Executive Coaching for New Leader Onboarding

Clearwater Onboarding Program Overview

Clearwater approaches new leader onboarding from a systemic perspective by supporting the individual with one-on-one coaching, meeting with the manager of the new hire to establish priorities and enroll him/her in the process of onboarding (example: manager introducing new hire to key stakeholders), and facilitating interaction with the whole team. This approach accelerates engagement, understanding, and positive outcomes.


 New Leader and Team Connect (30-45 days)

  • Gather information - Discuss with HR the new leader's background and understand current team dynamics; also speak/meet with new leader’s boss and new leader
  • Complete Leader & team profiles (DiSC)
  • Conduct 2 hour workshop – new leader and team interaction program
  • Facilitate three-way meeting (45 day check in) – Clearwater Consulting, new leader and leader’s manager to explore early wins, milestones, and onboarding development plan focus

 Feedback and Action Plan (120-150 days)

  • Conduct up to 10 one-on-one conversations for feedback about the new leader
  • Summarize results in a report
  • Share report with HR, the new leader and the leader’s manager
  • Work with new leader on action plan (format will be created for all leaders to use) and establish timeline for leader to share with his/her boss

improve employee engagement and retention with action planning The Case For Onboarding

Today’s best companies understand the need for onboarding. Recent research from the Conference Board tells us that up to 50% of new leaders in a new position will not make it to their second anniversary. To counter that loss of productivity, top performing companies work harder to prepare these leaders for their new roles. According to Aberdeen’s recent study of best, average and laggard companies in terms of onboarding new talent, 80% of the best companies garnish support from senior management for an ongoing onboarding program. 70% of these companies identify the key issue the leader needs to be successful, and 59% of them hire a coach.  In addition, Michael Watkins’ well documented research in The First 90 Days reveals the financial impact of an executive in a new position and how long it can take to break even on the salary and expense.

Cost of Failures

  • 14 times the cost of base salary for those earning under $100K*
  • For those earning between $100-$250K, the cost of turnover is 40 times base; includes direct and indirect costs, lost productivity and opportunities*
  • 50 sr. mgrs recruited externally per year, avg. comp is $175K per mgr.; 27% failure rate per year; cost per failure =24xsalary:  $56, 700,000.  Value of preventing each transition failure:  $4,200,000!**

Onboarding is a process through which newly hired leaders are coached in their new leadership role so they can:

  • More effectively navigate their new position
  • Learn the culture and politics
  • Identify the key stakeholders and the "go to" people 
  • Get their team onboard
  • Gain the support of their peers
  • Partner with senior management
  • Have a quick and positive impact on the business results

Impacts and Advantages of Onboarding New Leaders

  • Reduces new employee buyer’s remorse and improves retention
  • Aligns new employee with key business strategies
  • Improves productivity and reduces ramp-up time
  • Reduces turnover and consequently saves money

Contact Clearwater Consulting Group at 404-634-4332 to learn how our Executive Coaching can improve the success rate and performance of your new leaders.

*Best Practices for Onboarding:  Ensuring Successful Assimilation, Tracy A. Stovall, Human Capital Institute White Paper, October 31, 2007.
**The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins, 2003.
Your Next Move, Michael Watkins, 2009.
Onboarding, How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time, George Brandt/Mary Vonnegut, 2009.
New Leaders:  Stop Downward Performance Spirals Before They Start, Jean-Francois Marzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux, Harvard Management Update, October 2008.
Best Practices for Onboarding:  Ensuring Successful Assimilation, Tracy A. Stovall, Human Capital Institute White Paper, October 31, 2007.