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Forty percent of executives who change organizations, roles or get promoted, fail within the first 18 months, according to a report in Fortune Magazine.  This report is validated by other studies, including one conducted by a global search firm.

Other studies suggest that a critical element of these expensive rp_onboarding-blue-marker-300x200.jpegand disruptive failures is poor integration.

Here are five reasons why new executives generally fail, according to my colleague Nancy Swain, practice leader for our firm’s Transition Services.

  • Systemic failure to establish a cultural fit
  • Failure to build teamwork with staff and peers
  • Lack of clarity about performance expectations
  • Lack of political savvy
  • Organizations lack a formal strategic process to assimilate new employees

This raises a multiple of questions regarding why companies, faced with the cost of miss-hires and turnover when transfers or promotions do not work out, do not move to address these factors.

Based on our anecdotal research over the past 20 years, here are three main reasons these issues are not addressed.

  1. While hospitals say that employees are their most valuable asset, reinvestment in organizational development, including onboarding,and training and development, are seen as an expense, not an investment. In an era of lower reimbursement, the emphasis is on reducing costs, not adding expenses that do not generate revenue.
  2. The majority of retained search firms pay scant attention to meeting this need since clients rarely ask.  Contingency firms are transactionally oriented — it is all about speed.  They rarely offer value-added services.
  3. Candidates are largely uninformed about the onboarding concept, and lack the insight to ask for support.  Or, they see asking for guidance as a sign of weakness which will call into question their leadership skills and ability to adapt.

The reality is that healthcare organizations can ill afford to continue ignoring this problem.  At JohnGSelf + Partners, we are now incorporating  a more structured onboarding process for our executive candidates, and we are assisting hospitals interested in creating an in-house plan.

Our plan begins with the in-depth due diligence site visit at the onset of the engagement, and continues through 90-days post employment. We are now incorporating our highly successful half-day team building seminar, with a larger more comprehensive approach.

As we discussed this new addition to our suite of talent management services, I was reminded of the old joke:  A CFO, concerned about the cost of employee development, asked the CEO, “What if we spend the money and they leave us for another company?”

His both shot back:  “What if we don’t and they stay?”

The evidence is fairly consistent — hospitals that make strategic investments transitioning their new and existing employees reap significant rewards.


Healthcare Is All About People

At JohnGSelf + Partners, we investing in strengthening our portfolio of talent management solutions.  Along with executive coaching, onboarding, the addition of physician recruiting and interim leadership solutions, we provide our clients with a depth of expertise to move their performance to the next level.

For more information, call John Self, Managing Partner, or Laura Merker, Dr. PH, RN. 214.761.5472.

Weekend Edition Preview:

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