Onboarding is the processes in which new hires are integrated into the organization. In addition to learning about the company’s structure, culture, vision, goal, and values, it also contains activities that let new hires complete the first new-hire orientation process. Onboarding processes can range from one or two days of activity for certain firms to many months’ worth of activities for other organizations. 

Orientation and onboarding are frequently mistaken terms. While onboarding is a full process including management and other employees and can continue up to 12 months, orientation is a crucial step for completing paperwork and other everyday activities. 

The manner in which you train a new hire can either set them up for success or failure in their new position. Their course may be determined by your company’s onboarding procedure, which describes how you train new hires through assignments meant to acquaint them with their new roles. 

When an organization neglects the onboarding procedure, new hires are left to make their own way. Although pushing a worker into the deep end can show how resourceful they are, it makes them feel less independent and unsupported. On the other hand, a well-planned onboarding procedure can increase productivity and retention.  Employees have enough time to adjust to their new role when they are instructed on company policies early on. 

Components of an Onboarding Program 

An onboarding program can be designed in a variety of ways, but some elements are essential to the procedure: 

1. Preboarding 

Some companies prefer beginning the onboarding process after the employee has accepted the offer but just before the actual reporting date. In these circumstances, employers need to develop strategies to link new employees to the organization. Examples include the following: 

  • Inviting the employee to tour the company premises 
  • Mailing or e-mailing information to the employee regarding the organization, including benefits information, and organizational chart 
  • Sending a care package to the new employee including but not limited to coffee mug, notebook, pen, diary, hoodie with the company logo  
  • Matching the new employee with a buddy who connects them prior to the first day to answer basic questions 

2. Orientation 

The purpose of orientation is to formally introduce the organization’s structure, vision, mission, and values to the new joiner. It also reviews the employee handbook and highlights key policies, helps new hires fill out necessary paperwork, goes over relevant administrative procedures, and offers required training. This process can overload a new employee with information and is therefore best done over a few days or a week, if possible.  

3. Foundation Building 

The distinctive pillars of an organization’s culture, mission, employee value proposition, brand, and other related underpinnings must be lived and communicated consistently throughout the onboarding process. It will take new employees many months to learn and apply this; they won’t absorb it in the first week or first month. The onboarding program will be guided by identifying the enduring values and aspirational goals particular to the organization.   

4. Mentoring & Buddy Program 

Many organizations offer a formal or informal mentoring or buddy program to support the new employee during the onboarding period. Mentors and buddies may be volunteers or selected by the department manager or HR department. In some companies, recent hires are assigned to be buddies, as they have firsthand knowledge of what has helped them most.  

The function of a mentor or buddy is to provide the new employee with a connection to the company culture, of carrying out menial tasks like showing office directions, restrooms or explaining basic company regulations. They buddy may also be involved in assisting the employee in understanding the complexities of working in the company. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

While the distribution of onboarding roles within each business varies, there are some broad rules for assigning onboarding responsibility and accountability: 

1. HR department: Completing and collecting employee paperwork (e.g. contract, statutory documents, and benefits, etc); reviewing work hours, the history and background of the organization, and the organizational chart; touring the facility among others. 

2. Supervisor: Discussing duties and responsibilities, work behaviors, and standards and expectations; introducing departmental team; touring the department; reviewing other roles and relationships within the department. 

3. Co-workers: Sharing information on how the group functions as a team, how to accomplish tasks, where to find/request tools and equipment, and how to receive help. 

4. Executive team: By explaining company culture and helping the employee grasp the organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategic goals and objectives, you may also discuss roles and duties at a higher level depending on the seniority of the position. 

5. Mentor/Buddy: Introducing team members and other employees, going over unwritten rules and procedures, and answering day-to-day questions. 

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