Make sure to have all the simple stuff in order and to get both the new employee and everyone else in the organization on board the onboarding train from the beginning – also with the right technology.
The best onboarding process is done in the first 90 days of your new employee's time in your company. But how do you actually carry it out? Here are some insights and tips to create a structured and engaging onboarding process.
4 key points: What is successful onboarding?
- Onboarding begins the moment the employee takes the first step inside the new workplace and continues several months further forward.
- Remember that even though onboarding takes time, it creates engagement.
- Everyone should be part of welcoming the new employees.
- Remember to get some effective digital tools incorporated into your onboarding.
Who should be in charge of our onboarding?
If you don’t have an HR department in your organization, then make sure that the onboarding is managed by a person who is used to train new employees. Alternatively, it can be a person who has worked closely with many types of employees and who has a good insight into the work processes in the company.
So, it should not just be one manager who is in charge of the onboarding. If the manager does not have an HR mindset and has not understood how difficult it can be to be a new employee, it can easily be about fast results and that the employee just has to get started with delivering right away.
It is a good idea to let HR ask the employee how things are going — just a 15-minute weekly catch up in the beginning.
Some employees feel that if they do not meet their goals, then they are not good enough.
Instead, it can feel more secure to confide anonymously to HR, and at the same time, it is easier for that person to see the warning signs, if he/she asks about what the new employee precisely has understood of his/her work tasks and new role.
Even though we would often like to keep people for more than three years, it is possible that the recruiting was a mistake. For example, if the employee has a hard time communicating and often gets misunderstood.
Then they need to get feedback on that from the start, and if it gets better after that, you can then praise yourself that you did something at the right time.
If things are not getting better, you stay stronger as a company, if you need to go separate ways before the trial period is over.
This has to be included in the onboarding: The Onboarding Pyramid
You can use the onboarding guide to help you create the structured onboarding you need. It has three steps: Administration → Assimilation → Acceleration (Lever, 2019). All three steps are important if you want a successful onboarding of new employees.
Part of the process is also preboarding. Preboarding begins when the employee signs the contract until the day they start. You can read much more about preboarding employees here.
In the onboarding pyramid, the administration step is the most basic step that gets all the formal stuff in order and creates the starting point for the continuing onboarding.
Everything that needs to be signed is in the administration step. It is employment contracts, NDAs, etc. In addition, you need to make sure that everything is ready for the new employee in practice. Is the desk ready to be used or is the uniform ordered in the right size? Has the new employee access to your learning platform?
On the assimilation step, the new employees must be included in the social life in the workplace and learn about the culture.
In addition, it is important that they are trained in your internal policies (compliance training), get well into the work tasks, and at last but not least be aware of which expectations there are to them and their work effort.
A study from Gallup (2015) shows that only 15% of all employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at the job. And if they are not aware of what is expected of them, how can they then live up to the goals and create results in your company?
The acceleration step is about getting the employees to accelerate in their roles so they can create success and results for your company. They have to be able to express their authentical self without concerns and have the opportunity to develop in the workplace.
When the employees are safe and can express their personal, authentical self (read more p. 10), they can accelerate their role and create results for your company. When they are safe and can be the best version of themselves at work, they will automatically be able to place a complete focus on the work tasks without having to worry about whether they fit in.
In this step, they also understand what is expected of them and what it takes for them to meet the goals. That is why it is a good idea to be open to give them training, so they can develop and manage work tasks better and create even more beautiful results for your company.