After Onboarding - HCI White paper

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What happens after the "onboarding" process ends? I chaired this discussion for the Human Capital Institute.

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After Onboarding - HCI White paper

  1. 1. After Onboarding: Sustaining Human Capital and Organization Performance HCI White Paper November 16, 2006 By Ross Jones
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY prise organizations in North America. The study found that the industry norm for onboarding was one month versus six months for "best-in-class" organizations, and that the latter experienced improvement in time-to-productivity and employee retention. These organizations have determined that extending the onboarding period to six months provides more meaningful insight as to an employee's corporate engagement, productivity and acculturation. Recruiters and staffing professionals have advanced in the recognition that their involvement in attracting and hiring highly qualified human capital does not end with the acquisition of the new employee. The process is ongoing, and it continues with the implementation of an onboarding roadmap strategy that lends itself to developing and retaining talent through a systematic communication program that focuses on the employee's successful integration into the corporate culture. Best-in-class companies comprise 20 percent of organizations that utilize practices highly superior A recent study reported that 70 percent of new to those of the industry norm of 50 percent of comemployees do not clearly understand their roles and panies. By contrast, laggard organizations generally responsibilities, which contributes largely to their employ practices considered 30 percent behind the failure to meet performance expectations and build industry norm. This point notwithstanding, the relationships with others in their organizations. Aberdeen Group report also indicated that 76 perThe manner in which employees function in their cent of companies were planning to implement a job capacity, within their specific industry, is an formal onboarding program for their employees. important consideration in a company's develop- This is an increase from the 40 percent of compament of an effective onboarding strategy. That nies who reported plans to start onboarding prostrategy should promote a climate for success by grams in 2005. This nearly 100 percent increase outlining processes for talent care with a view to demonstrates that more organizations are grasping sustaining human capital and organization per- the importance of the onboarding process in susformance. taining human capital and obtaining exceptional performance from it. This paper reviews the best practices of successful companies in the integration of onboarding strate- After analyzing the results of its survey, the gies across their performance management sys- Aberdeen Group made several key suggestions for tems. maximizing the onboarding process. Among them, BEST PRACTICES IN ONBOARDING The Aberdeen Group, a provider of fact-based research focused on the global, technology-driven value chain, conducted a survey in July and August of 2006 that examined the onboarding procedures, experiences and intentions of more than 600 enter- defining the onboarding process and creating a roadmap were promulgated as important first steps. Because the concept of onboarding has little or no meaning to the majority of employees, it is incumbent upon the organization to delineate the onboarding lifecycle from beginning to end. The company should also consider how internal leadership changes in the form of promotions, transfers 2
  3. 3. and redeployments could impact the onboarding process. Clearly then, the creation of a roadmap that connects the dots between the date of hire and the end of the employee's first six months allows human resource professionals to transform onboarding and leadership change practices and overlay them on a number of departmental processes, all while maintaining them as distinct functions. The Aberdeen Group also recommended that onboarding be integrated within the overall hiring management scheme. While the hiring process is associated with onboarding, staffing is responsible for ensuring that the right candidate is aligned with the right position. Onboarding does not occur in a vacuum, and it requires the coordination and cooperation of both human resources and management. The onboarding process is never a matter of merely handing-off employees; rather, it mandates the intersection of human capital, human resources, and management. Extending the onboarding period to six months allows stakeholders to more accurately gauge short-term retention rates and employee time-to-productivity. In addition, the replacement of paper-based systems with forms, task management and socialization makes data tracking and measurement less cumbersome. KEY PHASES OF ONBOARDING The pre-start phase of onboarding occurs two to three weeks before the candidate actually joins the company. Generally, the first 30 days of employment gives a candidate the opportunity to settle into the new position and become acclimated to company culture. The next five months are critical for the new employee in mastering the learning/performance curve through engagement and the execution of job responsibilities. From day 31 through the conclusion of the employee's first six months onboard, managers have the opportunity to take action steps, such as providing early and ongoing verbal and written feedback on the new hire's performance and