This video will offer tips for creating a great onboarding program that can make new employees more effective more quickly.
- Do you know the difference between orientation and onboarding? To highlight the answer, let me tell you a quick story. A woman, who had attended one of my training classes, told me a story about how, on her first day of work, she spent some time in the conference room reviewing the corporate policy handbook and some marketing materials and then she was given a tour and introduced around the office. That was her orientation and that was fine. What happened next was not so good. She was taken to her new office which was being used for storage and needed to be cleaned out.
She spent the next few days removing boxes and old furniture and then setting up her desk and office space. Needless to say, she felt far from welcomed and the company really missed the mark on her onboarding. Orientation is a one-time event that introduces a new employee to their job and company. Onboarding is an ongoing process focused on integrating new employees into the company. And it should last up to six months or even a year. After devoting time and resources to bringing on new talent you have to devote time and resources to making them feel welcome.
Get new hires quickly up to speed and socialize them into your culture. You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression. Onboarding is about making new hires feel prepared and supported. If you do it well, the new hire can make a positive impact more quickly. When new hires are making powerful contributions they feel successful and satisfied and a cycle ensues. A great first step to developing an onboarding program is to simply stop and think about what kind of information a new hire is seeking.
They want to understand the knowledge and skills they should demonstrate in their job. How to develop positive relationships. How the corporate politics work. Slang and jargon unique to your organization. The social and actual rules they should follow and the history and customs in your company. You might also ask those more recently hired about their first days in your workplace. Ask them how they felt on their first day of work and what you could've done to make things easier on them. They'll have a lot of great ideas. With this information, you can craft your onboarding program.
Some best practices to keep in mind are as follows. First, provide clear information about the onboarding process. Newcomers should have an agenda that outlines their activities for at least the first few weeks. I provided a template onboarding agenda for you in the exercise files for this course. Second, involve as many experienced organizational members as you can. For example, you might set up meetings with the department head so the newcomer can understand the organization's structure. Or you might assign a long time employee to serve as the employees mentor.
Third, regularly provide newcomers with positive and constructive feedback as they adjust to the environment. A customer service representative should receive specific and ongoing feedback on their calls with your clients, for example. Someone should be available to talk through the calls and discuss what went well and what did not go well and why. In other words, on the job training should be well planned out and well executed. Fourth, prepare everyone in your organization for the newcomer. Too often, the newcomer is seen as a nuisance with all of their questions and mistakes.
How annoying. But a newcomer must feel confident that when they interrupt a coworker, they will be met with a positive attitude and a helping hand. Remind employees that they are all being relied upon to assist the newcomer. You could even hold employees accountable to the success of newcomers and tie a reward to the newcomers success. Fifth, set up the work station before newcomers arrive. Create a check list of things to do to ensure newcomers ready to hit the ground running. Think about what it might be like if you showed up for work and had to clean out what was supposed to be your office.
Finally, work directly with the employee's supervisor. As the HR representative, you are responsible for designing the onboarding, but the supervisor's responsible for training and integrating this new team member. You should be working in partnership the whole way. Keep in mind that an effective onboarding program can bring a new hire up to speed, making them a contributing team member before you know it. I've provided a list of ideas for your program in the exercise files for this course. So go and get started.
- Tying HR to your company's vision and mission
- Strategic planning
- Measuring training program success
- Building engagement
- Creating culture