The pressure of getting your employees up to speed in new or changed roles is exhausting enough. The cost to the company can be substantial too if you don’t have an outstanding onboarding program.
Let’s face it, your onboarding strategy can either bolster your organization’s success, or devastate your bottom line. Today more than ever, companies need to learn how to onboard effectively. Hybrid workforces are more disconnected, increasing the risk of staff feeling detached and disengaged. The ways we welcome people into new work environments communicates how we value them as part of a team. Doing it right matters. A lot.
I have a fix for you, but first it’s important that you know when to apply it.
Onboarding isn’t just for new hires. Companies actually benefit when they use onboarding principles at key pivot points throughout the employee lifecycle. Why? Because humans are not big fans of change. Not only do we dislike change, but we will exert tremendous effort to keep the status quo and avoid the discomfort of change – even when the change would be better for us.
Job familiarity gives us a sense of predictability, stability and something consistent to rely on. So when we experience a change in employment, our stress levels skyrocket. In fact, the discomfort inherent in job change accounts for almost half of the top ten spots on life’s list of most stressful events.
When leaders apply effective onboarding practices during key job change events, they reduce employee stress and increase the speed of productivity. They create a psychologically safe environment in which their people can thrive.
The critical inflection points for onboarding staff include:
- New hires
- Internal promotions
- Lateral transfers
- Fostering relationships with new clients
- Mergers & acquisitions
Now that we’ve covered when to onboard, let’s take a look at the secret to making your efforts successful.
The number one overlooked secret to outstanding onboarding is creating healthy connections. I’ve identified five connections as the most critical ones to focus on during any onboarding effort.
To ramp up productivity of new and transitioning staff, grow their connections to:
- The culture of the organization
- The expectations of the job
- The people on the team
- The external stakeholders such as clients, audiences or board members
- Their personalized self-awareness and self-regulation tactics required to remain resilient in the face of change
Connection is key. Well before COVID we were experiencing an epidemic of disconnect. We were becoming ever more detached from our own needs for wellbeing, from our relationships, from our work and from our higher level purpose. Now that we are physically disconnected from each other in most work environments, it is even more critical for leaders to focus on building a connected workforce.
Data demonstrates a direct link between onboarding strategies and retention rates. Leaders are paying attention because they want to attract and keep good talent to maintain a competitive advantage. An early 2021 survey conducted by The Conference Board stated that 50% of CEOs globally cited recruitment and retention as their most critical human capital focus.
Ron Carucci, author, professor, speaker and leadership coach identified three critical dimensions of onboarding in this Harvard Business Review article. He defined the three aspects as organizational, technical and social. In my experience, companies over focus on organizational and technical onboarding and under focus on social and relational onboarding. This trend is unfortunate because the social / relational component is where companies have the greatest potential to increase employee resilience and build in that secret sauce – connection.
Build Connection + Resilience with The Five Archetypes
The #1 overlooked secret to outstanding onboarding is creating a connection between your people and their work environment. When we feel connected to our company we have stronger immune systems, less anxiety and depression and higher self-esteem.
The most outstanding onboarding strategies are personalized to the individual needs of each employee. Leaders who understand and leverage the specific ways their people connect with the work, team, stakeholders, organization and personal resilience to stress experience far less preventable turnover.
The Five Archetypes is a world leader in proactive, predictive workforce culture and outstanding onboarding solutions. Our model for social / relational onboarding seamlessly integrates staff to their jobs, their teams, the organization, the clients and their own ability to adapt in the face of stress.
Want a Five Archetypes test drive for your organization? I’d love to show you how it works. Book a free Discovery Call and I promise you’ll leave not only deeply enlightened, but you’ll have one bold, new action you can take today to improve your company’s onboarding strategy.