1 The Essential Rules For A Successful Onboarding Program Tel: Onboarding: The Essential Rules For A Successful Onboarding Program Student Manual
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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Session One: Course Overview... 1 Session Two: Defining Onboarding... 2 What is Onboarding?... 2 Benefits for Your Business... 5 A Recipe for Disaster... 7 Session Three: Creating the Onboarding Steering Team... 8 Session Four: Gathering Supporting Information... 9 Finding the Processes and People... 9 Personal Identification Putting it All Together Vision Summary Sample Session Five: Setting Goals Session Six: Developing the Framework A General Framework Pre Work Creating an Onboarding Plan Template Day One Week One Month One... Error! Bookmark not defined. Semi Annual and Annual Reviews... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Seven: Creating an Onboarding Plan... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Eight: Customizing the Framework... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Nine: Measuring Results... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Ten: Branding the Program... Error! Bookmark not defined. Making the Onboarding Program All Your Own... Error! Bookmark not defined. Branding River Adventures... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Eleven: Onboarding Executives... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Twelve: Understanding Employee Engagement... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Thirteen: Ten Ways to Make Your Program Unique... Error! Bookmark not defined. Going Above and Beyond... Error! Bookmark not defined. Debrief... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Fourteen: Fun and Games... Error! Bookmark not defined. Let s Get Creative!... Error! Bookmark not defined. Our Favorite Onboarding Games... Error! Bookmark not defined. Session Fifteen: Case Study Analysis... Error! Bookmark not defined. Group Case Studies... Error! Bookmark not defined. Presentation of Best Practices... Error! Bookmark not defined. Debrief... Error! Bookmark not defined. Personal Action Plan... Error! Bookmark not defined.
6 Recommended Reading List... Error! Bookmark not defined. Course Evaluation... Error! Bookmark not defined.
7 1 Session One: Course Overview Course Overview Did you know that most employees decide to leave a job within their first 18 months with an organization? When an employee does leave, it usually costs about three times their salary to replace them. You can greatly increase the likelihood that a new employee will stay with you by implementing a well designed onboarding program that will guide the employee through their first months with the company. This two day workshop will explore the benefits of onboarding, show you how to design an onboarding framework, give you ways to customize the program for different audiences (including managers and executives), and demonstrate how to measure results from the program. (Statistics from a 2007 study by the Wynhurst Group) Learning Objectives At the end of this workshop, you will be able to: o Define onboarding and describe how it is different from orientation o Identify the business benefits of onboarding o List the factors that contribute to a successful onboarding program o Build a team to create an onboarding program o Prepare a vision statement and goals for an onboarding program o Design a framework for an onboarding program that includes program setup, various types of training, games, progress tracking, and follow up o Customize your onboarding framework o Identify which metrics you should track to evaluate program results o Create a branded, unique program that will strengthen your company s image and market position Personal Learning Objectives
8 2 Session Two: Defining Onboarding What is Onboarding? What does onboarding mean to you?
9 3 Orientation Onboarding In other words, orientation gets the employee off on the right foot, while onboarding guides them on the journey.
10 4 Your onboarding activities can be divided into four general sections: Although you may not come into the picture during the hiring phase, it is important that the future employee s stakeholders are kept in the loop throughout the hiring process. One of the biggest causes of employee dissatisfaction is a disconnect between what the hiring manager said the job was going to be and what the job actually is. You need to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the position s roles, responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities.
11 5 Benefits for Your Business Consider these statistics from the Wynhurst Group (2007) and Cornerstone ondemand (2010): o 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days o The cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times their salary o 25% of Fortune 500 managers change jobs once a year o A well designed onboarding program can make employees 58% more likely to stay with an organization beyond five years Costs to Consider Lost productivity Not only will you lose productivity while the job is vacant, the interviewing and training process can also consume resources and time. Recruiting costs Don t forget somebody s time to place an advertisement. They must check what the organization is looking for, prepare information, verify copy, send the ad to the newspaper, and then handle phone calls, inquiries, and resumes. Screening costs This includes reviewing resumes (based on a resume short listing guide that has been prepared by someone, we hope). Also included is the cost of responding to directed inquiries and requests for information. Don t forget any letters of regret you send out, including paper, postage, and time to create and sign. Interviewing costs This includes time spent contacting candidates, arranging interviews, preparing for the interviews, and conducting them. You ll also need to create, sign, and send letters of regret. Testing costs If you do testing, there is a cost associated with monitoring and rating the tests. Doing group testing? Divide total cost by number of candidates who will be interviewed. Evaluating costs This includes time spent evaluating, checking references, and making the selection.
12 6 Offer costs The cost of making the job offer. Figure in time spent negotiating with the candidate, arranging start date, and other arrangements that must be made before the candidate arrives. (Business cards? Supplies? Locker and keys?) Training costs The money associated with taking the time to meet the candidate; introducing him/her to others; providing an orientation; and providing training. Other costs As well, consider the cost of reduced efficiency as the new employee learns the job, including time spent by someone answering questions and showing him/her the ropes. There may also be other employee turnover costs associated with your organization. Add these costs up to get the total cost of replacing one employee.
