Do These 3
Things for Onboarding
Onboarding is forever a hot topic in the training industry. How to do it “right,” who should be involved, what you need to say or not say, how long it should last, what are the “have to know” vs. “you will figure this out” items…I could go on. But in my experience, some organizations are still struggling to craft a worthwhile experience of onboarding for new hires.
So, here are three simple tips that organizations everywhere should start incorporating into their onboarding programs.
It seems like common sense, yet I’ve heard countless stories of new hires starting without the basics. No computer. No email. No desk. No chair. No working phone. No access to anything behind the firewall. No access badge to the building.
When we overlook the small things and don’t prepare for a new hire’s first day on the job, it can leave them wondering, “Do I even work here?” Preparing for your new hire’s arrival not only provides a warm welcome—it also makes a great first impression on your new employee! This will give you momentum to building employee engagement and satisfaction.
Give new hires meaningful tasks to do.
What do you ask new hires to do during onboarding? Many organizations direct them to haphazardly peruse and “become familiar” with the company, the intranet page, the knowledge management system, etc. Without context, organizations are essentially asking new hires to draw the connection between random content and how they fit into the organization.
We can do more with new hires. After all, you hired them for their skills, and you want to use those skills to the fullest. Identify projects that they can contribute to in a meaningful way. Actual work provides the right context and platform to demonstrate to new hires how company policies apply, who they should start building connections and relationships with, and the satisfaction that something concrete was accomplished each day.
Listen to their questions.
One of the biggest onboarding blunders I see is when organizations dump a ton of nebulous information in the lap of a new hire and run! Instead, we should spend time with new hires and take breaks throughout their journey to ask, “What questions do you have?” Your new hire will appreciate the opportunity to digest and reflect on what you have shared.
Pausing for feedback and questions also gives new hires the opportunity to share the experiences they bring to the table. Maybe your new hire has some experience with the tool, but in a different context. Or perhaps they’re already familiar with what you have shared and can add value to that project. Hitting “pause” on the presentations gives new hires the space to think and ask questions that can guide the rest of your conversation.
The experience of onboarding.
Onboarding represents a time of new beginnings for organizations and new hires. Relationships are formed and opportunities arise for both the employee and the organization. What type of experience would you like your new employees to have? What do you think your current employees would say about their own onboarding experiences?
If you want new hires to have a worthwhile experience and get a jumpstart to contribute to and engage with your organization, then be prepared, give them meaningful tasks, and take time to listen during their onboarding journey.