In HR, People Management and Personnel circles, new terms and processes come up from time to time that non specialist managers and business owners need to find out about. ‘Onboarding’ is one of these, but what does it mean?
This is my definition. (Please correct me if I’m misguided):
‘OnBoarding’, is all the activity that a company and a person needs to do from the point of job offer to when a new employee is up and running and productive within the company.
Some companies also like to demonstrate how much new hires mean to them by leaving quirky welcome kit packs and fun gifts next to their flashy new devices as they arrive at their new desks on day 1.
For millennials and in some industries these are almost seen as standard, welcoming touches.
The reality of the general onboarding process though is, traditionally, heavily laden down with administration work.
Contracts. Medicals. Health and safety documentation. Ordering equipment. Physical and IT access rights. Benefits sign ups. Induction. Objective setting. Introductions to key personnel. Client and supplier introductions. Mobile phone allocations. Issuing employee handbooks and signing off on the receipt of key company policy documents etc., etc.
Going Overboard on Onboarding?
In some big companies I have seen the job title “OnBoarding Manager” or, wait for it, “Organisational Socialisation Manager”.
But, in all seriousness, this process can be the difference of a new recruit becoming productive or leaving the business.
Be Excellent to each other
A company can spend vast amounts of money on recruitment. Whether you’ve invested that heavily or not, paying close attention to your onboarding process and the messaging it sends to new hires about how your company culture will benefit them during the time with you can increase your employee retention rates and lift productivity in your workplace.
Yes, you can automate onboarding to a huge extent by using Cloud HR systems like (*plug alert!) HRLocker.com or even onboard them directly from your recruitment software,
But, a simple list with a schedule for on-boarding, that’s owned by the Hiring Manager and the employee can be very effective and a nice personal touch to show that you care and have all the relevant boxes ticked as you help someone into their new role.
So the next time you see the term “on boarding” you will now know what it means and you can speak in confidence on what it’s about and its importance.
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