CXO Onboarding: Creating the first impression

How to create a wow factor for the newly hired CXOs and get them off to a Good Start.

Companies spend a huge amount of time in selecting the key executives. At the top, this can include assessment centers, a battery of psychometrics and myriad forms of interviews. Finally, they get their man/woman – the ‘perfect fit for the job’. So far, so good. What happens next i.e. what do they do about induction and orientation as part of on-boarding? Almost nothing – or nothing that adds any great value.

Organizations should assure that newly hired executives feel welcomed, valued, and prepared for what lies ahead. From day one, it is important to make them feel comfortable so that they can quickly reach the goals they were hired to achieve.

What is Orientation? Orientation is a function that allows a new employee to learn about the organization, expectations from them, their responsibilities and in general what they need to know to become an integral part of the company. This is an opportunity to explain to the new employee, the importance of their position and how it works to support the goals of the company.

According to Arthur M. Cohen and Robert E. Nemecek, “the way in which persons are brought into a company, are inducted into it, and are assimilated into it, greatly affect the following: 1) the rate at which they  catch on and feel comfortable in the job and work environment, 2) their job satisfaction and morale, 3) their ability to learn, 4) the time required for them to reach full productivity, 5) attitudes they formulate toward the company and those around them, and 6) an early decision whether to stay with the company or not.”

On an average, the time for newly hired CXOs to achieve full productivity is more than 26 weeks. And recent studies show that it costs a business around Rs 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs to replace the CXOs.

How to create the Wow factor?

Engagement of family members of CXOs is very crucial. The CXOs along with their family members can be greeted with bouquet of flowers at their home before joining. Relevant official letter can be handed over in the presence of the spouse. This creates a wow factor both for the CXOs and their family.

Just before the day of joining of CXOs, his/her cabin should be all set with a fully functional laptop, speaker phone, printer and other necessary devices. Mailbox should get configured beforehand. List of important phone numbers and the telephonic procedures should be kept on the table. Cabin should be thoroughly examined by the admin for its full functionality. Welcome Kit containing all the relevant stuffs should be ready to be presented to the newly joined CXO.

On the first day at the office, there should be a  personal one-on-one interaction with key executives who will make newly joined CXO aware about his/her peer group, DNA and culture of organization, challenges, and relevant facts and figures. There should be clarity about the powers they would be have and ones they won’t be have. Any wrong decision can backfire.

People at CXO level expect respect , hence how others meet, greet and welcome them becomes very important. Orientation involving human interaction, recognition and special treatment has a greater emotional touch and is very valuable. After all it’s a 2-way communication and not 1-way  like the AVs and e-portals. Audio Visuals and e-portals can’t clarify any doubt if occurred however personal interactions can.

In nutshell, is is in the hands of the organization to accommodates, assimilates and accelerate the growth of the new CXOs in order to achieve the goals of the firm.



Praveen Shekhar is an HR student at IIM Ranchi. Currently he is pursuing his internship at Srei Infrastructure Finance  limited and has a previous experience of 23 months in Tata Consultancy Services.

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