Onboarding is a crucial period for organizations because it impacts how, why, and where new people work. Your onboarding process can affect the quality of work, motivation, and passion shown by an individual for years to come. Yet, many organizations invest as little into onboarding as possible.
Good onboarding will aid with productivity, employee retention, and ensuring you have a good individual-role fit, which will improve business metrics. Therefore, onboarding is almost always a good investment.
These 5 keys of effective onboarding will get you started on the right track to developing an onboarding program that drives value for your organization.
Prepare Onboarding before the Hire Arrives
Even large companies struggle with setting up processes, accounts, and access rights before an individual arrives. As a result, many new hires spend their first few days or even week waiting for IT to finish creating accounts, setting up permissions, or preparing computers. It’s important to handle all of these processes before the individual arrives.
Simply handing over a laptop, passwords, and account access will pave the way for a much smoother and faster learning experience than spending a few days waiting in frustration.
If you can’t manage a seamless transfer of assets, consider setting up the first few days so that the individual is sitting in on training, observing other teams, or otherwise handling responsibilities that don’t involve those resources.
Mentoring New Hires
Mentoring is more often becoming a standard of onboarding practices, and for good reason. Assigning a buddy or mentor to an individual means that someone is responsible for a new hire, that the new hire has access to company culture and processes, and that information not found in documentation can be translated.
It’s important that your mentors understand their responsibilities and what they should be transferring so they can be helpful and can ensure the new hire is given the information they need to succeed.
Introduce New Hires into (Several) Existing Teams
While most individuals will only ever work in a single team, it’s always a good idea to give them a broader idea of the organization. Assigning new people to a single team until they adjust to the company and their responsibilities is always a good idea. From there, you should consider several day assignments in other teams so that the individual is forced to meet the people they will be working with.
While this won’t help from a technical perspective, it will ensure the individual has the grounds and knowledge to communicate with and access the most important resources in your organization, the people.
Make Development Part of Onboarding
Ongoing development is crucial to continued growth, adaptability, and to maintaining agility. Making development part of the picture from day one will ensure that new hires are set up to continue doing so.
You can achieve this by offering courses to get individuals up to speed more quickly, by introducing tooling they might not be familiar with, and otherwise offering development to help individuals move into their new roles.
Create Touchpoints to Follow-Up
It’s important to follow up onboarding processes at set periods such as 3, 6, and 12 months to ensure that onboarding was successful, there is no skills gap, and role and culture fit remain good. If not, you can introduce more development, offer more mentoring, or consider moving an individual into a more suitable role.
Onboarding is your first real touchpoint with an employee. It will give them a basis for how to perform their role. It will tell them who they are working with. And, it will allow you to create a strategy to introduce tools, behaviors, information, and organizational knowledge to that person, so they can succeed.