engagement; conducting a needs assessment for additional training and mapping short-term and long-term goals; and continuing to build new hire networks throughout the organization. The advantages of these action steps are that hiring managers can give progress reports, which enable the employee to make adjustments to behavior and performance as necessary in a way that fosters positivism on the part of the new hire. Another benefit is that the manager can accurately assess what additional training an employee might require to be fully successful in the position, as well as in the overall organization. Still another benefit of the aforementioned action steps is that new employees will build networks that offer additional resources and support. Human resources can serve as a consultant to hiring managers to encourage followthrough and the creation of customized roadmaps. FROM ORIENTATION TO ONBOARDING Though the terms may mistakenly be used interchangeably, orientation is a different process from onboarding. Orientation is an important precursor to the onboarding process in that it familiarizes the new employee with the company's fundamentals and culture. According to the Aberdeen Group survey, many companies have the impression that succession planning and training have a far greater impact on retention rates than onboarding. However, studies have indicated that approximately 90 percent of new hires decide whether to remain with a company during the first six months of employment. This statistic emphasizes the role the 3
  4. 4. onboarding process can play in employee retention. Onboarding expands the orientation process by providing specific employee tools that can assist in the execution of job function. There are two approaches to onboarding: tactical and strategic. Tactical onboarding begins the first day of employment and is short in duration. The process is more logistical in nature, for example, ensuring the new hire has the requisite technology to perform the assigned tasks. The employee receives a brief introduction to the company and any subsequent information after the "basic" orientation is usually limited and informal. ensuring the new hire has the requisite technology to perform the assigned tasks. The employee receives a brief introduction to the company and any subsequent information after the "basic" orientation is usually limited and informal. Conversely, strategic onboarding begins at the offer stage and continues through the first six months of employment. It focuses on the employee's immediate and long-term ability to impact company success and the creation of a formalized roadmap. Strategic onboarding also applies to internal and external leadership changes and demands that human resources be more involved in the development concept and alignment process. hires and transferees are that transferees (1) typically have already established prior networks and relationships and (2) possess in-depth knowledge about the company. The implication of the organizational lifecycle for both new hire and transferee is the impact it has on expectations and measurements. Corporate lifecycles encompass a variety of stages, among them start-up, rapid growth, steady rate, and cash cow. Success can only be accurately measured by recognizing employee contributions in the context of the company's current status. The appropriateness of the employee's actions must be weighed against the company's structural framework. IMPACT OF TRANSITION POINTS ON PERFORMANCE Through the duration of an employee's corporate career, the opportunity to traverse a number of transition points, including individual contributor, the team, the management of other managers, functional manager, business manager, group manager, and enterprise manager, may develop and expand as the individual's job function does. In consideration of the impact of transition points on performance, it must be determined how organizations assess the skills, emotional intelligence, and work values common to each transition. This should be coupled with an understanding of what SIMILARITIES IN NEW HIRE AND TRANS- specific or segmented programs and processes are FEREE ONBOARDING available to support individuals as they transition through each passage. There is very little that separates the development needs of new hires and transferees. Both groups As employees grow professionally through promohave similar performance factors for which to be tional opportunities that bring with them increased concerned, including management skills, function- and expanded responsibilities, it is important for al skills, industry knowledge and organizational the supervising manager to explain how these differ lifecycle. The two major differences between new from the employer's former position. The new 4
