Onboarding is defined as the first 30 to 90 days when employees become valuable members of the organization and begin reaching desired levels of performance. This is different than new hire training, which can often extend months beyond the initial onboarding process. Onboarding often includes a brief orientation which structures the first few days.
The seminar starts by showing how an effective onboarding process can be built around the three questions that all new employees have. The first question is, "can I do this job?" There are always doubts because this is a new situation with unique requirements. Setting up opportunities for new hires to experience the job firsthand begins to build the required level of confidence needed.
The second question is, "do I want to do this job?" In the hiring process, new employees are sold on the great things the job has to offer. When reality sets in, some new employees find that the downsides make the job undesirable and quit. In onboarding, the key is to help new employees reach that decision quickly rather than spending months or training time on someone who will quit.
The third question is, "will I fit in?" This is a new work team. Onboarding needs to create activities to get to know the team and for the team to get to know the new employee. This can easily be accomplished in an effective onboarding process.
The second part of the webinar describes how to build onboarding activities for formal, informal, and social learning. These activities are used to build teamwork, assess performance, and teach key tasks. These activities are designed to answer the three key questions of onboarding. As a result, the onboarding program is concise, effective, and highly interactive.
The third part of the webinar will discuss strategies for launching, measuring, and maintaining the onboarding program.
How soon would you be confident assigning a new employee to work with your most valued customers? When do you know a new employee is likely to stay and be a productive member of your team? When do you know a new employee can be trusted to work without constant supervision?
New employees are still a gamble. Even with the best hiring process, there’s no guarantee of success. There are plenty of downsides to employees who are slow to fit in or who never really fit in. Therefore, the goal of any successful onboarding process or program should be to get new employees up-to-speed and working with their team as fast as possible.
While there are a lot of ways to speed up onboarding pre-hire including making good hiring decisions for the purposes of this discussion, let’s limit onboarding from day one until you comfortably feel a new employee is fitting in and well on the way to hitting performance targets. This is different than time to proficiency or time to productivity which, for many jobs, is months if not years away. Think of onboarding more in terms of making a big impact in the critical first 30 to 90 days.