13 7 A Recipe for Disaster Success Failure
14 8 Session Three: Creating the Onboarding Steering Team Ideally, your organization s onboarding program should be designed by a team with representatives from different horizontal and vertical groups. This will ensure buy in and support from the entire company. In your company, what might the steering team look like? Some people to consider including: o A project manager to oversee execution and act as team lead o Executive sponsors o Department managers o Human resource specialists o New employees o Employees who have been with the company for months o Employees who have been identified as having high potential to advance in the company This committee should meet yearly to review the program, look at feedback submitted, and make changes and updates as necessary. You ll want to keep the program fresh, up to date, and in line with organizational and industry changes.
15 9 Session Four: Gathering Supporting Information Finding the Processes and People Identifying Processes and Programs The team s first task should be to review all processes and programs that will affect (or be affected by) the onboarding program. We have included a brief list below. Hiring Process o How are job openings identified and advertised? o How are candidates recruited, interviewed, and selected? o How is the offer letter created? o How is offer acceptance communicated throughout the organization? Employee Setup Process o What logistical tasks must be performed? (Workspace setup, computer setup, etc.) o What security tasks must be performed? (Badges, logon information, etc.) o What human resource tasks must be performed? (Policies to be reviewed, paperwork to fill out, etc.) o What other processes are in place? Pre Orientation Programs o Does the employee receive a welcome letter or package? What does it look like? o What information is sent to the employee before the first day? o How is it communicated? Orientation Programs o What does the current orientation program look like? o What training is provided? Onboarding Programs o Are there any orientation activities that currently extend beyond the first week? If so, what are they? o What resources are provided to employees to continue learning? (Tools, online resources, training, etc.)
16 10 Identifying Stakeholders Next, identify the people who own each process. Their support will be key, as parts of their processes may need to change to interact with the onboarding program. Once this is done, you may need to add certain people to the steering team, or they may be comfortable with simply being kept in the loop, or being brought in for discussions about their area. Personal Identification Processes in My Organization Programs in My Organization Stakeholders in My Organization
17 11 Putting it All Together Once you have completed your information gathering, create a summary of what your team has learned and what you have envisioned. In addition to listing key processes, programs and stakeholders, answer these questions: o Currently our onboarding strategy looks like o We typically hire employees per year. o We would like to focus on these employees: o We are currently doing these things well: o We need to improve in these areas: o We would like our strategy to look like o We are going to measure results by Other Useful Questions
18 12 Vision Summary Sample Currently our onboarding strategy looks like We typically hire employees per year. We would like to focus on these employees: We are currently doing these things well:
19 13 We need to improve in these areas: We would like our strategy to look like We are going to measure results by
20 14 Session Five: Setting Goals Goals will be a large part of your onboarding program. You will have overall goals for the onboarding program. Individuals in the program as well as their managers will probably have goals, too. However, goals are only useful if they re done right. Good goals should have SPIRIT! Specific Be specific about what you want or don t want to achieve. The result should be tangible and measurable. Get all employees up to speed, is pretty ambiguous. Data team will be able to enter 100 records per day by the end of the first week of onboarding, is more specific. Prizes Provide rewards at different points in the goal, particularly if it s long term. Employees who do better than average at training, for example, might receive a company T shirt. Individual The goal must be something that is relevant to the employee s job and something that the employee is willing to work on. Always tie the goal back to a business or personal result. Review Review progress periodically. Does the goal make sense? Are you stuck? Do you need to adjust certain parts of the goal? Inspiring Frame the goal positively. Make it fun to accomplish. Your team could make a poster of the end result, frame it, and post it on the wall. Time Bound Give yourself a deadline for achieving the goal. Even better, split the goal into small parts and give yourself a deadline for each item.
21 15 Session Six: Developing the Framework A General Framework Phases of Onboarding The bulk of the program development work will be identifying which tasks should be completed when. Typically, there are five distinct phases: o Pre Work o First Day o First Week o First Month o First Year This will, of course, change depending on what position you are onboarding the program for executives, for example, may last two years, while a position for a data entry clerk may only last three months. Here, we are trying to provide a basic framework that participants can work with. Types of Activities Your onboarding program can communicate information in a few different ways. A Mentor, Coach, or Buddy Interpersonal support can be provided in a few ways. A mentor is the most involved type of support person; their goal is to interact with the new employee and to help them develop personally and professionally. A coaching program is similar, but focuses on the employee s jobrelated skills. Finally, a buddy is like a tour guide, helping the new employee find their way around the new workplace and find information. Departmental or Company Orientation These sessions tell the employee about who the organization (or department) is, what their mission statement is, what their goals are, what they do, and where they are going. Think of it as, The Life and Times of XYZ Company, or, All About the Accounting Department. Job Specific Training It is often useful to provide training on specific skills. These can be technical skills (using Microsoft Word, entering data into the database program) or softer skills (project management, conflict resolution).
