5 Must-Capture Onboarding Metrics to Prove Your Value

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We all know the old saying, “If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Our onboarding programs are no different. If our data doesn’t tell a story about our program’s success, how much value is truly perceived? 

At the day job, I’m currently in the throes of working on our 2017 Training Magazine Top 125 application. We were honored to be included on the 2016 list, and we’re using the valuable feedback we received to make our application even more compelling this time around.

I recently read Will Thalheimer’s terrific new book, Performance-Focused Smile Sheets – if you haven’t read it yet, I’ll wait here patiently while you click on the link and ORDER A COPY RIGHT NOW. 

**cue hold music**

Okay, I’m assuming you took my word for it and ordered the book. When it arrives in a few days, clear your calendar…you won’t be able to put it down, and you will immediately want to start re-imagining your Level 1 evaluation process. Trust me on this one.

I digress.

The timing of reading Mr. Thalheimer’s book and beginning the arduous Top 125 application process have mind swirling over the importance of measuring the success of learning programs – beyond Level 1. Whether you are hoping to deepen the footprint of new employee learning or a training program, jockey for additional headcount or even position yourself for a promotion, you need data. Data becomes the plot of a page-turning story of how your program is making a difference – both quantitatively and qualitatively – in your organization.

And, friends, you need to tell that story in the language that resonates with your company’s decision makers. 

That language? Business results. Outcomes. Money. Even for you folks in a non-profit setting.

True, a comprehensive measurement (and any good story, for that matter) needs to balance “the head and the heart” – you need qualitative data (heart) to balance the quantitative (head). In order to prove tangible value to the company, you must look closely at WHAT your program can impact. HOW it can impact. WHO it impacts. Start with the end in mind.- why do you need this program?

If you are looking to develop a new onboarding program, or refine the processes of an existing program, here are 5 metrics that, depending on your organization’s priorities, can help you get started on your way to a data-driven success story:

1. Reduction in attrition – How long are employees staying with your company? We all know that it costs significantly more to recruit, hire, onboard and train employees than to retain, continually develop and (hopefully) promote internally. Partner with your Talent Acquisition/HR team to benchmark your current attrition rate and measure it over time. This can also be a springboard for more robust Employee Engagement metrics. Does your organization participate in a “Best Places to Work” program in your community? A solid onboarding program can certainly contribute to an engaged workforce.

2. Reduction in time to productivity – How long does it take a new employee to be “up to speed” on systems, processes and procedures? Time is money. Work with your hiring managers to identify the current timeframe for new employees to be fully productive, align your program accordingly and set a goal to shave some time off. Ongoing hiring manager surveys can be an easy way to capture feedback and needle-moving.

3. Increased sales in the first 30/60/90 days – Sales – whether new business, upselling or cross-selling, renewals, or whatever products or services that sustain your business, are the lifeblood. Enable and equip your new sales employees with the proper tools to be successful, and monitor their performance during the first months on the job.

4. Reduction in errors/accidents among new employees – It may be system errors, data entry errors, cash handling errors, shipping errors, customer fulfillment errors, on-the-job accidents or any number of other factors that impact employee safety and risk, business production, profitability and customer service. Everybody messes up once in awhile, particularly when navigating a new job. However, errors cost money (and remember…money is the native tongue of the decision makers). If you are able to meet with key leaders in your organization, this is a great topic to discuss. Ask them which employee errors keep them up at night – what has the most significant impact on the business? Seek opportunities to lower these erroneous incidents – this should be a priority during new employee training.

5. Improved customer satisfaction scores – This should be a given, but unfortunately it is often overlooked. If your new employees are customer-facing (heck, even if they’re not), are you helping them establish a direct line of sight to the customer experience from Day One? And are you providing managers with tools to help them maintain that line of sight with their teams beyond New Employee Orientation? It is critical that new employees know how they impact the customer experience, whether it is directly or indirectly. Clearly communicating your organization’s commitment to your customer, as well as setting service expectations and empowering new employees to take care of customers is essential for long-term success. Customer-centric organizations recognize, prioritize and measure this as part of their onboarding process. 
If you are not capturing this data, trust me – someone is. Make that person your new BFF. Find a link between onboarding and these a metrics.

The more connected your onboarding program is to your business processes and priorities, the clearer your data-driven story becomes, and the easier it is to demonstrate the value of onboarding. It becomes a competitive advantage for your organization, but also your competitive advantage as a leader and trusted advisor WITHIN your organization. 

