It’s time to advance to the next level in bringing staff into your firm’s culture quickly and efficiently with onboarding that is more strategic and comprehensive.
Orientation is a one-time event, whereas onboarding is a series of events (including orientation) that helps new employees understand how to be successful in their position and how their work contributes to the company’s strategic plan.
An onboarding program includes:
- Designing a process that is an efficient, effective representative of the company culture, and – this is important – fun
- Developing and applying a comprehensive induction process for new hires
- Emphasizing personal accountability through job performances that support the strategic plan
The program to bring individuals on board should include the essential action items, provided after an offer has been accepted, to convey excitement to the new employee and help them transition into the firm. It should detail the ways in which a new hire gains an understanding of his or her functional areas by providing the resources, contacts and tools necessary to assist in their understanding of the business.
The goal of onboarding is to help new staff adapt to their new work environment and bring them to full productivity quickly and efficiently. The program is broken into four major components:
- Vision and Values: activities and programs designed to acclimate new staff to the company’s current culture while helping them understand their role in the strategic plan
- Team Building: activities and programs designed to help new staff become full members of their work teams as quickly and productively as possible, alleviating ambiguity and setting the tone for strong working relationships
- Mentor Program: designed to help new staff build work relationships and navigate unwritten rules by pairing them with experienced peers
- Human Resources Orientation: provides logistical information necessary for new employees to do their jobs. This includes benefits enrollment, tours of facilities, software training, etc.
Another major focus for many organizations is supporting managers to develop the skills necessary to create an inclusive environment for new employees. The responsibility for new staff members’ productivity, effectiveness and morale falls largely to these individuals.
To support them in this effort, develop a clear set of behaviors and responsibilities while offering plenty of learning opportunities to ensure that managers have the skills to meet expectations.
Some of the specific manager behaviors that should be addressed in the training are:
- Building an inclusive and effective team
- Coaching and counseling
- Setting performance objectives
- Identifying and addressing interpersonal dynamics
- Practicing effective communication skills
When managers receive support and training before being brought on board, they can feel confident they are providing the appropriate information and helping staff feel like valued members of the team. An effective onboarding program will help new hires become productive, contributing members of your firm faster than ever before.
The original article appeared on the Boomer Consulting blog.
About Sandra Wiley
Sandra Wiley is President, Boomer Consulting Inc.