Effective employee onboarding has a positive domino effect: it ensures that new hires feel welcome and prepared in their new positions, in turn giving them the confidence and resources to make an impact within the organization, and ultimately allowing the company to continue carrying out its mission.
Unfortunately, the reality is that many new hires turn out to be a bad fit and fail to perform as we hope or expect. In most organizations, the ownership of this problem begins with the human resource department and rests upon the direct supervisor post-hire.
Before an employee even starts at your workplace they have formed views on your workplace culture, your company vision and what is expected of them. It is key that you ensure that the information you present to prospective employees is clear and accurate. That way some of your weaker candidates will “self-select” out of your process.
Different organizations treat onboarding very differently depending on their resources and requirements. For some it simply means an introduction to the benefits manual and vacation schedule. For others it is a formal process that includes mentorship, career pathing, team placement and coaching.
A proper onboarding program can cut the time to “occupational functional point” (trained and ready to work with standard supervision) dramatically, This has impact on training costs, time to productivity and retention rate.
What’s important to consider when you're brining on a new employee?
1. Attain Occupational Function Point (OFP)
Employee is considered trained and able to contribute under normal supervision.
2. Employee is given clear expectations of performance and of coaching/feedback process
Performance goals (are ideally measured quantitatively and objectively), employee know how their success will be measured at 30, 60 90 days, quarterly and annually.
3. They have had their JobFit assessed and have been introduced/welcomed into the work culture of your organization
They learn how communication, team, expected behavior, performance, career pathing and mentorship works.
4. Productive Work Relationships are formed and encouraged
New employees learn how to work with and hopefully trust their management and co-workers. They understand how to receive assistance concerning workplace conflict or team fit issues.
5. Management – Employee Fit is assessed before job commencement
The more support a new employee has from their direct manager, the better the chance you will have a successful onboarding process. Ideally the manager has access to coaching and work effectiveness information.
The onboarding process offers organizations the opportunity to harness the expertise of managers in developing productive and engaged employees. They are often most effectively used as a coach to increased performance and to receive feedback from the new hire as how to improve the “ramp up” of someone new. Using data gained from a formal onboarding program the line manager has the ability to assess whether performance issues are due to ability, aptitude motivation or whether additional targeted training would be appropriate. In some cases the new hire may be found to be better suited for another position. A formal onboarding process makes that determination much easier.
Properly executed, the onboarding process can take up to two years depending on the organization and the position. With clear expectations, the right information in the hands of the direct manager and regular scheduled performance reviews there will be a much greater chance of retaining and developing good employees.
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