>>> Your turn: How are you communicating the value of onboarding in your organization? Share your best tip in the comments below!

>>> AGILE ONBOARDING DESIGN: THE WORKSHOP – coming soon!

Is your organization planning to develop an onboarding program for the first time? phase(two)learning can help! In a 2-day workshop, learn how to utilize principles from agile software development to rapidly build the frameworkfor your new onboarding program!

Contact us to learn more!

In My Opinion, The Most Important Part of Onboarding is…

Most-Important-Part-of-Onboarding

Yesterday, I was asked this question: “In your opinion, what is the most important part of onboarding?”

Naturally, I had an opinion, and I wanted to explore the topic further here.

My answer to the question – the most important part of onboarding (in my opinion) is connecting the new employee to the organization.

Notice I didn’t say getting paperwork filled out correctly. Or ensuring that policies are adequately covered. Or that the boxes are all checked. I believe the human component of onboarding trumps all of that.

What do I mean by “connecting the new employee to the organization?” Depending on your organization, this could mean a few different things, such as:

  • How can the new employee establish a “direct line of sight” to the customer?
  • How does the new employee impact the customer experience (directly or indirectly)?
  • How can the new employee embody the company vision, mission or core values?
  • What is the company culture? How can the new employee get involved?
  • Who are the key individuals with whom the new employee can connect up, down and across the organization?

Simply put, it’s about putting people before process.

Chances are…the paperwork – online or hard copy – will get filled out. Those policies will be covered. The proverbial boxes will be checked. But what if no one helps the new employee connect to the organization? That vulnerable new employee, left alone to navigate with uncertainty, will inevitably stumble.

Will he be able to establish that “direct line of sight” to your customer?

Will he know how his role impacts the customer experience – particularly in a non-customer-facing role (such as accounting)?

Will he truly understand your company’s vision, mission or values?

Will he “get” the culture? Will he feel comfortable enough to get involved?

Will he be able to identify those key individuals and be empowered enough to reach out and make those connections?

Maybe…but not likely. That’s where all of the stakeholders involved in the onboarding process come in. Just as it “takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes a village to nurture and engage a new employee. Whether you are an HR manager, a Talent Development practitioner, a hiring manager, a teammate or someone in a supporting role, you have an opportunity to make a difference when connecting a new employee to your organization.

Because after all, it is the most important part of onboarding. In my opinion, anyway.

 

Your turn: How does your organization’s new employee experience put “people before process?” Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

Not putting people before process with your onboarding program? phase(two)learning can help!

Bring phase(two)learning to you – now scheduling workshop dates for December 2014 and beyond! Send an email to learn more about customized workshops that can help your organization align onboarding with what matters to your business. Get your free quote today!

 

 

3 Easy Tips for a More Engaging New Employee Orientation Program

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Deconstructing and revising an Orientation program is no small undertaking. Trust me, I’ve been there! I’m often asked for quick tips or best practices that can be quickly implemented to an existing New Employee Orientation program. Keeping in mind that every organization and program is different, there are some simple things that can be added to an Orientation program to make it a more engaging, robust part of the onboarding process.

Here are three tips:

1. Involve others in the program.

Maybe you’re the only person facilitating content throughout the Orientation session. If this is the case, the new employees are only meeting YOU. Which means, after the session, when they have questions, who are they calling? That’s right…you.

Even if you are not updating your content, provide opportunities to involve other people and teams in the Orientation process. A few examples might be:

  • Invite someone from your IT help desk provide a brief overview of how to set up computers, report or resolve issues, or connect email to personal devices.
  • Coordinate a panel discussion with key leaders (not necessarily executives) across your organization to share an overview of his/her role, history with the company and advice to new employees
  • Offer a catered breakfast or lunch, and include the employee’s hiring manager on the first day – use the opportunity to facilitate dialogue about how the new employees will be an asset to their respective teams!

2. Leverage templates and checklists.

If there are certain tasks that a new employee should complete during the first few days on the job, document them in the form of a checklist! This makes it easy for a new employee (who is likely overwhelmed by details) to stay on track with forms, tasks and other responsibilities during the transition time. Having clear instructions for during and after the Orientation session will put your attendees at ease, allowing them to focus on the content being delivered in the moment and make the most of the experience!

Additionally, from a facilitator’s point of view, using checklists, templates and other time-saving resources will only make the job easier, particularly when there is a tight agenda to which you must stick!

