an integrated fashion.

How can we best implement onboarding?

It starts with senior management commitment.  Then deploy a comprehensive change-management program:

Seed the ideas

Launch the program

Cascade the ideas

Celebrate green shoot early wins

Reinforce commitment to the program when people inevitably start to question it

Institutionalize the program by embedding it into key processes

What are the benefits of onboarding for the organization?

1)    Reducing the risk of failure means reducing the costs of failure: direct, indirect and opportunity costs

2)    Increasing speed to productivity has a positive impact on the top-line and bottom line given the time value of money.

3)    Transforming the culture makes the whole organization more effective.  In the end, this is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage.

George Bradt – PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding and Transition Acceleration