Reinventing On-Boarding For Success

Help your new hires and your organisation to tap into the potential of your people to the fullest.

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How do you make sure you set your new hires for a long-term success?

I was inspired to write this article after my conversation with one of my former colleagues, who was trying to convince me that on-boarding is yet another term invented by HR people, who usually want to make themselves important in the organisation and in their free time create complex processes.

Why on-boarding should be a big deal in your organisation?

As a doctoral student, Tayla N.Bauer started studying the process of on-boarding newcomers by looking at freshly admitted research scientists at Portland State University. It wasn’t surprising to see that scientist with prior research experience and a better understanding of their organisation’s culture were more productive, engaged, and committed after one year. What was surprising was that these effects persisted in the long term. She followed these scientists into their research careers and found that mentoring connections they made early on were related to their productivity and confidence levels five and a half years later.

Bamboo HR surveyed over 1000 employees in the US, asking about their experience getting new jobs and what strategies they had found to be most effective and helpful for settling in. 52% responded that receiving organised, relevant and well-timed content was the single most anticipated and helpful part of their on-boarding into the new organisation.

What seems to be the biggest surprise is that no one [new hires] seemed to care about free food and extra perks. New hires want to learn how to do their job and the inner workings of your company.  In short, they want to start doing meaningful work and contribute fast!

So what can you do right now to reinvent on-boarding in your organisation?

Below is the detailed 3-steps process, that you can apply immediately to improve on-boarding in your company and set your new hires for success:

1. Create strong bonds and strong connections

Few would disagree that relationships matter. However, when on-boarding new employees, many organisations don’t do enough to help them make connections or foster a sense of belonging.

What can you do? (practical tips)

  • Meet with them, make sure someone takes them to lunch, and that the atmosphere is welcoming. This simple connection matters for success over the long run.
  • Assign a buddy who will show them around the office, teach the new hire how to operate office coffee machine and others.
  • Introduce your new hire to the whole company — if you have company Facebook group or email introduction to all employees. Be creative: besides which team they’re joining, share about their hobbies, interests and funny facts about them
  • Have your CEO spend time with your new hires. Adedicated meeting or lunch time will make a great difference in the experience of your new hires)

Remember new employees are anxious to make a good impression. Tell them how happy you are to have them join your team. Doing this early on has a much bigger positive impact than waiting until later.

2. Strengthen your induction program

Your induction program is the best way to introduce your culture, business model and organisational structure. It’s not your training ground where the new hires are gaining the skills, it’s the space where your new hires can experience and understand your company by speaking to some of your best employees.

What can you do? (practical tips)

  • Create 1–2 days induction program where you talk only about your company culture, business model and organisational structure.
  • Have the highest performing team members and great public speakers (!) share the wisdom on these topics.
  • As your company is changing and evolving, same for your induction program content — keep it flexible and review the content regularly.
  • Make sure your values and culture are projected in how you treat and greet your new employeesTell the real stories of your successes, failures, prominent employees — they will tell who you are and inspire your new hires to strive for the best.

3. Recognise that the manager plays a special role

The research shows that the new hires want their manager show them the ropes of their new role, establish guidelines, expectations and milestones of the new job. The proactive stand of the manager is the key for success of the new hire.

People want their own managers, not HR, to take charge on-boarding them.

What can you do? (practical tips)

  • Set clear measurable goals and expectations for the role. Be very specific and detailed. This will serve as your roadmap for further check-ins and measuring success of your new hire.
  • Establish time-based milestones to check in with new employees to see how things are going. For example, 30, 60, 90, and 180 day milestones are good markers to consider.
  • During these check-ins you can ask questions and share insights around these 4 areas:

Top learnings of the new hire in their role and company

Top challenges or roadblocks in their role

Performance and role alignment — how well are they performing and what can be started / stopped / continued

Feedback — share your own feedback as a manager and feedback you’ve gathered from their peers and colleagues

By following these 3 steps you can help your new hires and your organisation to tap into the potential of your people to the fullest and achieve your company’s growth in revenue, creating new break-through products, employees engagement and their happiness.

If you are seeking for guidance or help on how to design the best on-boarding process for your organisation, feel free to reach out to me at Mindvalley.

Share your comments and questions below 🙂

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