Onboarding a New Executive

Onboarding a new Executive can be a challenging and crucial task for Assistants. It requires careful planning, effective communication, and a proactive approach. In this article, we will explore Diana Brandl’s 10-point strategy plan for onboarding a new executive, providing valuable insights and tips for success.

1. Establish a Connection from the Start

The first step in onboarding a new executive is to establish a connection. As soon as you learn the name and contact information of the incoming executive, reach out via email. Congratulate them on their new role, and express your team’s excitement to work with them. Request a phone call to kickstart the onboarding process. LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for connecting with the new executive professionally.

2. Ask the Right Questions

During your initial phone call with the new executive, ask pertinent questions to understand their work style, preferences, and expectations. Inquire about their working habits, organizational preferences, and any innovative ideas they might want to implement. Discuss their meeting preferences, open-door policy, and mail-handling procedures. Understanding these details early on will help streamline their transition.

3. Personal Requirements

As an executive assistant, you’ll need access to certain personal information to fulfil your role effectively. Ask for emergency contact information, including family members and close friends. Inquire about any private requirements, such as coordinating household staff or managing personal appointments. Understand their dining preferences and any food allergies or specific dietary requirements they may have.

4. Prepare an Information Package

Create an information package to help the new executive get up to speed quickly. Include organizational charts, job descriptions for direct reports, and your own job description. Provide company presentations, handbooks, compliance guides, travel regulations, HR-related data, and financial overviews. Having this information readily available will facilitate their understanding of the company.

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5. Stakeholders and Meetings

Based on the executive’s preferences, start setting up meetings and schedules. Collaborate with their direct reports to organize meetings. Consider other key stakeholders like project managers, HR personnel, and the workers’ council. Ensure that you prioritize high-level meetings first. Don’t forget to schedule regular touch-base meetings with the executive and align them with their expectations.

6. Facilitate Socialisation

Socialising is essential for anyone joining a new company. Use your role as an assistant to facilitate networking. Introduce the executive to key individuals at all hierarchy levels, including receptionists and janitors. Encourage them to meet with various departments, clients, investors, and press contacts as needed. Consider arranging regular lunch meetings with the management team to foster connections.

7. Involve Relevant Departments

You can’t handle the entire onboarding process on your own. Involve other departments as needed. Delegate tasks like ordering a company car to the facility or purchasing department, IT equipment setup to the IT department, and private document handling to HR. For travel-related matters, engage with the in-house travel department or a travel agency.

8. Ensure a Smooth Day One

On the executive’s first day, ensure everything is ready. Confirm that the office is cleaned and set up. Install all necessary IT equipment and office supplies. Consider a welcome gift for their office, such as flowers or chocolates, along with a personalised card from the team. Offer an office tour and facilitate introductions to key team members.

9. Share Your Knowledge

Once the onboarding process is successfully completed, share your experiences and knowledge with other assistants and HR professionals. Provide templates, contacts, and best practices. Share feedback received from the executive and other departments involved. Your insights can be valuable in helping others create effective onboarding processes.

10. Relax and Celebrate Success

Finally, take a moment to relax and celebrate your success. You’ve successfully managed a complex project and demonstrated your leadership skills. Your hard work and dedication have not only helped the new executive but have also elevated your role within the organisation. Be proud of your accomplishments.

In conclusion, onboarding a new executive is a multifaceted task that requires meticulous planning and execution. By following Diana’s 10-point strategy plan, you can ensure a smooth transition for the new executive and establish yourself as a valuable asset to the organisation. Your dedication and expertise in this area not only benefit the executive but also contribute significantly to the success of the entire company.

If you’re looking to further enhance your skills and knowledge in working seamlessly with executives, consider enrolling in our Managing Up and Working in Sync with Your Executive online course. This comprehensive program will provide you with the tools, strategies, and insights you need to excel in your role as an executive assistant. Take action today to elevate your career and become an indispensable resource for your organisation. Don’t miss this opportunity to refine your skills and make a lasting impact on your professional journey.