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CEO Participation: How Getting Involved in Employee Onboarding Ensures Higher Productivity and Engagement

Posted on in Retention Strategy

Your business strategy and market position may not be all that different from your competitors. What makes your company unique is not “what” you do, rather it’s “how” you achieve your business results. And you get those results through your people.

When we talk to CEOs about their new hire onboarding process, most describe a one-day program run by their HR department. They’ll often mention some level of involvement of other staff such as IT or Operations, but generally won’t have a lot of additional details.

When you think about it, why should they?  I mean…is bringing on the newest team members who are charged with executing the business vision every day really all that important?

I hope you sense my sarcasm here.

Onboarding MUST be on CEOs’ agendas. I’m not suggesting you roll up your sleeves and run the program (although one of our clients does), but it is imperative you engage in this transformative program at both the strategic and tactical levels. Why?

Our research shows that CEOs who actively participate in the onboarding program enjoy:

  • Seamless assimilation of new hires into the existing team
  • Faster new hire production
  • Higher retention rates of their new employees

CEO involvement in onboarding reinforces the value you place on your people and sends a signal that you are committed to the success of the business, engaged in every aspect, and interested in welcoming the newest contributors.

So, what’s the best way to be involved?  The size of your company and the frequency of your hiring will impact the level of engagement that you can afford to commit to, and there may be a magic number (we’ll say 250 employees) where sharing this responsibility with other key leaders would be appropriate.

At a minimum, the effectiveness of your onboarding program must be a KPI that you monitor closely. It is just as important as the many financial indicators and other objectives you track. By prioritizing it on your dashboard, it signals to the entire company how important the onboarding program and your employees are to you.

In addition, consider things like:

  1. Making a phone call to new hires welcoming them to the team
  2. Mailing a personal, handwritten note prior to them joining
  3. Attending breakfast or lunch during orientation
  4. Hosting a CEO session during onboarding either in person or virtually to answer new hire questions
  5. Personally delivering the mission, vision, values, or strategic plan overview during onboarding

You’ll be glad you did.

Start improving your onboarding program today with 36 proven, actionable tips. Complete the form below to download now.

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