Onboarding… It’s Worth The Time!

Onboarding… It’s Worth The Time!

“Onboarding, also known as organisational socialisation, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to become effective organisational members and insiders.”

Whilst so much work may have been put into an effective and robust recruitment and selection strategy, it can all be undone very quickly without an effective onboarding process in place.

Think about how you would answer the following questions: –

  • Do you keep in touch with successful candidates between offer acceptance and start date?
  • Are your new starters made to feel welcome?
  • Is there an informative or interesting company induction in place?
  • Is there a first day, week and month plan in place prior to their first day?
  • Is the appropriate ICT equipment ordered in advance?
  • Have new logins, passwords and emails all been set up in advance?
  • Is there an adequate training plan in place to get the new employee up to speed on the key job competencies as quickly as possible?

These are all questions which, if you’ve answered “no” to, may risk your new starter having a very short career with you!

New employees are at their most vulnerable in the first few weeks and are likely to be thinking things like, “What have I done?” or “I’m not sure about this”, or even, “This isn’t what I thought it would be like.” It is likely that they have joined you from a very comfortable environment where they knew the job, the people and the company inside out. They’re now in the position of not knowing any of these and are having to start again. It’s a bit like the first day at a big, new school – but for grown-ups!

So next time you make a successful hire, take some time to make sure you’re fully prepared, prior to their first day of employment. This means ICT equipment and software has been set up and that there is a detailed plan of action in place for at least the new employee’s first week with you.

Believe me, you will reap the rewards, and it is likely to have a huge upside benefit as to their first impressions of your business and their enthusiasm and motivation levels.

Happy onboarding!

This article was originally written for House Magazine on 30th June 2014. To download a PDF of the full print copy, please click here.

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