Ultimately you have finite time and resources to get things done, so keep a running list of questions and concerns but wait 60 days to truly identify the biggest problems worth solving versus selecting issues, teams, or organizational challenges that may not actually be the biggest impact projects to tackle.–Make sure you thoroughly review and understand the budget, not just headcount.
Understanding an organization through the lens of its budget will help you understand what the company prioritizes and truly values.–Plan how you’ll get to know the organization and the people.
Listening more than talking is critical in having the information you need to set priorities of the work.–You have at least 4 key client groups–the CEO, the executive leadership team you are on, the HR leadership team you lead, and the employees of the company.
Develop a thoughtful plan to devote meaningful time to get to know all of them.–When you come into a new HR role, there’s a tendency to want to “fix” everything you see that’s wrong, but some of those quirks are what define organizations.
Start a 2-by-2 chart of your ideas for initiatives and those from feedback–with one axis being High or Low impact and the other being Easy or Hard to start.
Use this to plan how you’ll prioritize, as it’s different for each organization.–Onboarding for any new CHRO always should be heavily focused on learning, starting by listening to the people in the organization about what’s working, what’s not working, what’s missing, and what’s possible.It’s totally fine that new priorities emerge, but this allows you to always come back to what you set out to achieve together.–Your primary objective in your first 100 days should be to “seek to understand.” You want to understand the business and build relationships with as many people as possible.Use a modification on a “new leader assimilation” process, making sure as many people get to know you as a leader and as a human being.The higher you climb up the corporate ladder, the more responsibility you have and the less time to assimilate into each new role.And short of the CEO, nobody feels the pressure more acutely than the executives charged with leading the people team.I put that question to more than a dozen top people executives, and their answers may help you acclimate effectively into a new leadership role, whether or not you work in HR.Executive onboarding starts to happen during the interview process, especially for an early stage or relatively young company.That pressure can put you in a place where you’re constantly reacting, derailing your long-term strategy.As you consider the advice above, be sure to take time to reflect on your best path forward.During your first two weeks on the job, put this together and share with your CEO so they know where you are going to be spending your time.In each of your one-to-ones, bring this back to reference and discuss progress and/or impediments.