3. Make Orientation an active experience.

As with most learning sessions, providing an active, collaborative environment will yield better results. Rather than lecture, information-overload sessions, can your content be delivered in an alternative method?

A few lecture alternatives might include:

  • Scavenger hunts
  • Reading and summarizing content
  • Case studies

The good people at Langevin created this helpful (free!) resource with 50 instructional methods. The “lecturette” techniques are particularly good options to try. Enjoy!
Hopefully, these 3 tips will spark some inspiration to energize your existing New Employee Orientation program. It doesn’t take a full program overhaul to add in some engaging elements. Give these ideas a try!

Your turn: How do you provide an engaging experience for your newest employees?  Take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Looking to establish or energize your onboarding program this year? Contact us to learn more about our Onboarding Audit package!

Ready or Not?

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Hey manager!  Ready or not…here comes your new employee!

If a hiring manager doesn’t have a lot of turnover on her team, she may not give a lot of thought to preparing for a new employee’s arrival. On the flip side, a hiring manager who is often bringing on new team members might find herself lacking a consistent preparation process.

If you’ve read previous posts (like this one…or maybe this one) that are directed toward hiring managers, you’re probably already aware of my thoughts on this subject. The hiring manager plays a key role in the successful onboarding of a new employee. I can’t say it enough. In fact, I’m going to say it one. more. time.

The hiring manager (that’s you, maybe?) plays a key (mission-critical, really) role in the successful onboarding of a new employee. Tweet this

Sure, other people play an important role in the process, too. But this is on you. Whether you do it yourself, or you delegate some of the tasks to others on your team, you need to make sure that certain things are ready before your newest team member walks through that front door on his first day.

Now, don’t stress, my friends; I’m going to do some of the legwork for you today. Here is your to-do list, a simple compilation of 10 things that you, dear hiring manager, need to have ready in preparation for Day #1:

1. The employee’s desk/workstation/office – Everyone needs a place to sit. You wouldn’t believe the horror stories I’ve heard about people starting new jobs, only to find their desk had been serving as the office catch-all, or was still full of junk left over from the previous desk tenant. I have personally moved into an office, only to find a stockpile of stale granola bars, likely sitting there since the Reagan administration. Yuck. Give your new employee a clean home, please.

2. The employee’s computer, phone, and other necessary equipment and supplies – You can’t expect an employee to do his job unless he has the tools to do so. Make sure this is taken care of in advance; scrambling around after the employee has started sends the message that disorganization reigns supreme in your office. And nobody wants to work there.

3. A lunch date with you on his first day – Take him out of the building, if possible. Ask him what he thinks so far. See if he has any questions. Learn more about him as a person. Be genuine. Start building the foundation for a solid professional relationship.  Be the manager you’d want to work for.

4. A team lunch or social event during his first week – Help him get acquainted with the folks he will be working with. The sooner he can build these allies, the more it will help him assimilate into the team and company culture, and the more he will be able to learn from them.

5. Plenty of meeting time on your calendar during his first few weeks – Give him feedback. Ask for his feedback. Set expectations early on. Open communication is so important during the onboarding process. What am I saying…it’s important all the time.

6. Tasks or projects where the new employee can contribute during the first weeks – Securing “quick wins” is a major factor in the successful onboarding of leaders at all levels. Look for opportunities for the new employee to be productive, early on. He doesn’t need to be able to solve complex business issues – after all, he doesn’t have the context around the issues yet to fully grasp them. But finding strategic areas to contribute will help him build his credibility with you, with the team, and across the organization.

7. Personally introduce the new employee to key stakeholders across the organization – Take the time to walk him around and make some introductions. Coordinate an email or introductory audio or video conference to introduce him to remote colleagues or partners. Schedule informal meet-and-greet sessions (more info on meet-and-greets can be found here). Make sure your new employee is visible.

8. Coordinate a corporate credit card/expense account, travel guidelines or a company car (if needed) – If your employee will need these items, make sure your employee has them. A new employee will not necessarily understand the process, nor will he know who the go-to people are to arrange for these things. Take a moment. Take care of it.

9. Make arrangements for the new employee to attend any company-wide or department-specific new hire training – Craft short and long-term learning plans for him. Make sure he is fully enabled on systems, processes, products and any compliance-related topics. A knowledgeable, confident employee is often a more productive, loyal employee.

