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Why Proactive On-boarding Matters?

· onboarding,engagement,leadership,human resources,development

Congratulations! Now that you have selected the Best Fit talent to join you, what happens next?

Talent selection has taken place as you spend tons of dollars to pick the best fit to join your esteem organization. But that doesn’t stop there. Your talents will be less likely to succeed if you are not maximizing your approach to onboard them into your business. Often, the need to adjust them towards your social and performance aspects of assimilation is not properly taken care of. This leads to your talents’ engagement level slowly being eroded over time. The speed of erosion depends on how ineffective your onboarding impression leaves on your talents.

Let’s face it, no business will be selecting a candidate that is totally disengaged at the on start, often, your selection panel will be getting the best fit also partially based on their level of engagement into the role that you are trying to fill. Hence, if your newly minted talent comes in engaged or sometimes highly engaged, why will they over a period of time lose that engagement level. As a leader, how could you enable their engagement level to be sustained over a longer period of time?

One factor that is often overlooked is how the talent is navigating through a complexed matrix of organizational socialization. Conventional wisdom suggests that your talents get about 90 days to prove themselves in a new role and it will take two parties to enable them to succeed. After spending a huge amount of resources in searching and procuring the services of your talents, it will be a huge waste if the enablement of role success lies only in your talent. Often, it encompasses a major role of the business and their leaders to ensure that the new talents learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviour to succeed in their roles within your business. The bottom line is that the faster your new talents feel a sense of belonging and prepare for their business tasks on hand, the faster they will be able to successfully contribute towards your organization’s mission.

So, should business leaders look into how to develop successful, committed and mutually beneficial relationships with your talents? This will be critical for both parties to ensure that sustainable engagement levels become critical for your organization’s success. Critically, we have to inoculate against turnover within the assimilation process of your newly acquired talents. This will help your talents increase satisfaction and performance in the initial start of their meaningful careers with your business.

The key to making it happen lies in your talents’ assimilation process which often we call that onboarding. Almost all organizations today have this process naturally covered, but often their processes that are in place is a passive approach, which means some role clarification may be shared, but neither culture or connection are addressed. Usually, the introduction of culture and connection happens through informal ways where the reliance of this introduction falls back to the network that the new talents forge within their short period of their pre-career phase. To make matters worse, imagine if the network that your new talent forge into is together with a highly disengaged and grudged employee. Soon your business will be swarmed with likeminded disengaged employees. Usually, passive onboarding can be functional but unsystematic. Take a second to reflect on your current onboarding process and how are you ignoring the value of how this process can sustain long-term purpose in your talents.

Proactive onboarding

The need to evolve this practice will be business critical as the need to cease the cycle of unsustainable “hire and leave” practices of your future workforce. How it can be done is to adopt a proactive onboarding program that will enable compliance, clarification, culture and connection to work holistically for your new talents’ journey with your organization. Let’s explore further into the pillars of activating your proactive onboarding program.

Compliance

This pillar in your onboarding program focuses on inculcating the basic legal and policy related parameters for your new talent. What happens here is that the new talent gets to gain knowledge on the “Dos and Don’ts” of operating within your business context. For example, your business is ISO 9001 certified and the new talent will need to understand how your business performs within this quality system for them to holistically understand the “corporate norms”. This forms the lowest layer of your onboarding systems as it aims to provide them with the “rule book” to understand your business context.

Employee handbook, HR policies, standard operating procedures are some standards that are covered in this compliance pillar.

Clarification

This pillar of your onboarding program aims to ensure that the new talent understands their new job role and all related expectations to perform successfully within their roles. It’s not another reinforcement of the person’s job description, but rather it is a way of seeking out clarity of the role’s expectations and success factors that will be gauged in performance standards. In a separate article (embed web link) about how performance is being determined, we look at the factors of:

In the above parameter, the performance is gauge based not only on how able the person is able to perform in their roles, but also the need to seek out stakeholders’ acceptability in their performance. Living in a social setting, a person’s performance is no longer a “one manager” determining factor, but the need to socialize the performance inputs from key stakeholders are critical to the person’s performance success.

Culture

While this is a huge word, it is important that the new talents understand the organization norms in terms of the formal norms and also the informal norms. This may include governance and decision-making dimensions to people and communication dimensions that are known formally and informally. While the formal setting of the culture can be derived from work rules, often, we don’t see the informal powers within the culture that needs accurate guidance to the new talents to be assimilated into the cultural setting within your businesses. We have noticed how some companies establish “work buddies” to the new talents in ensuring that the navigation of the informal culture is properly executed. This can be a practice but it is often imperative that the “work buddy” assigned is highly engaged to spread the right level of energy to the new talent. Else, there may be other social-cultural factors that may implicate the survivability of the new talent within the organization.

Connection

This vital pillar will be fundamental to the role’s success for your new talent. It refers to the interpersonal relationships and information networks that they will need to establish within the organization in ensuring that they seek out the right connections within your business. The hiring manager has a vested interest to ensure that your new talents succeed within the organization and it is critical to involve the talents’ leaders to forge the necessary connections within the business to assimilate the new talents. This is the phase where questions that the new talents have are answered in the right manner where the adoption of new concepts, process and tools are properly translated to working knowledge and skills for them to sustain their engagement level. While the new talent needs the fundamental skills of managing human to human relations, it is imperative that the connection bridges are properly set in place for success. Often, if ignored, the talents’ engagement will be eroded and this creates an unsustainable relationship within the organization.

Concluding, after successful selection and entry of your best fit to your business, the multi-faceted psychological adjustments that take place in your new talents will determine their role success and longevity of their careers in your business. Ignoring the need to make multiple adjustments by the business will lead to impacts of how a business reap the long-term value that your talents can bring. Focusing on your talents’ self-efficacy and melting it with the clarity of the role, social-psychological integration and knowledge of the culture will lead to your business driving proactive onboarding for your new talents. Each employee only has one “First impression” about your business, make it Count!

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