  5. 5. manager can also help the employee identify current skills that can be mapped to the new job function, as well as any new skills that may need to be developed. IMPACT OF FUNCTIONAL ROLE AND SECTOR ON ONBOARDING Functional roles include positions such as chief financial officer, chief technology officer, chief operating officer, senior sales executive and senior marketing executive. The key challenge in providing onboarding for these functions is the understanding of the diversity of line and functional relationships and expectations. Some potential action steps that may mitigate this challenge include obtaining an early, expert, and "current state" assessment of the function; aligning functional strategy and performance measures with business strategies and goals; providing assistance in familiarizing the employee with the enterprise on every level; the assignment of a peer coach performing the same function, but from a different organizational area; and conducting cohort-based development. This last action step is particularly valuable, as it encourages the employee to connect and build relationships with other talent possessing the same background. A key responsibility of human resources in the onboarding process is to ensure that employees fully understand how their job functions relate to the business strategy of the company with a view to translating organizational goals into functional goals. new position might possess some industry knowledge, but not quite enough to function as effectively and productively as required by the position. Potential onboarding actions steps, such as assessing gaps in industry knowledge to anticipate performance challenges, as well as assessing gaps in industry relationships and deploying peer coaching and industry involvement to close those gaps, will assist in augmenting the employee's existing knowledge. INTEGRATING ONBOARDING WITH HR PROCESSES Companies have come to grips with the reality that the environment for attracting and retaining talent in their respective industries is highly competitive. To this end, more companies are beginning to implement onboarding strategies that encompass the ever-growing global economy. Many organizations have developed a streamlined onboarding approach to processing and acclimating all new hires. There are several aspects of integrating human resources processes into onboarding, including planning, performance management and metrics. INTEGRATION WITH HR PROCESSES: PLANNING Planning is a key part of the human resource administrative process. Activities include forecasting possible organizational events and predicting the number and kind of staff that will required by Just as functional role influences the onboarding the organization to account for expansion, retireprocess, so too does sector. Technology, manufac- ments, and turnover, as well as succession, recruitturing, nonprofit, government, education, financial ment, and redeployment planning. Examples of and other sectors have industry-specific standard onboarding/redeployment strategies include the operating procedures. An employee moving into a creation of a position-based onboarding and rede- 5
  6. 6. ployment plan, along with the allocation of coaching resources that marries the onboarding process to mission critical positions. In addition, the development of specific or segmented programs based on anticipated "capital gaps" to support employees as they transition and candidate review by talent management adds clarity to the issue of performance expectation and measurement. trends for new hires and the inclusion of onboarding effectiveness questions in the exit interview will provide insight as to what adjustments might need to be made to the current program, as will obtaining feedback on new hire engagement and productivity. INTEGRATION WITH HR PROCESSES: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Statistics demonstrate that corporate America has now largely embraced the thinking that implementation of an onboarding program that can be integrated into current performance management systems not only makes sense, but it is no longer an option. In order to achieve their recruitment and retention goals, companies will need to create or expand existing onboarding plans to address the disparate needs of employees based on functional role, sector and transition points. Best-in-class companies seamlessly integrate onboarding with existing talent management programs, resulting in employees who arrive at their positions well informed and well equipped, ready to perform. As indicated earlier in this paper, 70 percent of employees fail to understand their roles and responsibilities, severely undermining their ability to fulfill their job functions. Conducting early performance reviews, encouraging pre- and postassignment developmental assessments, participating in individual assessment discussions with stakeholders to assess gaps and recommend early behavioral adjustments, and investing in an onboarding coach are some ways to wrap performance management into the onboarding process. CONCLUSION INTEGRATION WITH HR PROCESSES: METRICS By modeling an onboarding program on the best practices of the most successful companies presented within this paper, other organizations can develMetrics provide a means for organizations to meas- op initiatives that will lead to sustaining key human ure the success of their programs and initiatives. capital and taking organizational performance to The development of a survey campaign based on an greater heights. external design can help improve benchmarking results. New hires can be surveyed at three inter- Based on the Human Capital Institute webcast, vals: a 30-day survey that focuses on the pre-start After Onboarding: Sustaining Human Capital and and job settlement phases, a six-month survey driv- Organization Performance, November 16, 2006. en by human resource business partners or talent management that is simple, quick, and actionable, and a 12-month view of the overall onboarding experience based on the Recruiting Roundtable survey model. The analysis of voluntary turnover 6
