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The Crucial Importance of On boarding

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Feb 06, 2020

New employees gain a more rounded understanding of your organization when they learn about their new role and the company's values, strategy and purpose. This makes their first few weeks at the company a relationship-building opportunity while they're getting training and the tools they need for success. This is the purpose of on boarding.

The human resources department, working with the manager of the new employee, creates a documented on boarding process. The on boarding plan describes what is to be taught to the new employee and by whom. It contains a timeline for when this is to happen and provides metrics and benchmarks for proficiency, as well as a schedule for when the new hire is to meet those standards.

If employees don't meet the benchmarks, dig deep to find out why. Was the training clear and effective? Is the person willing or able to follow the instruction? Is there a bad fit of either culture or experience?

Onboarding is not a single event like an orientation meeting. Rather, it's a process that extends throughout the induction period. It's part of the company's culture of talent development that continues throughout an employee's tenure with your organization.

Here are the nuts and bolts of onboarding.

  • Onboarding is a process, not a single event. Instead of a two- or three-day experience (which is fairly standard), onboarding should continue for three to six months after the job starts.
  • It should become a multi-dimensional program. Onboarding should cover these contexts:
    • The business context (our purpose, goals, and other information that gives them a powerful understanding of who we are and where we’re going
    • the situational context (the job and its expectations), and
    • the cultural context (core values).
  • Senior management must be actively involved. This helps in the understanding of the overall business purpose and direction.
  • Use data to gain insight. Measure the progress employees make.

You build trust with new hires during their first few weeks, which is your opportunity to prove to them that they made the right decision in joining you. You also gain valuable insight into them and what they have to offer the company and sometimes you discover that they don't offer that much. You realize you've both made a mistake.

If so, it’s time to look for a new team member. Remember this talent development standard: hire slow, fire fast.

To recap, onboarding is more than an orientation meeting. It's an ongoing process that is part of the company's culture of talent development and that continues throughout an employee's tenure with your organization.

We'd love to hear from you. Is onboarding a one-time event or a continuing process in your organization? Thank you for sharing