10. Do something nice for your new employee – Even the simplest gesture can tell the new employees that you’re happy they’re on the team. Have the team sign a welcome card. Have fresh flowers waiting on her desk when she arrives on her first day. If your organization is big on branded swag, have a fun coffee mug or t-shirt ready. It really doesn’t matter WHAT you do…just take a moment to show your appreciation. Give the new employee a reason to smile on her drive home that night.

Not so scary, huh? You can definitely do this. Some of these items are very practical and specific. Others will vary, based on the new employee’s role, your personal style and your company’s culture. Regardless, these items should somehow be incorporated into your process. To simplify it even further, I’ve created a handy little Onboarding Checklist for you to download.  Use it, tweak it, make it your own…just DO something! Your new employees deserve to have their onboarding experience be a positive one, don’tcha think?

Your turn: Tell me, hiring managers, what is on your onboarding checklist? How do you welcome someone to your team?

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First Impressions…

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I’d like to chat with my recruiting and hiring manager friends for a moment…

You are setting the tone for your relationship with your newest team member from the earliest points of contact. The first impressions you give, even in this embryonic stage, will remain etched in the employee’s mind long after your initial meeting.

Here are 4 times, recruiting and hiring decision makers, when you can significantly impact an incumbent’s experience…long before his first day:

Before the Interview:

A talented individual sees your job posting…maybe on a career website, maybe on your organization’s website, maybe he was referred by a colleague. Is that job posting well-written? Does it clearly specify the role, the minimum hiring requirements, and the desired skills and qualifications?

You need to have a hook. What will draw in that talented prospect, and intrigue him to the point of applying? Maybe it’s the strategic opportunity. Maybe it’s your company’s outstanding culture. Maybe it’s a solid compensation package. Whatever it is, make sure it is clearly communicated.

As you are setting up an interview, put yourself in the shoes of the interviewee. A little courtesy goes a long way! Make sure he knows how to find your office, where to park, and what to expect when he arrives. At my day job, our recruiting team does a fantastic job orchestrating an interview agenda. The incumbent receives an agenda in advance, letting him know who he will be meeting with, what their roles are, and how long to expect to be there. They make organized arrangements for out-of-town candidates. The experience is a positive one.

During the Interview

Several years ago, I had a job interview for a small but well-known, well-respected organization. I was drawn in by the job posting and knew it would be a great fit for my background. There was a bit of “phone tag” during the phone interview and onsite interview scheduling process, but I dismissed it. Everyone’s busy, right?

But then I arrived for my interview.

In a curt tone, the receptionist informed me that it was a very busy day, and the hiring manager would be out “shortly”. I was ushered to a lobby chair.

Where I sat. And sat. And sat some more.

For 90 excruciatingly long minutes, I waited in that lobby. The receptionist never acknowledged me again or gave me an update about why it was taking so long or even made eye contact with me. My opinion of that well-known, well-respected organization tanked in that lobby.

When the hiring manager finally came out, I did not receive an apology. What I did receive, however, was an eye roll and a passive-aggressive, snarky complaint about people double-booking things on her calendar. Nice, huh? The interview was rushed, the questions were not thought-provoking, and the hiring manager spent more time looking at her phone than at me.

I was actually offered that position, and the hiring manager was surprised when I kindly declined the offer. Even though I didn’t join that organization, I appreciate what I learned:

A candidate is interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing the candidate.

I learned this as a candidate, but the lesson rings true from an organization’s perspective. Recruiting friends, hiring managers, decision makers…what kind of impression do you leave on the talented candidates that walk through your doors? If you were sitting in that interview, would you want to work for your organization? Please think about that. Culture, personality, warmth and authenticity make a big impact, and can be the deciding factor between a fantastic candidate coming to work for you, versus working for your competitor.

Following the Interview

How long is the interviewing and hiring process? People like to act. People like to plan. People like to move on, when they don’t get the job offer they were hoping for.

Follow up. Make a phone call. Keep the candidate in the loop, if it’s taking longer than expected. It happens, and people are remarkably forgiving when you are honest with them. But cutting off communication and hoping they get the hint is simply not professional. Not cool.

Even if your system generates an automated “thanks-but-no-thanks” message, at least that’s something. Take a look at that message, however. Does it SOUND automated? Take a moment and craft a warm, genuine response. Most applicant tracking systems will allow you to customize the communication.

