Best Practices for Onboarding Employees at All Levels

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Best Practices for Onboarding Employees at All Levels

While large companies manage the basics of onboarding new employees without much trouble, it’s the challenges in processes that need due attention. For instance, a survey of global HR executives concluded that only about 30% of employees get adequate support for cultural familiarization. Struggles with culture are considered a major reason for failure among newly arrived leaders. The lack of innovative and effective hiring processes can lead to major consequences on an organization’s overall growth and development.

With advancements in technology, it’s possible to adopt a company-wide onboarding system, which balances the need to deliver excellent support and guidance. At the same time, a good prospecting system makes it easier and more flexible to adopt several practices to streamline the onboarding process. As part of the overall HR strategy, the system or process needs to incorporate procedural and legal formalities of the hiring process, while addressing the provisioning of space, technology, and critical resources. 

Additionally, it should focus on proper orientation with emphasis on functional and cultural training, integration with peers, and team building. In order to achieve the best results, it’s important to meet the specific needs of employees while keeping them motivated to improve productivity. Some of the practices mentioned below can help onboard employees at all levels.

Develop an ‘onboarding journey’

The guiding principle of the recruitment process states that every new employee should be taken on a ‘journey’. The best way to recruit employees should span across orientation, integration, and effectiveness. However, the depth and length of the ‘onboarding journey’ can differ by level and experience.

Understand key personas

It’s important to define certain personas in the organization. These may include team players, individual contributors, executives, and leaders. The HR team should customize resources for each persona on the basis of the complexity and needs of the roles. For instance, experience-rich senior leaders don’t need to go through time-consuming training modules. Instead, they should be taken on virtual journeys with the help of online processes.

Enable technology to facilitate processes

Almost every organization has a limited headcount in the HR team to manage numerous resources and processes. As such, it’s important that the best way to onboard employees should include the use of technologies to facilitate and automate the employee recruitment process. For instance, the team could use a platform that pushes customizable content to provide various development, integration, and orientation resources.

Listen to the hires

At the end of the day, every new employee is a person looking to advance in their career. It’s necessary to get the right feedback to improve existing processes and modules. Difficulty in adapting to an organization’s modules and expectations not only affects a person’s growth but the overall development of the company.

Clarity about responsibilities and roles

During orientation, it’s important to clarify the specific responsibilities and roles. Each employee should know what managers, peers, mentors, and predecessors would expect. It’s important to build a support system among employees. The best way to onboard employees should include team building and collaboration, thereby leading to less downtime and increased productivity.

In order to ensure long-term engagement and support, the HR team should design the new induction system while engaging with existing employees and recent hires. It helps identify the specific needs to build customized content. For instance, new hires can be given a list of people to connect within the first few weeks on the job. These people can act as ‘early mentors’ for the new hires.

The process can start with a discussion between the new hire and the manager, so as to ensure that the latter can share useful insights on key projects and stakeholders. It’s also a good thing to provide the new hire with conversation guides to facilitate the initial meet-and-greets. These can include preparation/reflection exercises and action planning to gain feedback.

Last but not least, it’s important to ensure that the recruitment processes and resources are clearly supported by the HR community and senior management leaders. It helps create a culture to facilitate seamless hiring at all levels. While these practices are good for new hires, they’re also meant to ensure less friction among employees. The end goal is to create an atmosphere of collaborative culture and teamwork.

It’s worth mentioning that ‘onboarding journeys’ can help employees learn the behaviors and skills necessary to perform the roles and responsibilities with ease. Moreover, these journeys can prove to be a time-sensitive and cost-effective alternative to conventional employee development strategies.

In a competitive business world, organizations can’t afford to ignore the specific needs of human resources at all levels. It’s best to create customized journeys, identify personas, and ensure stakeholder support to dramatically speed up the overall integration process and set new hires on the road to success.

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