Executive Onboarding Programs: The Impact of Hogan Assessments & Awareness Coaching

The Impact of Hogan Assessments Awareness Coaching in Executive Onboarding Programs

In today's rapidly changing business environment, the importance of effective leadership cannot be overstated. As companies strive to navigate the complexities of the modern market, the role of executives becomes increasingly critical. One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is ensuring a smooth transition for newly appointed executives. This is where the integration of Hogan Assessments awareness coaching into executive onboarding programs can make a significant difference.

Understanding Hogan Assessments Awareness Coaching

Hogan Assessments' awareness coaching is a strategic approach that combines scientifically validated personality assessments with targeted coaching sessions. Unlike traditional skills coaching, which focuses on developing specific competencies over an extended period, awareness coaching aims to enhance a leader's self-awareness—understanding one's strengths, weaknesses, and behavioural tendencies along with how their motives and values align with the organisation. This approach is particularly effective for new executives as it helps bridge their current strengths and challenges with the expectations of their new role.

The Role of Awareness Coaching in Executive Onboarding

Executive onboarding is a critical phase that determines the long-term success of new leaders. According to a global survey of 588 senior executives who had recently transitioned into new roles, organisational culture and politics, not lack of competence or managerial skill, were the primary reasons for failure. Almost 70% of respondents pointed to a lack of understanding about norms and practices—and poor cultural fit was close behind. When asked what would reduce failure rates, they emphasized constructive feedback and help with navigating internal networks and gaining insight into organisational and team dynamics. Awareness coaching as part of the onboarding process addresses several key areas that are essential for successful integration:

1. Building Strategic Self-Awareness:
Hogan's assessments, including the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI), with a skilled on-boarding coach will provide comprehensive insights into a leader's personality traits, potential derailers, and core values. These insights are crucial for new executives to understand how their natural tendencies align or conflict with the organisational culture and expectations.

2. Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness:
By focusing on self-awareness, Hogan's awareness coaching helps executives recognize the impact of their behaviour on others. This understanding is vital for building trust and credibility with new teams and stakeholders. For instance, knowing that one's ambitious nature might be perceived as overbearing can prompt an executive to adopt a more collaborative approach, fostering a positive work environment.

3. Navigating Organisational Dynamics:
New executives often face the challenge of integrating into established teams with pre-existing dynamics. Awareness coaching equips them with the knowledge to navigate these complexities effectively. By understanding their own behavioural patterns and how they compare to those of their team members, executives can adjust their leadership style to better fit the team's needs and drive performance.

4. Promoting Long-Term Development:
While the immediate goal of onboarding is to ensure a smooth transition, awareness coaching also sets the foundation for ongoing personal and professional development. The feedback and insights gained from Hogan's assessments encourage executives to continuously reflect on their behaviour and make necessary adjustments, leading to sustained leadership effectiveness.

Aligning Awareness to Organisational Support

One of the critical components of successful executive onboarding is aligning the new leader’s awareness with the organization’s support structures. This alignment involves understanding key stakeholders, the organisational culture, and ensuring strategic alignment:

1. Understanding Key Stakeholders:
For a new executive, it is crucial to identify and understand the key stakeholders within the organization. Awareness coaching helps executives map out these relationships, providing insights into the expectations and influence of each stakeholder. This understanding allows executives to build effective communication channels and foster collaborative relationships that are essential for achieving organisational goals.

2. Cultural Integration:
Every organization has its unique culture, which encompasses shared values, beliefs, and practices. Hogan’s awareness coaching helps new executives grasp the nuances of the organisational culture, ensuring they can align their leadership style with cultural expectations. This cultural alignment is vital for gaining the trust and support of employees and for driving change effectively within the organization.

3. Alignment of Personal and Organisational Goals: Strategic Visioning
Strategic visioning enables senior leaders to understand the broader context within which the organization operates. It helps them anticipate future challenges and opportunities, thereby positioning them to lead more effectively. Successful onboarding programs, such as those implemented by top-tier companies like Microsoft and Amazon, emphasize strategic visioning to ensure that new executives can navigate complex organisational landscapes and drive strategic initiatives.

4. Supporting Organisational Goals:
By understanding the broader organisational context, new executives can tailor their approach to support overarching goals. Awareness coaching emphasizes the importance of aligning personal and team objectives with the company’s strategic initiatives. This alignment helps in creating a unified direction and ensures that all efforts contribute towards the organization’s success.

Case Study: Implementing Awareness Coaching

A leading manufacturer of health and personal care products provides a practical example of the benefits of Hogan's awareness coaching. With over 114,000 employees worldwide, the company needed a scalable and cost-effective solution for developing its high-potential leaders. Hogan partnered with the firm to design an awareness coaching program that included assessment, development planning, and professional coaching sessions.

Participants in the program completed Hogan's personality assessments and received personalized feedback sessions with Hogan coaches. These sessions helped them create development plans targeting their key strengths and areas for improvement. The program's success was evident in the improved performance of participants, as reported by their supervisors and the participants themselves. Key metrics included increased self-awareness, better understanding of strengths and weaknesses, and enhanced engagement ...

Best Practices for Integrating Awareness Coaching into Onboarding

To maximize the impact of awareness coaching in executive onboarding, organizations should consider the following best practices:

1. Early Integration:
Begin the awareness coaching process as soon as the executive is hired. Early engagement ensures that new leaders have the necessary self-awareness and insights before they start making critical decisions.

2. Customised Coaching Plans:
Tailor the coaching sessions to the specific needs of the executive and the organisational context. This customization ensures that the coaching is relevant and addresses the unique challenges faced by the new leader.

3. Ongoing Support:
Provide continuous support throughout the first year, with regular check-ins and follow-up coaching sessions. This ongoing engagement helps executives stay on track with their development goals and address any emerging issues.

4. Stakeholder Involvement:
Involve key stakeholders, such as direct reports and HR partners, in the coaching process. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and help reinforce the importance of the coaching initiatives.

5. Measuring Impact:
Regularly assess the effectiveness of the awareness coaching program through surveys and performance metrics. This evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and demonstrates the value of the coaching to the organization.


Hogan Assessments' awareness coaching offers a powerful and cost-effective solution for enhancing the effectiveness of executive onboarding programs. By fostering strategic self-awareness and providing tailored support, awareness coaching helps new leaders navigate the complexities of their roles and align their behaviour with organisational expectations. As a result, organizations can significantly reduce executive turnover, improve leadership effectiveness, and drive long-term success.

By aligning self-awareness with organisational support structures, understanding key stakeholders, integrating into the organisational culture, and ensuring strategic alignment, awareness coaching provides a holistic approach to executive onboarding. This comprehensive support helps new leaders make informed decisions, build strong relationships, and contribute effectively to the organisation’s goals from day one.

Contact Awair to discover how your leaders can expand their potential and help lead your organisation to greater success.