Benefits of Onboarding Employees the Right WayPosted 2013-10-15 Print
Managers responsible for an employee’s first 100 days are critical to onboarding. These steps can ensure that a new worker produces good results quickly.
It is imperative that managers facilitate assimilation initiatives or new employees by setting up conversations with members of their formal and informal networks.
This is what AMN Healthcare Services CEO Susan Salka did when she managed the onboarding of several new employees during the company’s acquisition of Medfinders. First, she had early conversations with the new employees. Then, she assigned a manager to handle the employees’ integration into the company. Finally, she stayed close to the process.
When helping a new employee assimilate, think in terms of stakeholders, behind-the-scenes networks, projects, meeting and events, and tools.
· Introduce the employee to stakeholders for meaningful and productive onboarding conversations, especially if the employee is a manager or executive. These conversations should go up, across and down; be internal and external; cover information providers, resource controllers, suppliers and customers; and involve cross-hierarchy, cross-function and cross-region groups.
· Introduce the employee to behind-the-scenes networks like such as sports teams, communities of common interest, etc.
· Assign the employee to special projects that can further his or her assimilation—especially early on.
· Invite the employee to meetings and events that can further help him or her adapt.
· Introduce the employee to connecting tools: Facebook, mentor, buddy, cohort, touchstone, blogs, wikis, etc.
During the employee’s first 100 days on the job, the hiring manager must support and mentor the individual so that he or she has the resources and support to build a team that delivers early wins.
That's what Sam Martin did at A&P as he was forming a new team to lead its turnaround. Martin had identified several imperatives and implemented them all on a timely basis. One of the significant imperatives was getting the right team in place.
Sam Martin moved quickly to put people in the right roles and bring in new talent to fill gaps. Helping leaders form their teams—fast—is one of the fundamental, foundational responsibilities of HR executives. They must help new leaders get their teams in place.
Because they are new to the company, these employees don’t even know what resources they need, so their managers must help them identify and procure those resources. They will fail without help from their managers.
Using effective and consistent approaches to onboarding new employees is perhaps the most important contribution any hiring manager can make to the long-term success of the company. Successful onboarding increases productivity, accelerates the delivery of results and improves talent retention. Poor onboarding leads to turnover, which is expensive in terms of dollars, as well as intangibles, such as employee trust.
The three steps of accommodation, assimilation and acceleration can be used to provide new employees with a clear idea of what the organization expects from them. Furthermore, following these three steps ensures a strategic and consistent approach.
George Bradt is the founder and managing director of PrimeGenesis, an executive onboarding firm that specializes in working with newly hired executives. He is also co-author of five books, including First-Time Leader: Foundational Tools for Inspiring and Enabling Your New Team (Available February 2014).
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