September 1, 2011

Starting a new job – Honeymoon or ordeal?

In this edition:

This question that needs to be asked, as well as reflecting on the support and guidance provided to new managers, are key to taking necessary actions to increase the success rate of newly appointed managers.

Starting a new job, whether a promotion or for a new employer, can turn out to be difficult. It is usually considered a grace period when a new manager has time to make up his or her own mind about the situation and determine the challenges to be taken on.

In practice, a wide consensus exists over the enormous pressure that new managers must cope with in order to perform, often without the necessary support and guidance. These managers are watched even more closely by their new team and superiors who expect to receive— almost immediately – clear instructions and a motivating, key action plan, as well as short-and long-term strategies. Consequently, this “honeymoon” can sometimes feel more like an ordeal.

In fact, research reveals that less than a year or two after their hiring, 30 to 40% of new managers quit, are fired or underperform. The impact of such situations is enormous for both managers and employers alike.

What reasons explain such a high failure rate?

In today’s business world, we only too often note that organizations don’t place sufficient importance on supporting new employees to ensure optimal integration and maximize success rates.

Left to themselves, they can have problems adjusting to the corporate culture of their new company or team or yet fostering relationships necessary to their success.

Executive coaching

Senior management aware of this fact provides recruits with executive coaching to give better guidance, help them develop adequately, and thus ensure their success, as well as that of their team. Moreover, a solid executive coaching program should help establish the credibility of new managers, promote their expertise, and make provision for meetings with key stakeholders. And so the important phase for developing relationships with different colleagues is facilitated and new managers are able to focus more quickly on mandates for which they were hired, while broadening their knowledge of the company and becoming familiar with the corporate culture.

How does executive coaching work?

Executive coaching is a process that allows new managers to become contributors more quickly and efficiently, while reducing the risks of failure during their transition into their new role. A coach can be assigned to help and support the new employee. Together, they define a structured program identifying the actions required to learn about key aspects of the organization within a reasonable timeline. New managers receive detailed comments from various sources and, with their coach, develop strategies, alternative solutions, and tactics to address specific objectives and issues.

Why should you turn to an external coach?

  • Senior management has less and less time to devote to developing team members.
  • Objectivity is key in coaching: Persons working with an external coach are more inclined to be honest and share their opinions, perspectives, and aspirations.
  • External coaches are not perceived as a key player in an organization’s political agenda. They are not required to disclose weaknesses to other company members. Consequently, they will be more easily trusted.
  • External coaches can provide an objective, realistic, and innovative perspective on issues that may seem ambiguous within the organization, as well as comparative analysis criteria.

Areas of intervention

Though executive coaching is found to be effective in helping managers during their transition into a new job, it can also be very useful in other areas:

  • Improving communication skills (theory and practice)
  • Developing skills: Exercises, practice, and feedback
  • Learning conflict resolution
  • Negotiating
  • Group or team coaching
  • Learning emotional self-regulation
  • Questioning beliefs, behaviours, and typical responses that impede a person’s growth
  • Clarifying objectives and vision, as well as their promotion
  • Exploring and establishing more constructive relationships

Special work tools used in executive coaching

  • Self-monitoring
  • Keeping a journal
  • Performing comparative analysis and evaluating coaching interventions
  • Making direct observations
  • Pairing
  • Brainstorming and developing problem-resolution skills

SSA solutions and tools

SSA’s service offer includes several components linked to executive coaching and development. In fact, SSA provides various coaching programs to help new leaders optimize their skills and facilitate their transition into their new role. As well, some of our flagship solutions, such as Leadership Day and the Enneagram Workshop, may well exceed your expectations a s reg a rd s integrating an d developing managers within your organization.

Visit our website to find out more.


During the transition period after a new hiring, success is far from guaranteed and requirements are demanding . As mentioned previously, a newcomer’s success is largely influenced by the support provided by the organization. Moreover, it is crucial to offer coaching at the right moment rather than as a last recourse when it is too late.

There lies the importance for organizations wanting to maximize their chance at success and increase the success and retention rate of their leaders to provide them with the support and tools to experience a transition as a “honeymoon” and quickly achieve their own objectives and those of their team.


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