22 16 Formal training approaches usually involve self paced training through manuals or online learning, or classroom training. More informal approaches include job shadowing. We recommend that training be spaced out over the onboarding period. For example, instead of having the employee complete six classes in one week, try having them complete one class a week for the first six weeks of their employment. They will retain more information and feel less overwhelmed. Coaching and Performance Management During the onboarding process, the manager must check in with the employee on a regular basis. The manager s role is to ensure that team members are on board with their performance program and onboarding plan. The plans may need to be adjusted, or the employee may need additional support.
23 17 Pre-Work You want to have employees complete as much of the administrative work as they can before the first day. This shows that you are eager to have them start and that you take their job seriously. It will also help them feel more prepared and ease their nervousness. Several weeks before their employment starts, employees should receive a package with a welcome letter, community information, pre read material, a blank onboarding plan, and any other pertinent material. (More on these components in a moment.) Their job is to complete the pre work before their first day. Pre work tasks for the manager might include: o Completing internal hiring processes o Filling out paperwork o Getting employees logon information for the network and security clearance o Setting up their workspace o Communicating the new employee s start date, who they will be reporting to, and their responsibilities o Completing a draft onboarding plan for the employee Pre work tasks for the employee might include: o Filling out paperwork o Doing self paced training o Reviewing job descriptions, policies, procedures, company reports, etc. o Getting their personal life settled so that they can focus on the new job o Completing a draft onboarding plan About a week before the employee is scheduled to start, the manager sets up a meeting with the employee. This meeting has three objectives: o Meet and greet o Answer any questions that they employee has o Review the onboarding plans and finalize it At this time, the manager should also provide a quick start guide for their first day: how to dress, where to park, where to go, and what the day will look like.
24 18 Creating an Onboarding Plan Template Earlier, we mentioned that a personalized plan should be sent to an employee before they start work. This template should be developed as part of the design process. It must be specific enough to gather necessary information, but flexible enough to be used for any new employee. The template should include: o Basic information such as the employee s start date, their role, their department, and their supervisor o Two line job description o List of stakeholders that they will meet o Summary of pre work o Summary of Day One and Week One events and tasks o Training plan o Goals for the first 30, 60, and 90 days This template should be completed by the employee and by their manager during the pre work process. (Try not to give the employee specific directions when asking them to fill out the plan. This way, you can see their level of initiative and how detail oriented they are.) Then, before the first day of work, the manager should meet with the employee to finalize the plan. This gives the employee a solid understanding of what their role will entail, and assurance that they are on the same page as their manager (who is hopefully on the same page as the organization).
25 19 Day One An employee s first day is arguably the most important one. You only get one chance to make a first impression! A typical first day should look like this: o The employee arrives at the office on time and is greeted by the manager. o Any security policies are completed. (Most companies will only issue an ID card on the start date, for example.) o The manager introduces the employee to their mentor, their colleagues, and key stakeholders. o The manager gives the employee a brief tour of the office, highlighting personal storage, lunch rooms, washrooms, and fire exits. (Tip: Mention what employees usually do for lunch. If possible, schedule a special welcome lunch with the employees colleagues.) o The manager and the employee review the onboarding plan, focusing on tasks for the first day and week. They should also review key procedures, such as network access, e mail, voice mail, safety procedures, emergency plans, etc. o The employee takes part in a company and departmental orientation. o The manager confirms that the employee has completed all necessary paperwork. o The employee works on Day One tasks, supported by a mentor if needed. o The manager checks in with the employee at the end of the day.
26 20 Week One The goal of the first week should be to slowly start transitioning employees into normal work. The employee should also begin to build relationships with stakeholders and work on assignments. They may also take part in more training; either specific to their role or about company systems and procedures. The manager should also share any unwritten rules (i.e. how casual are casual Fridays?) and traditions, and cover additional policies or procedures in depth as necessary. Checking In Gathering constant, comprehensive feedback about the onboarding process is very important, particularly during the employee s first few days. If there are any issues, it is best to know about them as soon as possible so that they can be resolved quickly. Remember, this is a crucial evaluation period for the employee; they are checking you out and deciding whether or not they like what they see (just as much as you are checking them out!). One of the most effective feedback tools is to ask the employees colleagues, How is Joe doing? during the week. If they have difficulty providing specific feedback, you can probe for more information using questions like: o How do you feel that Joe is fitting in with the team? o What do you think of Joe s work habits so far? o What do you think of Joe s onboarding plan and tasks? o Is there anything that I should know about Joe? Be sure to check in with the employee themselves each day to see if they have any questions, comments, or concerns. It is also a nice gesture to schedule a one on one lunch midway through the week. An informal onboarding review should take place at the end of the first week. Our favorite approach is a short list of questions with a simple five point scale. The employee and their manager can complete this survey at the end of the week, compare results, and use it as a starting point for updating the onboarding plan and moving forward.