Thursday, February 12, 2015

Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success

The first day at a new job is very similar to your first day at school. The emotions, the uncertainty and mostly the stress. Each employee will handle these extreme emotions depending on their personality type; some will adjust fasters than others, while others might just take longer. There are many factors involved in the duration of acceptability, the most important one being past experiences, especially your last employment. If it was a positive experience, you carry forward the positivity, if it’s the opposite then the negativity sticks for longer period of time creating issues and may destabilize a candidate for a longer. A total of 25% of the entire working population undergoes career transitions each year.[i]
HR departments in Pakistan have yet to evolve into the function they are expected to perform. The change in the name from “Personnel Department” into the “Human Resource Department” aimed to have a strategic significance. New employee onboarding is an important process of getting employees adjusted to social and performance aspects of their new job. It’s through this that employees learn attitudes, knowledge and skills and the appropriate behavior to function effectively. Some organizations aptly have formal onboarding programs while others take up the “sink In” approach, which is highly risky. A good onboarding program is a major contributor to the overall retention policy. Organizational Best Practices for Onboarding: 
·         Implement basics prior to the first day on the job
·         Introduce a buddy system or mentor program to show the employee around.
·         Introduce the employee to other staff members in person as well as via email.
·         Make the first day on the job special
·         Design and implement formal  and informal orientation programs
·         Create and use written onboarding plans
·         Schedule trainings to familiarize the employee with company best practices and systems.
There is no better way to alienate an employee than ignoring them on their first week on the job. Human Capital is the one contributing factor in the success of the business, it’s not surprising that many companies are outsourcing their HR activities, but if HR delivers on its core functions, it could be a major contributing factor for the organizations strategic and competitive advantage.
[i] Rollag, K., Parise, S., & Cross, R. (2005).  Getting new hires up to speed quickly. MIT Sloan Management Review, 46, 35-41.