Make your Onboarding Programme Work for You

September 14th 2016 | Posted by phil scott

Make your Onboarding Programme Work for You

Implementing an effective onboarding programme not only manages expectations from both staff and recruiting managers, it will also ease new recruits into the workplace enabling them to feel more confident in their role.
In a sweeping, but essentially fairly accurate statement, it’s safe to say that there are many more ineffectual onboarding processes out there, than good ones. So what is the secret to creating a system that works? In reality, it comes down to a few fundamentals.

Keep expectations in check

Introducing a new employee to a company isn’t a quick fix. People generally don’t feel comfortable and fully engaged in new surroundings, with new people, new systems and perhaps even completely new job roles for some time. Yet, astoundingly, most orientation programmes will be a quick process, expecting the new recruit to be ready to go at the end of it, and with varying degrees of ongoing support.
It’s important to set out clear expectations for the role at the beginning of the process and, from there, to continue to check in with the new recruit. Scheduled face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, and an open dialogue on any difficulties in adapting are essential as new staff members acclimatise.
It’s rare that new starters will hit the ground running in all areas from day one, so allow time for each person to develop at their pace and with the right support in place.

It’s personal

We’re all individuals, so the potential of everyone responding to the same presentation, or the same induction programme is slim. So, make the sessions interactive, keep them relevant. There’s no surer way of switching someone off than forcing them through half a day of presentations about an area that isn’t directly relevant to their new job.
Keep it simple. Information overload is to some degree unavoidable in a new job, but it can be managed by ensuring that the onboarding programme is tightly focused on the new starter. This way, it’s easier to identify what each new employee’s skills and talents are, so they can be used in the best way once they are actively contributing to the team.
Put an emphasis on making it social. It’s a great way of stimulating the process and allowing new starters to feel comfortable.

Keep assessing it

Ultimately, the onboarding process is nothing if not dynamic. Not only should it change depending on the job itself, but also in relation to the person, their background and their skills and limitations.
So, in order to keep abreast of the changeable nature of the process, regular feedback and assessment is vital. That way, the HR team are able to hone it, develop it and keep it relevant and fresh.
After all, the first impressions are always the most important. So, effectively inducting new recruits is the best way to engage them from the start.