  7. 7. PRESENTER Mark Walztoni Managing Director Center for Effective Leadership Changes Mark Walztoni is the Managing Director of The Center for Effective Leadership Changes, a professional services firm that assists leaders to accelerate their effectiveness during the critical period after they accept a role within a new organization or are redeployed within their current one. His firm's services include assisting individual leaders, their teams, and their organizations to develop the key competencies that result in successful life-long professional transitions. Effective performance is based on the foundation of these scalable competencies that ensures that stakeholder expectations are aligned, learning and development opportunities occur, and regular candid and actionable feedback results in mutual success. Vice President of Human Resources Cineplex Entertainment Heather Briant joined Cineplex Entertainment LP in March 2006 as Senior Vice President, Human Resources. Ms. Briant is responsible for the Human Resources function, encompassing talent development, organization effectiveness, total compensation, HR governance and reporting. Prior to joining Cineplex Entertainment, she was most recently Vice President, Corporate Human Resources for Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. Ms. Briant also held various positions at the law firm Davies, Ward & Beck, culminating at Chief Administrative Officer. Ms. Briant has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for The Jean Tweed Centre, a treatment facility for Ontario women with substance abuse problems. MODERATOR PANELISTS Khai Jones Specialist, Global Onboarding Cummings Khai Jones is a Global On-Boarding Specialist, and her work focuses on designing and implementing Cummins' global on-boarding initiatives. Khai joins the Cummins team with over five years of Human Resources experience, including working at Humana, a Fortune 500 health benefits company. She received her undergraduate degree in Public Health Administration and African American History from Indiana University-Bloomington. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at Indiana University-Columbus. Heather Briant Joy Kosta As Director of Talent Development and Leadership Communities at The Human Capital Institute, Joy brings twenty-five years of experience in multiple facets of organizational development, human resources and business management with an emphasis in customer satisfaction, service quality, process improvement, and applying the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. As founder and President of Performance Partners in Health Care, a company dedicated to building better patient experiences, she has authored several curriculums in leadership and staff development, and co-authored with Harold Bursztajn, MD Senior Clinical Faculty member, Harvard Medical School, Building a Treatment Alliance with Patients and Families. 7
  8. 8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This White Paper is made possible by Taleo, sponsors of HCI's Strategic Performance Systems Track. ABOUT TALEO Leading organizations worldwide use Taleo on demand talent management solutions to assess, acquire, develop, and align their workforce for improved business performance. Taleo combines software, best practices, and services so organizations can increase process efficiency, improve quality of hire, reduce risk, and return financial results. More than 1,380 organizations use Taleo to attract, hire, and retain top talent with 1,000,000 users processing 71 million candidates from 200 countries/territories in 25 languages. Requiring no capital investment, software as a service and on demand delivery offer 99.9% availability and 100% accountability. Personalized award-winning support drives one of the highest renewal rates in the industry and 95% customer satisfaction. The intuitive user interface delivers award-winning usability. Global flexibility enables 65% of clients to deploy talent processes across borders. Users worldwide enjoy multilingual and multicurrency features. www.taleo.com laboration, our programs collect original, creative ideas from a field of top executives and the brightest thought leaders in strategic HR and talent management. Those ideas are then transformed into measurable, real-world strategies that help our members attract and retain the best talent, build a diverse, inclusive workplace, and leverage individual and team performance throughout the enterprise. The Human Capital Institute gratefully acknowledges the financial and volunteer contributions of our Underwriters. They include: - ADP: VIRTUAL EDGE - AIRS - AUTHORIA - AXSIUM - BATRUS HOLLWEG INTERNATIONAL - BERNARD HODES GROUP - BEST SOFTWARE - BROADBOOK TECHNOLOGIES - BUCK CONSULTANTS - CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT - CENTER FOR TALENT RETENTION - DBM - DNL GLOBAL, INC. - DOUBLESTAR, INC. - HYPERION - FIRST ADVANTAGE CO. - HCR SOFTWARE - HEWITT ABOUT THE HUMAN CAPITAL INSTITUTE - HR CONSULTING - HUMAN CAPITAL MAGAZINE - HRSMART, INC. - IBM The Human Capital Institute is a catalyst for inno- - INSALA vative new thinking in talent acquisition, develop- - JOBSTER, INC. ment and deployment. Through research and col- - JWT EMPLOYMENT COMMUNICATIONS 8
  9. 9. - KELLY SERVICES - KENEXA - LOMINGER LIMITED INC. - MONSTER CANADA - MENTTIUM CORPORATION - MONSTER GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS - MONSTER.COM - MONSTERTRAK - MONSTER JOBS - MULTI-HEALTH SYSTEMS - MYBIZOFFICE, INC. - ORACLE - PEOPLECLICK - PLATEAU SYSTEMS LTD - PREVISOR - RECRUITMENT AGENCY ASSOCIATION - SABA SOFTWARE, INC. - SEQUENT, INC. - SKILLSNET CORPORATION - SOFTSCAPE - SUCCESSFACTORS.COM - TALEO CORPORATION - THE RIGHT THING - THE NEWMAN GROUP - TALENTTRACK - TMP WORLDWIDE - TOWERS PERRIN - UNICRU - VANGENT - VELOCITY RESEARCH GROUP - VURV TECHNOLOGY, INC. - WEBHIRE - WORKBRAIN - WORKSTREAM, INC. 9

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