Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Avoiding common challenges, part of Onboarding New Hires.
Onboarding has been an area of studying for long enough that we know several common challenges to deal with or mistakes to avoid. I'd like to mention several for you to be aware of. The first is pushing information in a one way manner after hiring but before the person starts work. We often focus on one million bits of information we wish to give them and forms we want them to fill out. And that's understandable. But you need a two way dialogue. Ask them what they need because they might want information that you've not yet offered.
So ask and don't assume your process is perfect and that you're saying everything that needs to be said. The next issue is about metrics and accountability. Your onboarding process should have a small number of clear metrics. For example, this might include turnover, the amount of time before an employee becomes proficient and self-sustaining or some measure of work progress. Of course metrics are useless unless there's accountability. That means that someone has to be responsible for onboarding quality whether it's strong or in need of improvement.
Typically HR owns this process and whoever has the most daily responsibility for facilitating onboarding should receive the accolades or tough evaluations they deserve after each cycle is completed. Another clear mistake to avoid is limiting the amount of face time the person has with their new boss upon arrival. I know that schedules are crazy and sometimes coordinating these activities is difficult. But the number one way to make this person feel isolated or unimportant is to give them little to no face time with their new boss.
Schedule it and work hard to stick to that schedule. Otherwise in the very first day or two, you're telling the employee they are not a top priority and can simply be rescheduled. Finally, another big mistake to avoid is unnecessary delays. This might concern resources or events. For example, if you gave the employee an agenda indicating that the first event will be an employee orientation, well then, orientation needs to be the first event. If a couple key people become unavailable and you need to reschedule, that's a problem.
The employee then has to begin work only later to be pulled from their workspace to go sit through their orientation several days later. That's not good. So make an agenda and stick to it. A delay could also refer to resources. And that's even more personal and problematic than a delayed event. If you tell them their desk has not yet been assigned or their computer has not yet been configured or their phone is not yet set up and working, that's a huge comment about how little work you did to prepare for their arrival.
Onboarding is important because it dominates new employee's initial impression. This course is all about things you should do to make that process work. But this little part is about things you have to avoid. Remember what we just discussed so that your new employee can have a productive initial interaction with the firm completely free of unnecessary challenges.
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