It’s the first day of your new job. You arrive at reception just before 9am and the receptionist doesn’t know who you are. You wait 10 minutes whilst your new boss comes to greet you. They apologise for the wait and take you to your new desk.
You have to help clear off boxes – only to discover an old dusty phone and computer monitor underneath. IT will be here in 15 minutes with your computer and login details. Your boss has to head to a meeting, so you wait… You spend the rest of the morning reading through your induction booklet whilst IT sets up your desk.
It is lunchtime and you are yet to meet anyone in the office. There are no plans for lunch or to meet anyone. You head out after a while and grab something on your own (needing to be swiped back in because your staff card isn’t ready). The afternoon is much the same, your boss is held up in meetings and there is no direction for you to go on with anything.
How do you feel?
Not great I imagine. In fact, pretty let down.
What if your first day was more like this?
Your new boss is waiting at reception when you arrive. Your desk it is clean, with new laptop, login details, phone information, induction booklet, company handbook and organisational chart laid out and waiting. You spend the morning getting to know more about the company you have just joined, walking through the office meeting department heads, before heading to lunch with your team. The afternoon consists of learning more about the company, its culture and an overview of key things that will be coming up in your first 90 days.
Pretty good hey?
Research shows organizations that have formal step-by-step on-boarding programs for new employees are more successful at integrating and retaining new staff members. Familiarising them with their role, what the norms of the company are and how they are to behave are all things that are critical to a successful on-boarding program.
Onboarding is more than an induction on day one – it extends much further. Comprehensive programs need to cover the first 12 months. Everyone who joins your team should understand the vision and direction of the organization and that milestones – 30, 60, 90 and 120 days - are used to discuss how well employees are progressing and integrating. Regular communication and the identification of issues is important. If there is uncertainty and lack of clarity, then performance and success will suffer.
Successfully onboarding new team members has a multitude of benefits:
Self-sufficient – Clearly understanding the role they have been hired for means the person understands his/her duties, responsibilities and expectations.
Relationships – Forging strong relationships with team members and key stakeholders throughout the organization is crucial for job success. The sooner these relationships can be made the better.
Culture – Each organization has its own unique culture. Understanding this culture is very important for any person who joins. Helping them to do so needs to be a priority.
Policy, politics and plan - Understanding these helps new hires to navigate the organization more easily and to begin owning their role much more quickly. Long-term this helps with commitment and turnover long-term. Source: Journal of Applied Psychology
Having a detailed and structured onboarding program is a must for any organization, no matter how big or small. You have worked so hard to advertise, screen, interview and make an offer – but the journey has only just begun. The sell is complete, now it is time to make what you sold a reality.
Remember – “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin
Sitting down with your team and noting what they would want in an onboarding program is the best place to start when developing one. Speaking to leaders within the organization is a great second step. Having input from others helps ensure you don’t miss anything important and that everything is well rounded.
At Trayne Consulting, we develop, review and refine onboarding programs all the time. If you are looking to develop a program from scratch or would like a fresh set of eyes to roll across an existing program give us a call.