Talent Management Challenges: Onboarding

Creating an onboarding process continues to be a challenge for most organizations. Developing one that addresses both phases of onboarding (orientation and job-specific training) will lead to great outcomes for participants and the organization.

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Creating an onboarding process continues to be a challenge for most organizations. The ones that have a process tend to be always working on it. The ones that don’t either wish they did or have pieces but no real effective process. As talent management professionals, how do we quickly develop a process that will help our organization get people ready to perform at their peak capability?

The answer is not very simple. There are a lot of things that go into an onboarding process. First, we need to understand the components that generally make up onboarding. Then, the hard part is actually building the components, process, infrastructure and support in order to roll out onboarding at our organization.

Onboarding really consists of two phases. The first phase is typically called orientation. In this phase, people learn about the company history, its’ culture and norms, heirarchy and team members, facilities, certain processes (such as expense reimbursement) and policies. They also learn about and enrole in benefits and complete all required forms to be processed into the organization. Some programs contain other pieces but this is reflective of most orientation processes.

The second phase is job-specific training. In this phase, people are trained on the key skills and abilities necessary to do their job at or above the standards set for their key responsibilities. This helps prepare them for success and eliminates the “trial by fire” mentality of some organizations. As a result, people should be able to perform at a higher level faster.

As was mentioned before, the hard part is creating each of the pieces and rolling out the process. This is not something that can be developed in a few hours (or a few days for that matter). It is something that takes a lot of planning, collaboration, and work. I have helped organizations with this and know that there are a few keys to success. First, you need the buy-in and participation from leaders (critical!!!). Second, plan your work and work your plan. And third, make it fun for all involved. If those three elements are addressed, you will develop and deliver an experience that will impact the participants and organizations in a very positve way.

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