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How to successfully 'on board'...

Posted by
19 Mar 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 InternalTalent Manager, I wanted to know what employers and employees thought of the term"on boarding”.

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

Looking into this subject a little further, studies showthat 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 theywill 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 welcomeand 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 recruitmentprocess. Whilst a candidate is researching the company they have applied for aposition with, they will inevitably search for the company's website. This isthe first taste they will get of your business, its working culture and itsprocesses, so be sure the information presented on your website and socialmedia channels is current and correct to ensure they receive the best firstimpression of your business.

What's more, if the candidate is actually recruited, there is usually amountain of paperwork for them to complete. Why not provide an information packor employee handbook that includes training and company processes before theystart? This allows your new employee to read large chunks of information attheir 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 throwtoo 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 employeeup on a computer, arranging telephone numbers and emails for them are coveredwithin this checklist. 

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

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

Recent research indicates that staff are much moreproductive when they feel they are part of a team. So, why not arrange alunch for the team to meet the new employee? This allows all members of staffto 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 begiven at the end of every week. Use this as an opportunity to discover how yournew starters are settling in and discover what is working well, what is not,what  they are enjoying in their newrole and if there is anything they might need.

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

I'm well aware in today's fast moving market, we often feel that there is not enoughtime 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 managedcorrectly first time and the new employee is able to fit into the business andunderstand what is expected of them, it can save an awful lot of time, effortand money in the long term.

I am just starting my sixth week at Sellick Partnership and I am thoroughlyenjoying my new role. It is certainly a busy time for an Internal Talent Managerto 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 mynew 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...

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