Do you Have A Clear Path for Onboarding New Employees?
Elements Often Overlooked
We have a VP in our CareerNet Nation division that brought up an interesting situation in a Teams chat a few days ago. He wrote:
“[11:22] Matt B*****
That perfect placement for [our Miami construction company]? It may not stick. What did we forget in the process?”
The Background (Onboarding Starts Here)
After a lengthy search effort, we recently placed a “CNation” member in the front office (finance) of a growing company in the construction / housing development industry. Competitive package, located in NW Florida. Two weeks into her new job she called to say that the position wasn’t as advertised. Not unique, right?
We inquired further
Was the pay package different than agreed? No.
Were the expected hours different than described? No.
Was the culture not good? No, she liked the people.
So what were the concerns? She thought it was a job with no growth opportunity.
Did the Onboarding Process play a part?
Our Internal Discussion
We noodled on this a bit. Salary growth was industry standard by performance and longevity. The position elevated her CV. The people were a fun group that pretty well matched her assessed motivation, smarts, and personality.
So why was she concerned?
Her Answer: There had been no real discussion about the path to advancement.
Hmmm. Onboarding should include that, right? Your onboarding checklists don’t cover every concern.
More Internal Discussion and Brainstorming
Onboarding doesn’t exist to make Human Resources happy. Not primarily. It exists to assist the new hires in their transformation from candidate to productive member of a company. Just as important, HR onboarding establishes a new employee as a member of the team and company future.
What does a great onboarding process include?
Training (and testing) of platforms (be they outlook, excel, slack, Monday or salesforce. Do not assume they know how to use them the way your company or their team uses them).
A clear path to advancement within the organization. What do they need to accomplish to earn that bonus, to earn that promotion, to earn equity participation? Onboarding sets incentives.
Responsibilities and deadlines for any project they will be assigned to the employee OR is ongoing within their team. Onboarding embeds their immediate role.
Where to find information on important things for their success and wellbeing – Business Calendar, including Holidays. Days off policies. Healthcare policies and procedures. 401K participation or similar. Onboarding formalizes logistics.
Who their internal points of contact are for each of these important items.
Who will be their mentor – and when they will meet with their mentor. Onboarding creates crucial relationships.
When are their performance reviews?
The business over all strategy and how they fit into that strategy. What their immediate value is to the organization based upon their role and the expectations of their manager and direct reports. Onboarding confirms value.
This isn’t about filling in forms and certainly about more than onboarding checklists. Although forms are important for many of the support services provided, we’d recommend that the HR pro responsible for assembling the employee file visits the candidate at their workspace (meaning NOT at the desk of the HR professional) to assist over a series of face-to-face meetings. HR becomes the onboarding coordinator. Onboarding brings personal value.
Conclusions Drawn from Our Onboarding Experiences
Too often we’ve discovered something we call Process Creep. That’s when, overtime, HR Professionals evolve the onboarding process to suit their own busy schedules. They see dozens of new employees a week, sometimes hundred a month. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and try to simplify an important process to make your own work life more efficient and productive. But this is a secondary requirement.
HR is a super important role and has significant responsibilities in a highly detailed environment. The role is to provide all the support they can during working hours to make the work lives of employees better. Employees are their company. Strategic Onboarding makes this true.