5 keys for everyone to unlock a positive onboarding experience


Only 12% of employees say their employer does a good job of onboarding. Here are five ways to do better, plus some tips if you’re a new hire.

Most managers would agree that onboarding is an important step in an employee’s journey with the company. Yet Gallup found that only 12% of employees think their organization effectively onboards new hires. Which give?

I recently spoke to Lindsay Chim, SVP of Right Management’s talent management practice, about why onboarding is so crucial amid the big resignation. In the first part of this conversation, we talked about the Top 7 integration mistakes companies commit and how to avoid them.

But of course, it’s not enough just to avoid the pitfalls; we need to proactively seek out an effective onboarding experience that will strengthen an employee’s commitment to the company. Below are five keys that can unlock a positive onboarding culture in your organization, along with some tips for new hires to improve their first-time experiences.

1. Master the logistics

Sometimes the simplest things are the easiest to stumble upon. According to Chim, the first signal to a new employee that the company is acting together is whether or not they receive the hardware, software, configurations, access rights, key cards, office equipment , business cards and everything else. need.

“While many organizations have robust processes for this, there are often loose balls or individual needs that create complexity,” warns Chim. She advises businesses to appoint a single owner who understands the logistics and can ensure everything is ready on or near day 1. possible is a great way to help someone who is brand new gain their first sense of accomplishment in a new role,” says Chim.

2. Explain the business

Whether an individual is starting out in a new company or a new role within the same company, they need to understand the business context. “A manager should be able to clearly convey these market and organizational dynamics to a new employee within the first two weeks,” says Chim. “Don’t rely solely on corporate training or another role: hearing their manager tell them in their own words how they see the world and where they fit into the bigger picture will help a new hire calibrate their future interactions with colleagues and clients.”

3. Clarify the role

Managers should review key responsibilities, accountabilities, and metrics, especially where there may be a gap between how the recruiter touted the role and what it actually is. After that conversation, Chim says, a new hire should be able to articulate what success looks like and begin to take ownership of their achievement. “This should then be reinforced with regular touchpoints to clarify roles and assumptions as new information and stakeholder perspectives come to light,” she says. “Plan more frequent touchpoints ahead of time to establish the lineup, then reduce to a rolling cadence as the new recruit demonstrates comfort in their role.”

4. Lay the foundation for a personal network

One of the most trying times for a new recruit, Chim says, is when they have to report for the first time. “Even the most natural extrovert will worry about their first impression,” Chim says, “but a manager can put those worries to rest with a personal branding session early in a new hire’s journey to help them with their introduction and their professional profile.”

If not, how can managers lay the groundwork for a new employee’s network? Create a list of people the new employee should meet, Chim says, that details how they might work with each other and what topics should be covered in the first conversation. “Then prioritize these meetings over the first 2-4 weeks of work.”

5. Understand each other in relation to team culture

Even the most optimistic hiring decisions can turn out to be mistakes if the individual and the culture of the organization don’t mesh. The good news, Chim says, is that we can be intentional about how we invest to make it work. “Start with an assessment during the final stages of the interview to ensure the candidate is the right candidate for the job. This ensures that individual biases do not overshadow the underlying abilities and styles of engagement that will lead to success in the role,” she says. . “Then make sure that the assessment and associated debriefing helps the new hire understand how their individual personality traits can help them meet the demands of the job and fit into the organizational culture.

“As the new employee settles into the role, be sure to contact them frequently with coaching on how to interpret behaviors and adjust individual approach and style to fit. to team culture.”

What if I’m the new recruit?

These five strategies are helpful for organizations looking to improve their onboarding process, but what role does the new hire play in their own successful launch into the culture? If this is your case, Chim also has some tips for you.

First, take the pulse of the organization’s openness to change. “We’ve all seen (or been) that person who steps into a new role with guns blazing and ready to make an impact,” Chim says. “In some environments it’s a welcome approach and in others it’s not received as enthusiastically by those who have been there for a while. A new recruit must be able to read the situation and adapt his style.

How exactly do you do that? Chim thinks you should start by listening, asking questions, repeating what you’ve heard, and then testing ideas. “Find like-minded peers who see similar issues that you consider high priorities and ask for their help in getting things done,” says Chim. “When you feel you’re moving too fast, slow down. Sometimes our own expectations of ourselves get in the way of results.

New hires should also have realistic expectations about the feedback they will receive. “No one should expect to start a new role and not have areas to calibrate or improve,” says Chim. Being open to constructive criticism is great, but proactively inviting it as part of your onboarding experience can be even more effective as you settle into your new role.

Finally, be prepared to join the social scene of your new venture. While it’s important to learn the day-to-day responsibilities you need to complete, remember that your peers are often your best resource for easily handling these tasks.

Create a strong culture of integration

Chim thinks that while many companies recognize the importance of integration, too often they stop once they’ve covered logistics needs. These organizations then leave the rest to the hiring manager, which is a hit-and-miss approach.

“The first thing is to ask how consistently do we apply the five best practices named above?” Chim said. “How do we hold ourselves accountable to achieve this consistently?”

For large-scale roles (e.g. frontline workers), an organization may have excellent training for core skills in the role. But Chim argues that doesn’t go far enough. “Do we envision helping individuals develop relationships and understand potential career paths that will help them develop a deeper sense of connection to the organization?”

For more specific leadership or corporate roles, Chim urges hiring managers to think consistently about the nuances of role clarity and setting up the new hire with the right connections across functions and teams. . “How do we hold hiring managers accountable for managing the five areas of onboarding success?”

Leveraging different types of data collection can also help gauge the effectiveness of integration, Chim says. “This can include targeted surveys to understand the new hire process, assessing attrition data, and integrating with exit interviews to understand the drivers of voluntary departures, particularly in the first year.” Doing this over several years will give insight into the trend of the organization and whether it needs to do anything different.

A powerful onboarding process can take time and resources to put in place, but the Great Resignation has turned it into a strategic advantage that cannot be ignored. Start investing in your process today and join the elite 12% of companies that employees say are successful onboarding.


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