The benefits of a full-scale onboarding program are immeasurable, but perhaps the most valid argument for comprehensive onboarding is that it communicates to the new hire that the company is genuinely attuned to promoting the individual’s success and career development within the organization. An effective onboarding sets the tone to introduce the company’s purpose and core values, and how the new hire’s role will be aligned with these objectives.
Purpose and core values must play an important role each day and need to be incorporated into subsequent Training Modules. It’s one thing to have your organization’s mission statement and core values on posters scattered throughout the company, it’s much more effective for new hires to learn from day one how these core values are incorporated into daily activities, operations and the KPIs for which they will be measured.
A successful onboarding session has several different components to ensure the employee enjoys a thorough integration into the organization, and often begins prior to the actual first day of work. A welcome basket or card sent to the employee’s home and touch-base emails from an assigned coach inviting the new hire to view the company’s blog and website help set an inclusive tone.
Once the employee arrives at the organization, set structure and session times are key, while providing the employee a road map of what to expect. Being the new kid on the block is stressful enough without added anxiety of not knowing where to go or what to do. The initial day(s) of onboarding should primarily revolve around general transition and “housekeeping” issues – (agenda, handbook, paperwork, benefits, tours, etc.). Employees need the vitals and want to know to whom they report, who will be their mentor and who is a “Buddy” to whom they can direct initial questions. New hires given the company history and current corporate structure will understand how the company has developed into the organization it is today. Key policies and procedures must be addressed to put employees at ease as to what is generally expected. All these items should be interspersed with engaging, even lighthearted exercises, such as “2 truths, one lie” or career goal drawings to introduce employees to one another and veteran employees orchestrating the onboarding.