Onboarding isn’t only for millennials! Many of the ways in which the process is evolving are driven by the expectations and preferences of younger workers entering the workforce as new employees, but people of any age need effective onboarding. It’s the way we help them to settle in to the business and support their progress to becoming productive and successful employees.
The principles of onboarding can be applied to people in different work situations. Those joining at a more senior level, who find their efforts more visible and can feel exposed if they take time to acclimatise to their new roles. The majority of managers who leave early will cite either a poor grasp of how their new organisation works or a mismatch with organisational culture and difficulty in forming relationships with peers and stakeholders, as the main reasons for their lack of success.
Similarly, new working models, and modern approaches to talent management, mean that individual teams and functions will have people joining either from another part of the business (which may operate in a different way) or as contingent workers who will be there for a specific project with a defined outcome. Whatever the reasons behind their moves, everyone starting a new role in a business needs the kind of support that comes with onboarding.
A senior hire can find themselves in the spotlight. They will be an assumption that they are decisive, knowledgeable and ready to lead teams, and an expectation that their input will positively improve operational performance. Should they fail to settle and integrate, it is likely to have a negative impact on the wider business. Teams can become unsettled, customers affected, whilst operations can lose momentum.
Despite their experience, there will be much about their new employer that they will need to find out. This includes structure, future plans, organisational practices and key business areas. Make sure that they have start receiving this information from acceptance, and begin to involve them in business meetings.
Cultural integration is important too. As managers or senior employees, they will be expected to not just know the company values and philosophies but to live and exhibit them. Building internal networks that offer early interactions with other senior employees should help this. If you wan to know more about this topic, you can also read the 3 ingredients of effective onboarding for senior hires.
Contingent labour may be bought in as and when needed. This can lead to them being treated as temporary help and offered little connection with organisation. However, many people who are hired as contingent, temporary pr gig workers will have specialised skills that the company needs to help complete projects or to enhance the existing skills base.
Non-permanent workers will move in and out of different companies. Treat them well and they will become advocates and brand ambassadors for your business, helping to refer other workers and validate your internal culture. They tend not to be individuals who focus on completing a task and moving on, but have professional pride in their work and enjoy making a contribution.
They need to be onboarded too. Your vision and purpose matters. Contingent workers aren’t looking for a to-do list on a series of tasks, but for and understanding of how the work they do will contribute to the company’s greater vision and outlook. They take pride in their work and want to know that their contribution is of value.
Share the same vision, values and culture information with contingent workers that you would for your permanent employees, right from the time they accept an assignment with you. And, just as with permanent hires, make sure your managers are ready to engage and lead their contingent workforce proactively, from selection and on-boarding to performance and outcome review.
More companies now look internally to fill certain roles. With good reason. Much of today’s emerging workforce see the opportunity to grow and develop their skills and capabilities within an organisation as a differentiator, and one of the ays they can achieve this is through internal transfers, stretch assignments or secondments.
Just because someone has already worked for the same organisation, don’t assume that their transfer will be smooth and frictionless. They may have been onboarded once, but will need on-boarding again. This is often known as trans-boarding, and is a fast-growing area.
Whilst the overall business will have a purpose and mission, and a clear set of values, the way these are experienced across the business will differ. Employees moving to a new section will have different colleagues, alternative internal networks, and new managers who may well look to engage and support them differently. Operational pressures will be different too.
Make sure that transboarded employees have access to all the resources and data they need, and let them build relationships with new mentors and colleagues. From the moment their transfer is confirmed, give them clear objectives and timeframes on their role, responsibilities, deliverables and what success will look like.
They will already love your business. Make sure they fall in love with their new team and colleagues too through great transboarding!