On-Boarding is Key

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Found The Perfect Executive Sales Hire? Now Keep Them.

You have spent valuable resources: Time and money finding the perfect candidate. The thing is the odds are that your executive hire will be gone within 24 months. This is especially a widespread problem among executive sales.
You chose this particular candidate from the many because they have the skills you need for the position and that extra factor which made them stand out from the rest.
How can you beat those odds above and keep your executive long enough to enable them to bring greater value and innovation to your company?

On-boarding is the key
What is on-boarding? On-boarding is the name given to the process of welcoming and integrating a new employee into your company. Making them feel at home, wanted and appreciated.
It is a simple fact that proper on-boarding means much greater retention.

Start On-boarding before you even hire.
Begin this process right from the interview itself. Have your key employees at the interview and let them have one to one time that will naturally flow into less formal conversations.
This will allow the candidate and the team to get to know each other. It helps the candidate to get to know your company’s mission and corporate identity.
Remember that high retention rates are about keeping your on-boarding program constant.
How to do that?

Day One
Your new hire’s first few days are when your new executive employee is being assessed, but they are also doing their own assessing: They are probably thinking throughout the day, “did I make the right choice?” You need to anticipate this and let them know that the answer is an emphatic “yes”.
Most new hires have the same set process when assessing their new organization. They need to feel confident that their skill-set will allow them to be successful there.
Will they be fully supported? Will this new working culture recognize their achievements? (will they be valued). They also want to know if the opportunities for advancement are there, what incentives are there to stay the distance and be around longer than the 24-month average?

Formally introduce the executive team
Make introductory sessions part of your on-boarding and allow key members of your team to each give a little overview of their role in the team and how they will be working with the new candidate. The candidate will quickly get to know who they can go to with any problems apart from yourself.
A cheat sheet on the local area, best places for food, best coffee joints, best schools, etc. are invaluable for newcomers to the area.

Introduce key members of the product or services team
This is so useful for any organization, not just for on-boarding. Sales teams and especially executives often feel removed from the services/products they are trying to boost. Have regular meetings with key members of both sales and product departments and boost the confidence, know-how and technical knowledge of your sales staff. They can then impart that knowledge to your customers creating higher authority in your client’s eyes.
Ask them how they can feel valued
Seems obvious but asking the sales executive how they wish to be rewarded and valued for their hard work is the best way to find out not only how to motivate them, but how to keep them motivated.
Perhaps it is not just money (though money WILL be a component), maybe they need verbal recognition? Maybe rewards and incentives such as a dedicated parking space, maybe extra days off? ASK.

Try to make all rewards public
Set up a Kudos Board in a public place. This is growing in popularity in large organizations with both Google and Zappos having their own versions.
Each employee that does a great job is rewarded by being pinned up on the board by other employees. Nobody knows when the reward will happen, so it’s always a surprise, and these rewards cannot then be anticipated, leading to less entitlement.
So, keep rewards small but frequent, try always to let them be a surprise when they are given. That way the rewards do not become expected resulting in less entitled anticipation.

Reward performance
You already know that your sales executive talent is essential to your organization. New gifted sales executives must have a definite and clear contractual way to future development and wage growth potential within YOUR company structure.
One of the best ways to keep this contractual incentive fresh is to have regular sessions where expectations can be discussed. Always be open to changing the original remit.

NEVER change compensations downwards
Commission and incentives written in their original contract should never be reduced under any circumstances. Any included compensations such as retention bonus’, health plans, extra help for expensive cities should remain intact.
Show your corporate integrity and keep those original promises AND keep your staff.
It might seem obvious, but it is so much easier and productive for your company to keep your current staff (new and old) than to spend resources looking for new candidates.
Companies that have official on-boarding policies will reap the benefits of happy, motivated, innovative professionals that are integral parts of their corporate identity.
Create an onboarding program now and see those retention rates soar.
Call if you’d like to discuss this or filling current requirements. I’ll be at my desk.

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