Insights

How to successfully 'on board'...

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by Simon Briffa | 19 March 2015

Recruiting and developing talent has and always will be akey factor in the success of every business. 

Having just started a new and exciting career at Sellick Partnership as Internal Talent Manager, I wanted to know what employers and employees thought of the term "on boarding”.

Wikipedia describes on boarding as the process of "organisational socialisation” - the process of any new team member gaining the knowledge, skills and behaviour required to carry out their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Looking into this subject a little further, studies show that employees have approximately 90 days to prove themselves in a new role.The sooner new staff feel welcomed and prepared for their job, the sooner they will be able to successfully contribute to the company's objectives. So in mynew role, what can we as a business do to make our new employee feel welcome and fully engaged? Here are the key points that I think should be considered; 

Plan ahead 
A successful on boarding program begins from the very start of the recruitment process. Whilst a candidate is researching the company they have applied for aposition with, they will inevitably search for the company's website. This is the first taste they will get of your business, its working culture and its processes, so be sure the information presented on your website and social media channels is current and correct to ensure they receive the best first impression of your business. 

What's more, if the candidate is actually recruited, there is usually a mountain of paperwork for them to complete. Why not provide an information packor employee handbook that includes training and company processes before they start? This allows your new employee to read large chunks of information at their own leisure and acclimate themselves to new company policies.

The first day
First days can be pretty nerve-wrecking for new employees, so try not to throw too much information at them - the chances are they won't remember it! Instead, create a checklist and ensure all the basics such as setting the new employee up on a computer, arranging telephone numbers and emails for them are covered within this checklist. 

Finally, inform all your employees that there will be a new face joining the team so they can appropriately welcome the new member in a friendly manner. 

Make it personal 
Remember, everyone is different and one induction plan may not be the right one for everyone. Instead, take the time to create a more tailored induction specifically for new starters to ensure they know exactly how they will contribute the business as an individual.

Recent research indicates that staff are much more productive when they feel they are part of a team. So, why not arrange a lunch for the team to meet the new employee? This allows all members of staff to socialise whilst getting to know their new team member and can create a feeling of comradery. 

Keep it going
However, it should be noted that a good on boarding programme does not end onthe first week. The process should last several months and feedback should be given at the end of every week. Use this as an opportunity to discover how your new starters are settling in and discover what is working well, what is not,what  they are enjoying in their new role and if there is anything they might need. 

This feedback isn't just vital to the new employee but also to the employer who can streamline and improve the on boarding process for the future.

Finally 
I'm well aware in today's fast moving market, we often feel that there is not enough time to go through everything I have discussed as we are keen to get new employees started in their new roles. However, try and remember if this process is managed correctly first time and the new employee is able to fit into the business and understand what is expected of them, it can save an awful lot of time, effort and money in the long term.

I am just starting my sixth week at Sellick Partnership and I am thoroughly enjoying my new role. It is certainly a busy time for an Internal Talent Manager to be joining such a rapidly expanding business. Despite this, I have had athorough and effective on boarding process - so now I just need to ensure my new recruits have the same!

What do you think? Have you experienced good or bad on boarding whenstarting a new role? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...