Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Onboarding 101, part of Onboarding New Hires (2014).
After someone is formally hired, it's often the case that the professionals involved breathe a sigh of relief, as if the work is now over. Well it's not. The hiring process might be complete, but onboarding is just beginning. Onboarding is an odd process for some people and it's often neglected for several reasons. For example, people do not appreciate the strong link between the quality of the onboarding process and the employee's future success within the organization. Some callously assume that onboarding is simple and the new person should just be proactive in reaching out for certain types of information.
They feel that what the new hire should do is pretty obvious and so they don't feel the need to hold their hand. Besides, the new person hasn't even started their job. Why deal with them now when they won't even be here for weeks? Stated differently, some managers position onboarding as a lower priority task because they're already facing many tasks that need to be addressed right now. You are not going to follow these ways of thinking. Instead, you're going to assign onboarding a very high priority.
You're going to view the onboarding process as a great insurance policy that will protect you from the risks associated with having a new employee who is lost, feeling confused and not capable of performing at a high level. Let's be more specific. There are several goals for onbboarding. These include helping new hires learn about the company, promptly and comfortably, so they experience no unnecessary ambiguity. Making sure they feel welcome and valued. A genuine part of the team.
Ensuring their initial understanding of what's expected of them, in their new role, is as clear as possible. The goal is to achieve these outcomes, consistently, across all new employees. Providing them a very similar shared experience. Research suggests that this translates into several operational benefits for the organization. Such as, a reduction in the time it takes to help employees deal with their new learning curves and become productive. Increased employee engagement.
A strong increase in employee retention. These are amazing benefits, but they only materialize when everyone does their part. You might be the new person's direct boss. You might be one of their peers. Maybe the new hire is the boss and you report to them! Or, let's say you work in benefits, or some other aspect of human resources. It doesn't matter which specific part of the process you own. It's the responsibility of every employee, who comes in contact with a new employee, to reach out and determine how you can help.
For you, it will likely only take a moment or two. For them, it could help them sidestep a huge headache. Be proactive. Overall, a great onboarding process will result in employees who feel more connected, and confident, about their ability to add value to the team. Simply stated, great attention to onboarding creates stronger employees. Whatever your role, just remember to look for ways to help. Don't assume they have all the answers they need. Do yourself a favor and remember what it was like when you first started.
Did someone forget something that would've helped your transition into the team? Well, be sure that doesn't happen to the next new hire with whom you work. New employees, in a literal sense, are your future. Onboarding is a big investment in that future. Thoughtful time spent upfront, ensuring they have clarity, seriously increases the odds that, long-term, they'll develop real commitment.
- Cite the internal tasks you should complete before a new hire arrives.
- Explain ways in which a manager can help a new employee succeed.
- Differentiate among buddy, mentor, and coach.
- Describe the behaviors that are associated with successful employees.
- Highlight the important tasks you should complete during an employee’s first year.
- Explain why more face-to-face interaction between bosses and new employees is a positive onboarding practice.