After the Offer has been Accepted

This is where learning begins.  Within days, your incumbent has likely put in his resignation at his current job, and is naturally looking forward to his new opportunity with your team.  An employee will never be as engaged as he is during this stage!  He is excited to get started, he is looking for anything he can get his hands on that will teach him about your organization and the people he will be working with. Many times, an employee will be on a vague, self-directed scavenger hunt to gather as much information as he can to learn about you, your team and the company. Don’t neglect your incoming employee during this time; you can set the stage for a successful start by employing a few simple strategies. I wrote this little piece awhile back about preboarding new employees…check it out for some ideas!

Remember, friends…a smartly-executed interview is an important tool for attracting talented individuals.  Like I said, they are interviewing you as well!  They want to know, just as much as you do, that they will be a good fit for the role, team and culture. Use that precious interview time wisely!

Your turn: Do you have any memorable interview “first impressions”?  Good or bad?  Did the impression you got from the interview sway your decision to take a job? Tell me all about it!

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Pinterest for Onboarding: Part One

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Ah, Pinterest.  The (addicting!) social media darling. This site has opened my eyes to everything from new recipes, to travel inspiration, to shoes and handbags (swoon!) and home decor ideas…and about 1001 other things.  I even post links to this blog and other things that inspire me on a Pinterest board.  Such fun!

Pinterest is still relatively young, only being launched in 2010. In fact, I am still given a confused look by some people when I mention it.  The site has been widely embraced by women (a whopping 80% of its users are female, according to recent studies), but major brands are finding ways to leverage its simple visual model to generate leads, engage customers, and share content.  I came across this great article with some really interesting information on how marketers are using Pinterest.  Since we, too, are marketers within our organizations, this got me thinking….

What about us?  Is Pinterest something that we can adopt and make part of our onboarding programs?  Our Learning & Development programs?

I think yes.

So, this afternoon, as I watched my beloved hometown Indianapolis Colts end their season by losing to the Baltimore Ravens (pout), I sat down with my favorite pen and brainstorming notebook, and came up with a few possible ways to use Pinterest to share links and educate prospective employees, engage new employees and connect with current employees. We’re going to be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon over the next couple of posts – are you ready?!

To get started, here are a few ideas:

Board #1: Recruiting Team Resources

Your recruiting team can share their expertise on this board…everything from current job postings to articles on acing a job interview or networking best practices. Include links to everything a candidate would need to know to feel at ease for an interview with your organization.

Board #2: We Give Back (Social/Corporate Responsibility)

Does your company have a foundation?  Do you support a charitable organization?  Maybe you have an annual canned food drive.  Maybe your company adopts families during the holidays.  Maybe you’ve built houses with Habitat for Humanity.  Well, put it out there!  Post links to the organizations.  Post photos of employees in action, doing good in your community.  Not only does this give your company some “good press”, but it also gives incumbents a glimpse into what your organization stands for.  If the company lives by its Core Values, as many companies do, this is a great way to introduce candidates (not to mention prospects and customers) to those values and show them in action.

Board #3: A Day in the Life

What better way to let potential employees see what life is like in your organization, than to give them a visual tour?  Upload photos of employees working, playing, collaborating, talking and laughing.  If your company prides itself on its dynamic, youthful, or even quirky culture, this is a great way to showcase it.  From casual dress codes to video game tourneys to Happy Hour gatherings, document them all and pin ’em.  Incoming employees can peruse the photos, learn about the culture, and get EXCITED to start their new job!

The key here?  Be real. Not staged.

Board #4: Wellness Initiatives

Wellness is certainly en vogue these days.  Many talented people are seeking employers who encourage and contribute to healthy living; if this is your organization, it’s a great selling point for prospective employees.  Show  it off!  Post information and photos of your onsite fitness center, healthy snacks, running groups, and other noteworthy features your company has to offer.  As incumbents begin to imagine how they will fit in your organization and culture, they can also think about fitting that Tuesday morning onsite yoga class into their new schedules!

Board #5: Our Place in the Industry

A Pinterest board is a fantastic place to upload recorded webinars, podcasts and videos to give incumbents a one-stop shop for learning about your organization’s contribution to your industry.  You can also include links to notable blogs, key individuals in your organization/industry to follow on Twitter, and other resources to educate a new employee.

