There were some absolute gems of information in her session that spurred on some great discussions, so I thought I’d share some of it with you in this quick round-up. Thanks again Jen for delivering such an engaging workshop! If you missed it, don’t forget to connect with Jen on LinkedIn for more info.
Nor does it start on day 1. A thorough onboarding process takes the employee through four stages, beginning before they set foot on-site and ending when they become productive and engaged.
Increase day one attendance and start the learning before new starters join the company by sending out e-learning, a tailored welcome video and important policies. My favourite tip was to ask people what their favourite chocolate bar is and include one in their welcome pack on their first day.
Structure induction with a blended approach to learning. Many organisations have a 1-day welcome session then it’s into the role, but Jen emphasised the importance of robust governance and control of any development which takes place after day one. She shared that a great way to do this – in lieu of trainer-led activity, using trained SMEs.
In the case of lengthier inductions, development should be continued after new starters leave the training room. Give them the opportunity to hone their skills and behaviours in a live setting.
Jen talked us through a framework to transition from good to great, through the employee’s end-to-end journey with the organisation.
Jen then asked us all to discuss current onboarding challenges. Not surprisingly, there were quite a few thrown around the room! Here are a couple that we spoke about, and some of the possible solutions that Jen shared too.
Solution: One tip Jen shared was to send a welcome video introducing new starters to the people they’ll meet on their first day. It can include anyone from their new line manager, other team members or the person that’ll be sorting their office pass on the first day.
Solution: Time with the trainer should be value-adding, not spent in front of a PC completing e-learning. This can be done in the time between signing the contract and starting with the company. Tell new starters that there’s a bit of e-learning to do before they start. And because it’s not the most exciting news they’ve ever had, have a plan for how to approach it. For example – tell them it will take them 2 hours, and that they’ll get paid for this time in their first months’ pay. Being clear is key.
It’s a lot isn’t it! This consists of advertising, trainer salaries, setting people up on systems, e-learning, staff materials, the list goes on. Jen shared a calculation for people in the room to work out their average cost of replacing employees over 12 months, and we had numbers from around £100,000 right up to over £800,000.
Solution: Assess what your onboarding process looks like, what the challenges are, and how you might be able to implement new strategies at each stage of the process to deal with any issues. For instance, if people are overloaded with training sessions and e-learning in their first week, think about distributing these training sessions over a longer period of time so that they’re trained on subjects that’ll help them grow when it’s most relevant. Oversharing can overwhelm, which isn’t the best thing for looking after (and retaining) your staff.
And at the end of it all, Jen made a very important point. You can get all of this right, but people will still decide they don’t want to work for you. It happens!
Solution: Onboarding (and retention) is a tricky world to navigate, so keep communication lines open between your existing staff and new starters. This way you’re more likely to find people that fit with your company culture in the first place, and if they eventually do decide to leave the company, it’s less likely to be on bad terms.
That’s all from me for now. Keep an eye on my networking & events page for my upcoming dates and details of other wonderful speakers.