Onboard Like a CEO: 6 Strategies from the Corner Office that Will Engage and Develop Your New Hires – Part 2 of 3 installments of this series



Part 1 in this 3-part series focused on two onboarding strategies for new hires: 1) making a personal connection by helping them feel like the organization is expecting them, and 2) regulating the amount of information they get. In part 2 we focus on two more of the six strategies borrowed from executive onboarding that your new hires will immediately benefit from.

Strategy #3: Focus on building relationships
No person is completely independent or “on an island” if they are working for any organization these days. Strong relationships are the key to a successful onboarding experience and sustained work performance, as every engagement survey report will show.  Start with your new hires as if they were as important to your success as the CEO would be. Think practically and strategically when selecting the people with whom they should meet and when.  We typically focus on this area for new senior leaders, but too often, we slip into all tactical activities for other employees.

Try these strategies to boost your relationship-building for new hires:

  • Consider all the stakeholders the new hire will rely on based on the role.
  • The manager is critical in helping the new hire identify and cultivate the right relationships.
  • Create a calendar of “meet-and-greet” meetings based on the onboarding objectives.
  • Build a strategy to connect with each stakeholder.
  • Spend time talking about key relationships with the new hire and how they impact their role, personal and organizational objectives, and success.
  • Solicit feedback about the new hire about these relationships and how they are forming.

All these strategies are “free” and only require a little bit of planning and collaboration with other functions to ensure that your new hires meet and connect with their key partners and internal customers.

Strategy #4: Create Early Wins
Early Wins are one of the best-kept secrets in a robust onboarding experience–maybe because it seems obvious, or maybe because we think of them as “job duties” and haven’t framed them as anything else. Senior leaders understand the power and impact of making some key contributions early to gain confidence, trust, and momentum within the organization.

Use these strategies to begin creating Early Wins during the onboarding process:

  • Identify 5-6 initiatives or projects that the new hire can do to demonstrate progress against bigger goals.
  • Support these with the resources needed.
  • Help the manager articulate expectations for each Early Win and track progress.
  • Establish a timeline for each Early Win and how it supports the overall goal.
  • Use the onboarding meetings to talk about any barriers and/or successes.

This “trick” can also be leveraged for every one of your new hires with a simple conversation and a worksheet.  When we used this strategy with a client, the new hire gained better clarity about what the organization needed from her and was able to execute a few of those things in the first ninety days or so. As a result, the new hire felt increasingly more confident about her decision to join the company.  Win, win, win!

Stats show that new hires are deciding as to whether they will stay or leave a new role during the first six months, so using Early Wins can help cement both the new hire’s decision to stay and give the organization indicators as to how they are doing against a formal plan.

Read about the next two strategies in part 3 of this series. If you missed part 1 of this 3 part series, click here.

Our team-connect Survey Process


We start with thoughtfully diagnosing the team’s current culture by using available data, assessments and interviews.

This provides the team leader with a clear view of what is getting in the way of the team’s success.

We design a series of structured team sessions that:

  • Share the team culture analysis
  • Give team members the opportunity to talk through both processes and behaviors that need to be addressed
  • Productively provide feedback to one another
  • Develop both team and individual commitments that will lead to the team’s desired state


Measure progress by leveraging CTD’s team-connect Survey to:

  • Drive accountability and measure progress by collecting team feedback specific to one another’s engagement and behavioral change
  • Provide the team’s leader with a clear understanding of what he/she and the team need from each other to enable and support the team’s success
  • Share team and individual survey result reports