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Picture yourself…. I was excited by the fact that you wanted me.

You chose me, over all of the others.  

My brain is releasing Dopamine in the same way as it does on a first date, so I am on a high, I’m excited, I’m ready to jump head first into the first day of my new career...

You, my new boss turns up at reception and…

What happens next?   Well that will determine how successful (or not) your new hire will be.

Post Day One Onboarding is a vital element of new employee guidance and success is often disregarded or mishandled by the best of companies. Most companies think paperwork is ‘Onboarding’ and if you have a Laptop and Security Access (so you can duly move from reception to a desk) you’re winning.   Mmmm not so….

If I’m a New Hire and I think I speak for all of us regardless of the type of employment, type of role, level of role or whatever, we all have an expectation of being treated with the same excitement and ‘reverence’ (OK maybe that’s a big call) that had been shown towards you at ‘Offer Stage’….

Aberdeen Onboarding Study 2013 reveals that 80% of new hires decide whether to stay with a company (or not) within the first six months. While a reason for employee attrition could be due to discontentment on account of salary or career advancement, it is more likely due to an ineffective onboarding experience…. 

You really should have negotiated an acceptable salary during your placement stage and as a new employee; you can’t expect a promotion in 10 months (well maybe Gen Y might)

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding refers to the process through which a new employee obtains the required knowledge, skills - both social and job-related, and attitude to become an effective member of the organization quickly and smoothly. Onboarding reveals your company culture to your new hire and is important not just during the milestone dates, i.e. 30, 60, 90 and 120 days on the job, but also during the days and weeks preceding the commencement of a job as we discussed in the last blog

Organisations that have an effective onboarding process in place enjoy better results for new employees than organizations that don’t, including consistently better performance, greater job satisfaction, and low turnover rates.

According to Aberdeen’s onboarding research this year, the top outcomes for onboarding that companies are looking for are to make sure they can meet the company’s growth objectives, better engage employees and meet the needs for certain skills. So make the onboarding process a positive experience for your new hires so that they feel comfortable in their new roles and can quickly become committed, productive and effective.

Essentials Day One

Early engagement of candidates helps them connect better to your organization and goes a long way towards building their trust and loyalty. For a new employee, the first day on the job is very important. Make sure that day one is comfortable for the new hire and goes smoothly right from a warm welcome, to a functioning workstation. Provide them with new employee essentials such as Employee ID and security access cards, parking slot number, business cards, mobile phone and credit card.   Take them on an office tour to familiarise them with the location of the cafeteria, conference rooms, restrooms, water cooler and copy machine and introduce them to department staff and key individuals and inform them about work hours, breaks and mealtimes.

Thinking Outside the Box - Collaboration tools

Connect your customers, partners, and employees with key information and processes in the cloud using SAP Jam.  Social collaboration software brings together everything (and everyone) you need to solve problems quickly and drive results. Expedite sales cycles, increase customer and employee engagement, reduce training costs, and more.   Remember Aberdeen’s onboarding research this year as described above. 

The top outcomes for onboarding that companies are looking for are to make sure they can meet the company’s growth objectives, better engage employees and meet the needs for certain skills

The most important role in the onboarding process

Managers, who play a significant role in the new employee’s work life, need to take an active interest in the onboarding process by getting the new hires up to speed in terms of job understanding, work agenda, responsibilities and expectations.

Make sure the new employee is familiar with the overall vision and goals of your organisation and discuss how they can contribute to the organisation’s success.  Provide goals for the first 30, 60 and 90 days, so your new hire completely understands how they can be successful in the organisation in the quickest possible time.   This also reduces the fear of the unknown in regards to passing or otherwise of a probation period.

Introduce them to other new hires, members of your team and experienced staff members so that they feel comfortable and part of the company from day one. Take the time to meet with new employees frequently to go over training opportunities, learning and development plans and support them to reach their full potential on early projects.   If you have a Learning system, is it integrated into your Onboarding solution? If not, is that something you can consider to facilitate a smoother transition?

Do you have an agenda planned for the coming weeks?

Once you’ve got your new starter settled, how do you plan to follow up on their engagement from the introductions you have done with team members and other key stakeholders?   You meetings planned for the New Starter should be considered well in advance of their day one and you should be sure to advise both the new hire and the person they are meeting, exactly what the meeting is in relation to.   Nothing worse than turning up to a meeting with the new Sales Manager and neither side having any idea

Do your internal Social Collaboration tools work as a part of your onboarding program if you have them and if not why not? Do you give the ability to group likeminded / similar role based employees into a social group to bounce ideas off one another? 

What about ongoing peer to peer support? Peer support bridges geographical boundaries and expands your employee footprints across your entire business. It also ensures that your new employees are more likely to seek out support during challenging times.

With an effective onboarding program, new employees are much more likely to stay, be productive in their job and ready to contribute to your bottom line.

Food for thought perhaps?