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Beyond Onboarding New Employees


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Beyond Onboarding New Employees

  1. 1. 1 Beyond Onboarding:  New Employee Engagement, Immersion & Learning Anita D. Russell R&D Skill Development Manager
  2. 2. 2 Terminology Onboarding Immersion and Learning Candidate Conversion – The logistical and transactional work and activities that enable a selected candidate to transition into becoming a company employee Orientation – Introduction, as to guide one in adjusting to new surroundings, employment, activity Familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances Adjust or adapt to, or acquaint with, a particular situation To acquaint with the existing situation or environment Integration – Coordinate or blend into a functioning or unified whole Bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole Bring into common membership in an organization To meld with and become part of the culture
  3. 3. 3 Process OnboardingOnboarding Immersion and LearningImmersion and Learning Pre-Start Post-StartPre-Start Post-Start Engagement of new employees is critical right from the start!
  4. 4. 4 Efforts to create a lasing impression starts before the first day Assign and Ready the WorkspaceAssign and Ready the Workspace  Complete the request for work space, computer, voice technology, phone and software in the pre-start phase, so that the new employee has the proper tools on the first day.  Set up the new employee’s workspace so it is ready from Day 1.  Order necessary office supplies, business stationery and any other required materials prior to arrival Create a Productive EnvironmentCreate a Productive Environment  Assign the new emplyee a mentor (highly recommended)  Prepare and distribute a formal announcement to the new employee’s department, immediate team, and others as appropriate  Schedule the new employee for any departmental or role-specific integration or training  Review job expectations that will be discussed with the new employee
  5. 5. 5 What are the dimensions of employee engagement? Four dimensions of engagementFour dimensions of engagement  Emotional commitment  Rational commitment  Discretionary effort  Intent to stay Building new employee engagementBuilding new employee engagement  Help new employees understand job, performance objectives, vision and strategy  Respond to concerns of new employee  Ensure new employees that they have made the right choice in joining the organization  Set expectations Adapted from Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 (
  6. 6. 6 What drives employee engagement? Top five drivers of employee engagementTop five drivers of employee engagement  Connection between work and organizational strategy  Importance of job to organizational success  Understanding of how to complete work projects  Internal communications  Visible commitment to diversity
  7. 7. 7 What are the critical factors for engaging new employees? Direct ManagerDirect Manager Managers serve as “conduits” for employee commitment. The manager is most important as an enabler of employee commitment to the job, the team, and the organization. Meaningful Day-to-Day WorkMeaningful Day-to-Day Work A purposed, informed connection. Ensure employees understand how to complete their work and its importance to organizational success. Senior Leadership TeamSenior Leadership Team Employees try harder when they believe the senior executive team has committed to them through openness to new ideas and investing in employee development. Learning & DevelopmentLearning & Development Sound career advice, a customized development plan, and quality training heighten effort through signaling a “credible commitment” to the employee. Compensation & BenefitsCompensation & Benefits Connect compensation to performance. Distribute clear, compelling, actionable information about benefits programs. Organizational CultureOrganizational Culture Focus on “Big 5” key cultural traits— communication, reputation of integrity, innovation, flexibility, and customer focus. Functional RoleFunctional Role The first priority should be to instill understanding of, and a belief in, the importance of the job. Adapted from Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 (
  8. 8. 8 Engagement ultimately impacts performance and retention Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 (
  9. 9. 9 Develop an experienced-based, new-employee centric approach Experienced-basedExperienced-based The goal is to ensure a smooth transition into the company and enable new employees to settle the individual logistics of employment quickly and become an actively contributing member of their division, department, and team as soon as possible New-Employee CentricNew-Employee Centric Provide a unique opportunity to learn about the company environment, HR processes, and the functional role. All together, an effective program should not only shorten the time it takes for a new employee to become a knowledgeable, contributing member of your team, but also make the integration experience an exciting and enjoyable one The process of integration should be experience-based, representing a core, common, and consistent approach to integrating new employees; immersion and learning about the organization’s mission, values, and culture; and planning for development and retention. Adapted from Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 (
  10. 10. 10 New employee commitment Remember, commitment drives retention—employees with high levels of commitment are significantly less likely to leave. Guiding principles around retentionGuiding principles around retention Employees leave and stay with companies for many reasons. Assume any employee may be at risk for leaving. Recognize that managers play a critical role in retaining employees. Opportunities to learn and develop new skills are a key component of retention. Simplicity, speed, and focus on the individual is critical to retaining new employees.
