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What do we mean by “onboarding”?

Onboarding is the process through which new employees acquire the skills, behaviors and knowledge to become effective members of an organization.

Andrew Cassidy is the President and Founder of Anrew Cassidy – Global Executive Development, LLC. His experience includes working with organizations of varying profiles from start-ups to the United Nations.

Why is it important? According to “Successful Onboarding” (Authors: Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen), one third of new hires are job searching within 6 months of starting employment and one third of executives fail to meet expectations in the first 2 years.

The onboarding process provides for the well being of the new hire in the critical first months as he or she integrates into the work environment, the team and the rest of the organization and takes care of any gaps identified in the recruitment process.

So what do you need to include in your onboarding process?

  1. All team members should be involved in welcoming new hires. Taking a new colleague to lunch or assigning a mentor will help build relationships and show the new hire that the company values him.
  2. No matter the level of the new person, the process should be consistent and reflect the values of the organization. This helps the employee as well as the team and the administration.
  3. Make sure that everything – desk, office supplies, security badge, computer passwords, phone numbers, and access keys – are prepared.
  4. Ensure the employee has access to all information needed to succeed in the job and to become familiar with the company. Arrange meetings with subject matter experts so the employee can understand the organization’s goals, policies and practices. This should include privacy policy.
  5. If skills or knowledge gaps were identified during the recruitment process, agree a training plan and support the individual in the execution of the plan.
  6. Its important that regular chats with the employee take place to ensure that he or she is integrating successfully in to the job, the team and the culture, and that appropriate support is offered.

Until all of the above has taken place your new hire is a net consumer of organizational value.