Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us

Five Fundamentals of Onboarding

Effectively onboarding new employees into the social, administrative and production fabric of your organization takes time, but is well worth it. New employees who are successfully onboarded prior to being completely immersed in their jobs are happier, more productive and likely to stay in their job longer.

Having a plan which steps new employees through the onboarding process, and connects mentors, staff and resources with that new employee is critical to successful onboarding. Here are five important fundamentals to effective onboarding:
Team Building – Conducting a team building event soon after introducing a new employee to the organization can do a lot for successfully onboarding that new employee. New employees need to fully and quickly integrate into the social fabric of your team. Team building events get the new employee and the rest of the team away from the busy and hectic office life which can slow social integration. Get your team away from that environment and share a fun team activity, the rest of the team could use the break as well!

Connecting with Enablers – Over the course of an employee’s time at your company, and particularly in the first 90 days, employees will need the assistance of your enablers-IT support, your finance team, HR and the travel facilitators. For new employees, finding their way to these enablers and getting the support they need can be confusing and difficult at first. Connecting them with enablers from the very start, showing them how to get the support they need, will effectively smooth their transition into your team.

Vision and Context – Your employees want to be a part of something larger; they want their contributions to your team to be more than just completing professional tasks. Ensure your onboarding process gets them face to face with leadership so that leadership can explain the larger vision of your organization. The new employees need to understand how their core functions fit into the bigger picture of your company’s direction.

Ensure they have a Mentor – Connect your new hire with a mentor! Your new hire will have many questions and will need a guide, especially for the first few months of employment. Having a mentor will reduce the initial disorientation and provide that critical support. Have a mentor ready to facilitate a healthy integration into your team’s workflow and social dynamic.

Check Back With Them– Checking back with new employees is a great way to make sure that the onboarding process is going well, get more face time and solicit feedback from the new employee. If the onboarding process is going poorly, you can intervene to get it back on track. Your new employee can also give you feedback to improve the process while the experience is still. Check back within the first 2-4 weeks and then again after 90 days.

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As a leader, you owe your organization an effective onboarding process that embraces and integrates new employees into your team. Take some time to review your onboarding process to ensure it connects new employees with meaningful work, enablers, and mentors and brings them into the social fabric of your organization.

Do you need help with a review of your onboarding program? I would love to assist you! I can be contacted at fosteringexcellence101@gmail.com.
 
Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of Fosteringexcellence.org. He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.