  11. 11. 11 What is the role of the manager in engaging new employees? The manager’s role…The manager’s role…  Engage new employees to ensure an exciting and memorable experience in connecting to the company  Build an effective manager-employee relationship Managers also have a responsibility to…Managers also have a responsibility to…  Be knowledgeable of the importance of engagement and early experiences of new employees  Understand the critical role that managers play in making the first impression and impacting performance and retention  Engage the new employee in a timely and effective manner
  12. 12. 12 Managers influence employee commitment Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 ( The Manager’s Role as “Conduit”The Manager’s Role as “Conduit” Managers not only generate commitment to themselves but also play a crucial role in building employee commitment to day-to-day work, teams, and the organization
  13. 13. 13 Managing new employees effectively Best Practices for ManagersBest Practices for Managers Build the relationship Provide department and role orientation Provide meaningful work from the first day Set a foundation for learning and growing Model organizational culture and values KEY MESSAGE There are three underlying issues that undermine new employee success:  Failure to understand specific job role, goals, and clear definition of success  Failure to establish a cultural fit  Failure to build relationships with teammates and peers Source:
  14. 14. 14 Post-start administration and logistics Managing LogisticsManaging Logistics Manage any logistics specific to the department or function Getting ConnectedGetting Connected  Verify that the new employee has met all key contacts  Ensure that the new employee has completed required training  Establish ongoing time on calendar to discuss role, responsibilities, and future goals  Finalize performance objectives  Verify that the new employee has completed the benefits enrollment, enrolled in direct deposit, provided tax withholding information, etc. Performance FeedbackPerformance Feedback  Provide ongoing performance feedback and coaching  Assist in creating a development plan  Answer all questions and address any concerns
  15. 15. 15 Department/role orientation As the manager be sure to…As the manager be sure to…  Provide information on own background  Discuss background within the department and within the company  Describe the major responsibilities of role  Describe individual objectives Getting ConnectedGetting Connected The Department / Role Orientation serves to connect the new employee to the department, the team, and functional role. The manager is responsible for ensuring that the new employee is well-integrated into the department and role. Remember, managers not only generate commitment to themselves but also play a crucial role in building employee commitment to day-to-day work, teams, and the organization. Almost allAlmost all manager activities drive employee effort.manager activities drive employee effort.
  16. 16. 16 Structured integration program  Ways in which the department supports the overall business strategy  Vision and objectives for the department/team and how the objectives are measured  Organization of the department, its structure and function (use the organizational chart)  Overview of the team or department's major customers/clients/partners  Ways in which the new employee's role fits into the department (strategy, outputs, customers/clients/partners, metrics).  Focus on the role going forward rather than on the way in which the last person shaped the role. Immersion & LearningImmersion & Learning Many departments have a formal structured integration program. Be sure to provide in-depth information on the team, the department, and the role…
  17. 17. 17 Other suggestions Are there any other materials or information that you might provide for the employee to give a better understanding of the company overall? Some suggestions include…  Recent press releases or mass mailers (internal)  Top line organizational charts  Internal company publications/brochures  State of the Business or Town Hall videos  Recent news clippings (internal or external) More Things to Consider  Are there any key individuals in your area or department who could give the new employee a good perspective on the company as a whole?  Are there any individuals who know our industry thoroughly and would be able to explain the nuances to a new person? [Note: This might be a good role for a team member or mentor.]  Does your company have a formal performance management process?
  18. 18. 18 New employee mentor Provides Information and DirectionProvides Information and Direction The new employee mentor takes a lead in assisting the new employee during the integration process. This means going above and beyond to assist in setting up the new employee for success. A new employee mentor provides information and direction that will help the new hire overcome barriers that could restrict or inhibit their early performance. Key Message Facilitating integration into employee networks incorporates a much needed social element or “human touch”. New employees should have the opportunity to work with a peer mentor to begin forming relationships with current employees. Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement”, 2004 (
  19. 19. 19 New employee networking Proactively Build RelationshipsProactively Build Relationships Within Team Structured networking activities assist managers in engaging new employees in their department, within their team, and cross-functional team. Remember, to be creative and ask your team for additional suggestions. Staff/Departmental Meetings Allocate time in staff or departmental meetings to perform an icebreaker activity to help the team and the new employee to get to know one another. Structured Meet and Greets 1:1 meeting with key individuals in department and across functions. Such meetings can be set in an interview fashion to allow the new employee to proactively participate in the discussion. Social Networking More and more companies are using social networking tools in-house to build and strengthen collaborative learning and information sharing.
  20. 20. 20 Summary Build a bridge to new employee commitment, performance, and productivityBuild a bridge to new employee commitment, performance, and productivity Well Structured, Formal Process… Onboarding (conversion from candidate to employee) Assign and ready the work space to create a productive environment from day 1 Immersion and learning (orientation and integration) Experienced-based and new-employee centric Engagement… Engagement links directly to commitment, productivity, and retention Direct manager, leadership commitment, compensation & benefits, importance of functional role, meaningful day-to-day work, learning and development, culture, build relationships and network Impacts rational and emotional commitment: outputs are discretionary effort and intent to stay Role of the Manager… Manager’s role is to engage new employees and ensure an exciting and memorable experience in connecting to the company; build an effective manager-employee relationship Managers generate employee commitment to day-to-day work, teams, and the organization
  21. 21. 21 Questions?