Hiring is the most important thing you do.

Do You Prioritize Onboarding?

The Truth

We can each tell you from experience, most onboarding is a joke. Don’t be offended. We are not speaking about your company. Probably not.

You might check the notes in Reddit, search term Onboarding just to get a flavor. Our friends at HrCloud list no fewer than 12 onboarding problems (with perhaps a few self-serving solution sets).  There are no shortages of onboarding best practices and onboarding checklists.

Our Experiences with Onboarding

Most of our staff have been with many companies and more than a few industries in their work lives. Our culture is one of multi-taskers so we seek people with broad work experiences.

Pro Hint: It’s not for every company so don’t blindly follow our lead on company culture.

This genesis of this post comes from a staff meeting. The subject not surprisingly was onboarding. We speak from our own onboarding experiences in a wide range of industries our staff members participated in. Here is a sample set that came from a recent in-house discussion for onboarding of new employees.

Job Description ­Onboarding Comment
Pager Sales Here’s the device specs and your territory.
Multi-Media Marketing Sit next to your direct report for a week
Hospitality Great training across all my responsibilities. Patient and invaluable.
Finance Do this and we’ll go over your results.
Recruiting Call these people and ask the following questions.
Enforcement Lot’s of classroom work, then ride alongs.

More from that Staff Meeting

The best we can say is that these are pieces of a proper onboarding process. What’s amazing is that the hospitality industry consistently offered the best onboarding experience within our super discreet data pool. To be fair we have heard very positive onboarding experiences from within each of these industries. We’d add generally the healthcare (patient treatment) industry, Education, and consulting industries.

Why are some industries better than others?

Each one, just like in Hospitality is a people to people services industry. The way to be successful is to be good with both the products and services you represent and with the people you serve as clients. That takes real ongoing training and mentoring.

Many industries and companies are not set up this way. They are reasonably about operating income. Sure, well run companies can keep job dissatisfaction tamped down through benefits and compensation. But in reality, most companies do not have that luxury.

When budgets are an issue and they almost always are, you need a defined clear path to success for each new hire. We will write about this in detail in a future post, but generally it should include responsibilities and benchmarks to achieve growing levels of compensation PLUS the skills needed achieve these career milestones.

Simple Conclusion

Want to know if your onboarding is converting new hires to the culture? Listen closely to your people. If you hear collegial conversation and see reduced sick days, you are likely on the right track. If you hear frustration from within the ranks, well it started somewhere: Generally, that is the first week of employment. Thoughtful well framed onboarding is the first step and the subject of our next post.

Why do we care about this and why should you?

People matter. People are the business. Onboarding programs and onboarding software are just useful templates.  Technology can help sort them and make them more productive, but it rarely grows a business on its own.

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