A colleague related this story of helping a friend find a new position. He said:

“If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get and accept a job offer, they look like they could fly. And it’s not solely about the paycheck. It’s about respect, it’s about looking in the mirror and knowing that you’ve done something valuable with your day. On Monday, he was going to start and let me know how much he enjoyed his first day.”

Things Didn’t Out The Way We Both Hoped

Instead of hearing how great things were going, he started telling me about his day and wondering if he had made the right move.

When he arrived at his new position, no one was ready to greet him or introduce him. Instead of waiting a week and bringing him on-board then, they brought him on so his second day could be filled with meetings letting people know about the layoff that was occurring. However, they also did not have his computer ready for him so he had no way of accessing his emails.

He missed meetings he did not know he had; with this layoff taking place the next day his boss had no time to spend with him. Facilities had not set up his office (cube) yet. His security badge and all the underlying details regarding access had to be created on their system.

This is not the way to get an employee on board and working productively as well as being happy to be there.

How to Onboard The Right Way:

First and foremost is to make a good first impression. That includes planning the first day so that the new hire is greeted warmly, is introduced around, hopefully has his desk or workspace set up, has time with his direct manager. Some added touches I’ve seen are a welcome basket on the desk signed by the team; a welcome email/ phone call/ video from the top brass; a catered lunch in honor of the new hire. I’m sure you can think of other ways to communicate “Welcome, We’re Glad to Have You Onboard!”

After making a good first impression, then you focus on The Four C’s. These are the

building blocks of successful onboarding. They include:

  1. Compliance: It’s the lowest level and includes teaching employees basic legal and policy related regulations. This is really orientation and often is done in a group.
  1. Clarification: It’s ensuring each new hire understands his or her new job and your performance expectations. This is more than giving the person the position’s job description. It’s reviewing major tasks and desired outcomes, time lines, resources, potential obstacles, key people who can provide help and other information to make sure the person gets up to speed fast.
  1. Culture: It refers to “how things get done here.” New hires to succeed in their position must know the organizational norms – both formal and informal – as well as the mission, values, and goals of the company, its unique language, politics, history and future planning.
  1. Connections: It refers to the vital interpersonal relationships and information networks the new hire must establish, maintain, and nurture. This is how team and company identity is built. Some companies give each new hire a booklet or website that has every employee’s name, picture, position, and even hobbies.

Smart Moves Tip:

The idea behind these suggestions is to take advantage of your new hire’s mindset. Remember here is a person who looks like she could fly. They are in a great state of mind. What better way to keep that going than to make them feel as wanted and important as possible? And then provide them with the tools (the 4 C’s) that will make them productive in their position. Also, see Avoid Buyer’s Remorse.

Please feel free to comment and share from your on-boarding experiences.

My Motto Is:

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Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!
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