Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Onboarding, part of Management Foundations (2013).
- Now let's turn our focus to onboarding. This is the new employee's formal introduction and orientation to your organization and your team. It's the process of getting new hires adjusted to the performance and social aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly. The benefits of onboarding include increased job satisfaction, increased performance, and decreased turnover. Onboarding can occur through a range of tools including online and paper documents such as websites and handbooks, videos and in-person meetings.
Onboarding can range from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks or even months, depending on the needs of your organization and the complexity of various roles. Again, there are best practices in onboarding. First, employees should be onboarded to three connected but distinct things: the organization, the department, and their job. You want to make sure you address all three. Another best practice is to focus onboarding on what is known as the four C's: Compliance, which are the laws and policies that must be adhered to; Clarification about job duties and expectations; Culture, which includes the stated and assumed values, goals and norms of the organization; and Connection, which are the interpersonal relationships and networks vital to their success.
Let's look at how Landon Hotel engages their new hires at all four levels, and consider how you might do the same. Prior to their first day, employees receive their Employee Manual that includes information on the company, benefits, policies and procedures. They're asked to read this in advance and bring completed documents to their first day. On their first day, a group of new employees attend a half-day program that onboards them to the organization. During this program, they watch a welcome video from the founder, Arthur Landon, and learn about the core values that guide the company, as well as its current strategic goals.
Mr. Landon shares the history from his first property in London to its current 400 hotels in 20 countries. The hotel manager leads the session as employees learn about the specific property they work at, including its history, unique features, and organizational structure. The session ends with a tour of the property and a welcome lunch with department heads. The next morning, employees return and are met by their manager who onboards them to the department and their specific job. This one-on-one session focuses on reviewing a document the manager has prepared, outlining goals for the first 30, 60, 90, and 120 days on the job.
The manager establishes any training sessions needed and frequent check-in meetings. They take time to discuss the culture and norms of both the property and the department. They try to spell out some of the areas where things might be unspoken, like expectations around communication or documentation. The session also includes meeting the other members of the team, and key people from other departments. Employees are then provided with access to online training videos about a variety of typical questions, like the computer and phone systems, using the copier, submitting timecards, etc.
Employees are accountable to watch these over the first 30 days. In addition, some of the positions, like customer service and catering, require additional weeks of training to learn specific skills, like public relations or local food preparation regulations. If more organizations were like Landon Hotel, most employees would be successful and productive right from the start. I've included a handout in the exercise files to help you reflect on the current process your organization uses to onboard its employees. It will help you identify ways you can improve your process by maximizing the opportunities you have as their supervisor.
By using these best practices in onboarding, you'll not only be setting up your employees for success, but also begin building a positive work relationship between you.
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- Choosing a management style
- Hiring employees
- Coaching employees
- Managing team performance
- Establishing trust
- Motivating and engaging others
- Delegating responsibilities
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Managing remote employees
- Knowing HR regulations<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.