Hiring a new leader for your staffing organization is never easy, but it’s even harder when you expect that new person to introduce fresh ideas, new processes or even revamp operations entirely. Failing to set expectations and guidelines for them — and the existing team — can be catastrophic. I have seen this failure time and time again.

A centerpiece of rapidly growing firms is their success at identifying and integrating new leaders. When you introduce new captains effectively, healthy organizational change can make your team even more productive and motivated. Yet poor onboarding can cause massive disruption, not only to daily production but also to company culture and your teams’ trust of senior management.

The following practices can help you launch new leaders successfully.

Define the Disruption

First, you must identify how much change you want your new leader to implement and oversee — a crucial step in both defining the job and understanding what is required for effective onboarding.

If a company already has well-established management systems that drive production with metrics, performance reviews and cadence expectations, a new manager would onboard easily, because they already know what to do. And because the team is already accustomed to the status quo, helping the new manager would be perceived as legitimate and credible.

But most firms don’t fall into this category. They know they need to increase productivity, so they rely on new managers to disrupt the status quo.

I’ve seen companies that treat their new hire as a panacea to resolve all cultural and systemic issues. This fails much of the time; the greater the change, the more preparation is needed.

Here’s where the executive leadership team must step up. They can’t delegate responsibility for changes solely to their new, hand-picked manager. Instead, they must own the process by asking questions. What change needs to occur? How must I prepare myself? How do I communicate what’s needed to our new hire?

Preparing the Team

Preparing your teams is also vital. Even before you’ve tapped your new manager, you should communicate to the team for clarity and buy-in. Lay out the new vision and how this new hire or role is vital for a healthy future.

Doing so provides important context when the team inevitably experiences change both to their desk and to a new management style. Both can make employees feel uncomfortable, fueling a desire for things to snap back to what they were before. If not properly prepared, employees can associate this discomfort with the new manager, seeing them as obstacles to bringing back the (more comfortable) status quo.

I saw this dynamic get out of hand about 20 years ago when I hired a director of sales for a company I worked with. The sales team rebelled against the new manager, catching me off guard. The team wasn’t ready to report to someone else or undertake the changes we asked the new manager to roll out. Eventually, the director resigned. That was my fault. I failed to lay the groundwork and paid the price.

Preparing Yourself

Most leaders underestimate how their jobs need to evolve when they hire new managers. This is especially true for smaller firms where many employees have the owner’s ear and can even influence the company’s direction.

However, new managers can become barriers to that comfortable relationship by filtering information to and from the executive. This can hurt team morale. Too often, I’ve seen executives fail to properly distance themselves from legacy employees, giving employees an avenue to undermine the new manager.

Now it’s up to you to replace that personal connection with one that connects your employees to the company’s purpose and vision. This can create a sense of pride in the organization and help overcome any feelings of being disconnected from the executive.

Launching new leaders is one of the most important, yet most difficult things to do. Success leads to profitable growth. Failure leads to disruptions and distrust.

Go beyond the simple job description and take a sober look at what changes need to occur, what the team needs to understand and how your role must change to avoid failure. In this way, you can create a growing organization with successful and engaged employees.