Improve Employee OrientationA major, multinational corporation created from the merger of two key competitors needed a fresh, more sophisticated approach to New Hire orientation. At its inception, the company’s New Hire orientation and employee onboarding processes were dated, cumbersome and labor intensive.
Streamline New Hire Orientation & Launch Comprehensive Onboarding ProgramTo revitalize and strengthen employee orientation, The Chatfield Group recommended a multi-step action plan:
- Streamline New Hire Enrollment – To provide managers with greater hiring flexibility, facilitate a “when you’re ready” start date rather than restricting managers with fixed hiring dates. Once a job offer has been accepted, send a Welcome e-mail to New Hires along with a summary of employee benefits and a website link to your annual report.
- Create New Employee Webpage – By providing New Hires with access to an onboarding website, new employees can download payroll and benefits forms so they can complete paperwork in advance or electronically. They can also gain online access to orientation presentations, your employee handbook, and other corporate, product and marketing information.
- Develop a Formal, 90-Day Onboarding Program – Onboarding is a comprehensive process designed to help new employees feel comfortable in their new work environments and become productive more quickly. The two primary objectives of an onboarding program are to 1) help new employees learn about their new organization, its culture, its customers, and the specific jobs to be performed and 2) provide supporting relationships and learning events to reinforce an employee’s decision to join the organization. In many cases, the onboarding process begins when an offer of employment is accepted and continues through the time when an employee feels “at home” and productive in a new work environment. Conclude your formal onboarding program with 90-day follow-up and review.
- Involve Hiring Managers, HR & Peer Mentors in Onboarding Process – Onboarding involves three primary players: the Hiring Manager, who takes the lead in providing the New Hire with a positive introduction to the department and the organization; Human Resources, which works with hiring managers to select peer mentors and provides program development, consultation and administration, as needed; and Peer Mentors, who perform a variety of supportive tasks to help the New Hire feel welcome and productive.
- Develop Personalized Launch for New Hires at Corporate HQ – To provide New Hires with a solid welcome to your organization, develop a comprehensive orientation program that delivers high motivational value and ensures a smooth transition to other components of your onboarding program. Feature live presentations by company leaders, if possible, and put presentation materials on your company intranet so they can be updated, archived, and accessed conveniently by presenters and other employees. Use your welcome to heighten employee appreciation for your mission, values, primary markets and key products as well as your approach to Research & Development, people development and the like. By doing so, you can generate excitement about your company, reinforce company values, reinforce an employee’s decision to join the company, and strengthen organizational relationships with new employees.
- Build a Department Orientation Template – Develop a standardized approach to departmental orientations to ensure that employees receive a solid introduction to the company and their primary operating unit. Help create customized departmental websites with checklists and guides for New Hires, hiring managers, peer mentors and administrative assistants.
- Create a Manager’s Guide to New Employee Onboarding – To optimize the success of your onboarding efforts, develop a manager’s guide to employee onboarding at your organization. Such a guide will help Hiring Managers provide a consistently high-quality orientation to their respective departments as well as monitor New Hire progress. In terms of content, consider including (1) a template for the New Hire’s first day on the job as well as an outline of activities and milestones for the New Hire’s first week, first month, and first 90 days with the organization; (2) training & development (T&D) activities scheduled to take place in the department during the New Hire’s early months of employment; and (3) questions to consider during the New Hire’s critical first 90 days of employment.
- Provide Ongoing Developmental Opportunities – To be effective long-term, an onboarding program should include a variety of continuing education opportunities for New Hires. These can range from all-employee “Lunch & Learns” and focused workshops to webinars and other types of online learning opportunities offered on a flexible basis.