A successful onboarding process starts from the moment a job candidate accepts an offer from your company and can continue for several months in some cases. So, what is an effective onboarding process?
It’s a planned process that helps a newly hired professional become acclimated with his or her position and your company. It allows a new hire to ease into a role gradually, making it more comfortable to handle the transition while learning new things, understanding the business, melding into the company culture, and building relationships with other employees throughout the organization.
According to Dave Dart, Managing Partner of the Morisey-Dart Group, “The onboarding process for new hires should begin before their official start date. Communicating with them until the day they start shows you are thinking of them. Prove that you’re expecting them by making sure even the simplest things are done–having a desk set up with files, an email account, relevant software programs with usernames and passwords, etc. Don’t wait until they show up and then scramble around trying to get them situated. If you do, this will give a bad impression and they’ll wonder what they got themselves into.”
Unlike an employee orientation, a successful onboarding process should be a customized plan that meets the needs of the new hire. It should help him or her outline early goals and give a clear path on how to attain them. It requires the company to support the new employee by giving personal attention, being available for questions, and guiding him or her throughout the initial phase of employment with your company.
It’s important to involve management and other high-level company leaders in an effective onboarding process because it gives the employee the feeling of being valued and establishes more of a connection with the company leadership. This creates a first-class onboarding process in the employee’s mind and is essential to your organization if you want to secure the relationship for the long-haul and get a return on your investment.
According to an article written by Lilith Christiansen, co-author of Successful Onboarding: Strategies to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization, “From our client work as well as research on the topic, we definitely feel like onboarding is a great opportunity for an organization to create more value for the enterprise by investing up-front in the first year of a new hire’s entry into the organization.”