Why the onboard difference spells success in the workplace.
Many organizations fail to onboard new employees. They hire good people who are excited about coming to work. Then what? New employees step on toes, they are not sure how the culture works and they don’t know how to get ahead in the company. Do you think they stick around for the long haul?
Failing to onboard is risky, to say the least. You’d think the usual culprits for the high attrition are better compensation or a career path that ensures promotions along the way. But in reality, one of the reasons for jumping ship is the lack of an onboarding process.
This isn’t to say companies do this on purpose. Nobody deliberately wakes up with the intent of sabotaging productivity in the workplace! Most companies just don’t have a clue what onboarding is vis a vis orientation and here’s why…
What’s the difference between an effective onboard and orientation?
The majority of the companies we’ve worked with already have an employee orientation process in place. They already have a procedure for introducing new hires to their job responsibilities, workplace, co-workers, and bosses. It’s a great way for them to feel comfortable with their new teams or departments.
An effective onboard process, however, is different.
An onboard program begins when the job offer is tendered. It ends when the new hire has been evaluated and deemed “fully functioning”. In other words, onboarding is an ongoing process. It includes a series of events that include employee orientation.
The onboard process helps new employees recognize what needs to be done to succeed in their job. It reinforces everything the new hire was told during recruitment. And it includes work culture awareness so that procedural conflict is minimized.
It also includes encouragement and coaching, as well as confirmation that they made the right decision by joining your organization. The process ideally breaks down expectations daily. It also makes them aware of how their job contributes to the organization as a whole.
In effect, an effective onboard is a larger umbrella. It is more than just an introduction to the employer-employee relationship. It’s a smooth transition that incorporates clear communication of expectations.
To onboard effectively employees favor employee communication skill development.
Many organizations lack employee communication skill development. Perhaps, managers do not understand how good communication improves work relationships. The more anchored employees are to fellow co-workers, the less apt they are to jump ship.
Cliché as it may seem, you want to turn your good hire into an excellent employee. You also want to avoid exits just because of unmet expectations and misunderstood company culture.
To meet these goals,an onboarding process – not just a formal introduction to job responsibilities and paperwork — is needed.
Objectives of an effective onboard.
Here is a check list of effective onboarding practices:
- FAMILIARIZE and ACCLIMATE –
Beyond pointing out the location of lavatories, break rooms, and fire exits, acclimation involves orienting the new employee with the company’s objectives and philosophies. New hires must understand what is expected of them. They also need to grasp the specific role they will play in achieving company goals. In the same token, the company must communicate what is expected of them (resources available, performance reviews, management support).
- ENGAGE and INVOLVE –
A correlation exists between engaged employees and absenteeism, profitability, product quality, turnover rate, safety records, and customer ratings. A good onboarding plan is the perfect opportunity to engage employees and let them know that the organization recognizes their talent. This is where fostering a supportive relationship between new hires, colleagues and management begins.
- RETAIN –
The cost of replacing an employee can cost as much as 150% of annual salary. The costs are always obvious. But look closely and the leaks can be found in lower productivity and reduced morale. This is because employees are now burdened with covering for the lost employee. The more quantifiable costs include training costs, recruitment fees, and interviewing costs.
How to onboard differently.
Onboarding requires planning. It should also be integrated with the recruitment protocol. For instance, when a decision has been made to hire an applicant, the onboarding process must include details such as who should assist with acclimation. Therefore:
- Develop responsibilities and objectives in black and white. It must be written and available as early as the interview process to avoid any misunderstanding and incorrect assumptions.
- Inform everyone in the department that a new employee is set to report for work. This could be done via memo or email. It’s quite unsettling when a new hire approaches someone for help and nobody seems to know who this person is.
- Assign a peer. Choose someone approachable — someone the new hire would be happy to emulate. Perhaps this person has received communication and group process skill training and is on track to assume a supervisory position. This is an excellent way to build peer skills in leadership while building work relationships for the new employee. If supervisory positions are scarce, perhaps the peer is interested in project leadership. Either way, it is a win-win for both employees when handled effectively.
- Managers and supervisors must be involved in the process. Note that a major reason for employee dissatisfaction is a negative relationship with an immediate superior. Onboarding is a great opportunity to let these new hires know that they are valued, appreciated, and respected.
- When the new hires arrives, make their place of work ready. Make sure the tables are clean and that assigned phones and computers are.
Training from the get-go puts a stop to the revolving door. It gives employees a sense of purpose while reducing problems that would normally take so much of a managers’ time to deal with. The onboard also lays the groundwork for leadership advancement. There are so many employees with excellent leadership skills. Don’t wait for other organizations to recognize this!
Get your new hires to go beyond expectations. Nurture them from the outset.
More on the effective onboard with these helpful articles.
- Employee Communication Skill Development With Onboarding Strategies
- What is employee onboarding and why do you need it.
- Onboarding Intervention Strategies
- Five Stages of Employee Onboarding
- Employee Engagement Drives Growth
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Bernice Bernardino-Tagle
About TIGERS Success Series, Inc.
We specialize in training your managers in group leadership skills that build workforce cooperation and high performance team dynamics. Scaled to grow as your organization and leadership performance grows, our proprietary Team Behavior Profile, Management and Project Team Leadership training workshops, and consultant/project manager licensing are based on the six principles that our extensive research found to be the right mix to make this happen.
Schedule a phone call to learn more or to invite us to present at your next organizational gathering.