The span of time between accepting a job offer and the incumbent’s first day is when his engagement level is naturally very high.  He is trying to absorb as much information as possible to learn about his new organization, team and role.  Many times, the incumbent will go on a vague scavenger hunt, scouting out the company website and random LinkedIn profiles to find out nuggets of information. Pinterest can make this very simple for your new employee.  In a visually appealing way, you are presenting information about your industry, processes, and culture in a way that allows incumbents to explore on his own terms, at his own pace.  And yes, you can even make sure there is nothing proprietary out there, if that’s a concern.

The thing to keep in mind as you develop an onboarding program is that when you bring a new employee on board, you are not just adding a “worker” to the team; you are welcoming a whole person, who has needs that go beyond the bullet points that make up his job description.

Make it easy.  Make it engaging.  Make it count.

I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve on this topic…enough that one post was just not enough…so we’re going to dig deeper next time!  Until then, take a look at this example of a company that is using Pinterest, and doing it well.  I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased, as I used to work for this company and have a soft place in my heart for the people and culture!  I’m proud to be an alum of this fantastic company, so enjoy the peek into their very Orange world (you’ll see what I mean when you check out their board!).

Your turn: Are you a Pinterest user?  For personal or professional use? Have you thought about using Pinterest for your onboarding or learning programs?  Tell me all about it!

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SMART Onboarding

SMART onboarding

My day job is all about rewarding top performers. It’s a great concept, really…employee incentives are achieved not only by company performance, but by setting and attaining meaningful personal goals that impact the organization.  Needless to say, goal-setting is a frequent topic of conversation around the company!

The other day, I was thinking about my own goals and the old, familiar “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym.  And that made me think about how organizations would benefit by utilizing this same concept when developing their onboarding strategies…so I scribbled it down and have been chewing on the thought for the past few days.

And here we are.  SMART onboarding:

S = SPECIFIC

What are you trying to achieve in your onboarding program?  Do you even know?  (I’ll give you a hint: Saying “Our goal is to integrate new hires into the organization” won’t cut it.) Could you articulate the goal of your organization’s onboarding program to a colleague or executive?  The intent of your program should be clear to everybody, in the language that is meaningful to them.  

M = MEASURABLE

Metrics matter.  If your onboarding program isn’t tied to business objectives, you are missing a key ingredient to your program’s success.  You need to know where onboarding can impact the bottom line, and measure it.  Depending on your organization, it could be a variety of metrics…increased employee retention, increased employee engagement, quicker time-to-productivity post-hire, more sales, making fewer errors, less IT tickets, a reduction in legal or employee relations issues, higher performance review scores, more satisfied customers…you name it.  Find out what matters in your organization.  Find out what keeps your executives awake at night, and measure it.  I could talk for a week on this topic, but for the sake of this post, I will move on to…

A = ATTAINABLE

Is it assumed that new employees should quickly make a impact on the bottom line, regardless of the onboarding experience?  Are they given necessary tools and resources to get the job done?  Has their job description been clearly defined?  The hiring manager and other stakeholders should partner with the new employee to get started, anticipating the inevitable learning curve.  Setting incumbents up for success means knowing what is attainable, and what is simply too deep for the first days and weeks on the job.

R = REALISTIC

So many orientation and onboarding programs are nothing more than an overwhelming information dump.  In the first days or weeks of employment, new employees are given every possible detail of everything they could possibly ever need to know.  Umm, really?  Not only is this a supreme waste of time for a new employee, but also for the poor sap that facilitates it.  Context is the name of the game.  As new employees become familiar with their surroundings, organization, team, manager and role, then new information, tasks and projects are better absorbed.  This isn’t always possible, as fast-moving organizations often have shifting priorities, or that “new hire training” period is pre-determined by the business need.  That said, work with it.  Do what you can to ensure that what is expected from your new employees is truly attainable.  Set your new employees up to truly perform in their new roles.

T = TIME-BOUND

We want new employees to make a difference (and so do they).  In their roles.  On their teams.  Throughout the organization.  Clearly communicate why every component of their onboarding experience is meaningful and relevant for their success.  Whether that experience lasts one day, one week, one month, or several months.  Let them know what they can expect from you, as the owner of the onboarding program, and when they can expect it.  Keep an organized calendar of events.  A new employee should always know what’s offered and available for them, and when to expect it.

So, there you go…a different way to think about the ol’ SMART acronym.  And maybe, just maybe, a different way to think about onboarding.

Your turn: How are you making your onboarding programs SMART? Are they SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, and TIME-BOUND?  Do tell!

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