How HR Managers can Make the On-boarding Process more Pleasant and Effective
Love at First Sight and First Impressions are Best Impressions
On-boarding is an important and critical part of the overall employee experience in organizations. It would not be remiss to say that it is perhaps the best way to make incoming employees more engaged and tuned in to the needs of the organizations.
Indeed, as the saying goes, First Impressions are Best Impressions, and this means that new hires should be introduced to the organizational norms and mores in as pleasant and effective way as possible. This means that the HR (Human Resources) Managers have a duty to make the on-boarding process more meaningful.
Towards this end, there are a set of Dos and Donts that they can follow which would make the incoming employees feel at home and be introduced to the organizational culture and other aspects.
Indeed, it can be said that the on-boarding process can be likened to a First Date where it is either Love at First Sight or some doubts creeping in the minds of the new hires about whether they really made the right choice in choosing that organization.
Setting Expectations and Methods to Access Organizational Resources
Setting expectations is very important as the employees know how they are expected to behave and what the organization wants from them. Moreover, there is a need to also attune the new hires to how the organization functions both from the workplace culture and the other important aspect of how employees can access organizational resources covering everything from the Policy Handbook to the specific ways in which they can order transport and claim reimbursements.
It is also important to note that the On-Boarding process be made as frank and honest as possible so that later on, there are no misaligned expectations on either side.
Indeed, the operative term is alignment wherein the On-Boarding process offers a method to align the incoming employees and the organizational framework.
Different Types of On-Boarding Processes Depending on Experience
Typically, leading corporate firms have different types of On-Boarding processes depending on the type of employees who are coming aboard.
For freshers and direct recruits from campuses, the on-boarding process is a lengthy affair which can take weeks and even a month to complete.
This is because they are literally Green behind the Ears and hence, such recruits tend to have no idea of any kind of corporate culture. This is the reason why campus hires are usually put through an intensive On-Boarding process that covers everything from technical skills training to introduction to different divisions and groups in the organizations and includes additional training on how corporate firms operate.
On the other hand, the On-Boarding process for laterals or those employees with work experience is short and to the point where it is more a formality and a way of getting them introduced to the key aspects of the organization and how it works.
To use a metaphor, if campus hire On-Boarding is a book with detailed descriptions and how to exercises, for laterals, it is more like a succinct summary in Bullet Point format that lets them know in brief on what they can expect from the organization.
Having said that, it is also the case that many hires irrespective of whether they are freshers or laterals have some expectations about the On-Boarding process to do with meeting the key personnel and the senior execs during the On-Boarding process.
Indeed, in our experience, in firms such as Infosys, a very common question that was asked during the exercise was whether they would get a chance to meet with the legendary founders of the company and this was something that cropped up more in fresher on-boarding rather than lateral ones.
Using a Combination of Technology and Human Touch to Drive the On-Boarding Process
HR Managers can also use technology to make the On-Boarding process more effective. For instance, by having the process presented in modules and self learning capsules hosted on the Intranet, they can ensure that the new hires pace their learning and spend more time on the key aspects which they think need more time to digest.
Indeed, personalization and customization are the twin benefits of using technology to drive the On-Boarding process.
Having said that, HR managers can also ensure that there are enough chances to have a human to human interactions between and with the organizational stakeholders so that the personal touch would make the new hires feel at home.
On-Boarding is Akin to Welcoming a New Member of the Family
Indeed, the critical term to note is that the On-Boarding process is essentially like welcoming a new addition to the family and making him or her feel as comfortable as possible with the new surroundings and the people.
A key point to note here is that On-Boarding of experienced hires is usually a formality which can also be a bit of boring routines for them since they anyway know how to work their way and get their hands around the work and the means of accessing the organizational resources.
On the other hand, On-Boarding for senior employees is like a customized travel experience with dedicated HR staff and senior managers taking them through the paces to the point that it feels like a personalized tour through the organizational labyrinth.
Lastly, as the saying goes, You Do Not Get a Second Chance to Make a Good First Impression and hence, On-Boarding must be taken seriously by HR managers if they are to ensure that new hires do not have either unrealistic expectations or are not cynical about the whole exercise.
To conclude, it is always good to Put Your Best Foot Forward and hence, On-Boarding must be a time for mutual respect and acclimatization rather than a time wasting and pointless exercise.
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