Essay: Onboarding Best Practices

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[. . .] Culture is a wide category that ensures that employees get a sense of organizational customs and values, both informal and formal. Connection as a distinct level of onboarding practice refers to the crucial interpersonal links and data networks that newly hired employees in an organization must set up. The four C's (Compliance, Clarification, Culture and Connection), are the building blocks of triumphant onboarding practices in any organization. Wanberg (2012) states that it is crucial to keep onboarding activities distinct from when they take place and the agents engaged. This is because most activities could potentially be experienced at any time and delivered in different ways (Hernandez, 2009). Effective onboarding strategies consist of three different categories; practices that offer information, welcomes and guide the new employees. The inform category entails communication efforts, provision of training programs and resources.

Only a few studies assessing orientation programs notwithstanding the fact that orientation programs are the commonly offered forms f training and examination of other onboarding activities is rare (Stein & Christiansen,2010). However, studies confirm that the largest and first category of onboarding activities consists of efforts direct at provision of information, experiences and materials to new employees to facilitate their learning and become successful in the new responsibilities and in the company. Scores of onboarding activities fall with information categories (Stein & Christiansen, 2010). These activities are subdivided into communication efforts, training and provision of resources. Because people view socialization in terms of the reduction of uncertainty, the inform onboarding category plays a crucial role in handling new hires. On the other hand, inform-communication onboarding practices entail one-way messaging and structuring prospects for new employees.

According to Messmer (2012), an effective onboarding practice comprises of supplemental efforts taken early in a newly hired employee's tenure to help him or her develop a better understanding of the organizational culture, his/her job responsibilities. An effective onboarding practice also helps new employees understand how the culture of an organization and their job roles intermingle into the organization and departmental priorities. The holistic perspective to orientation is consistent with the strategic role of the human resource (York, 2009). Onboarding goes past the simple expediency and recognizes that new employees learn during their first few days to enhance their ability to handle work and organizational challenges.

Ineffective Onboarding Practice: Informal Onboarding

Depending on the size of an organization and the intricacy of the work, an effective onboarding program can go for several weeks or months. The program covers matters linked to training, scheduled milestones, interactive meetings and mentoring programs where newly hired employees can ask questions regarding departmental and corporate initiatives. Messmer (2012) cites several unproductive approaches. These perspectives include the Osmosis method where no formal adjustment or orientation process is available to help the new employees. The human resources management leave the new employees alone to learn by themselves the ropes through observation and asking questions on an instant, as-needed.

Organizations or human resource department that advocate for the osmosis process maintains that if an employee is smart enough to be hired, they have the potential to figure out for themselves what they require to know regarding their job, the organization and the facilities (Messmer, 2012) . The osmosis approach is not effective because this process fails to recognize how intricate it is for new employee to grasp the nuances of an organization and at the same time learn what is required for their new jobs. Moreover, this approach demonstrates an attitude of indifference that can easily carry over into the performance of an employee. In the Osmosis onboarding practice, new employees shy off from asking questions an aspect that indicates that these employees never get the guidance or the answers they so much need until they start to make mistakes.

Messmer (202) highlights, "Just follow Joe around" as another ineffective onboarding process practiced in some organizations. In this process, new employees are paired with tenured staff members. The experienced employee holds no specific instructions on how to control the process. The organizations that adopt this process believe that new employees can pick up the most important skills if they follow what more experienced employees are doing for several days. While this onboarding perspective is inexpensive and simple, it is not effective. This is because the new employees and the more experienced ones have nothing in common and can strain communication. In addition, the practice does not work because the more tenured employees can just allow the newcomer to watch him/her as they perform their jobs. The experienced employee holds no insight into the newly hired employee's role expectations. This onboarding process fails because there lacks apparent instructions and careful selection of which individual the new employee follows around. The tenured employee may undermine the effort of the new employ.

Another ineffective onboarding process is, "Video Watching." In this process, the company hires a hotshot production organization to offer a slick video content that tells the new hires everything they require to know about the company. The video entails a 12 to 15 minute-sessions. The new employees sit in front of the screen and watch the presentation. Companies can also e-mail the video link to the new employees and employees are advised to watch when they get time. The rationale behind this method is that no time is wasted on training or person-to-person contact. Nevertheless, video watching as an onboarding process is ineffective. This is because it gives no room for question asking and does not guarantee that a new employee pays attention to the video. These practices are informal and hence ineffective when used to a new employee.

Onboarding Best Practice: Formal Onboarding

To put an newly hired employee in a successful platform, an organization or the human resource department should prepare well in advance and continue to support the newly hired employee in the course of his/firsts months in the organization. The best practice must be formal and should involve a completed schedule for the first days on the new job. The human resource department must set planned times for the new employee to encounter major staff members in the organization. A mentor should be assigned to the newly hired employee. The mentor should assist the new hires develop a network besides educating them on facilities. he/she should also provide crucial information regarding organizational goals and culture. The human resource department should stock their organization with the apparatus required to start working. A company's organization chart, list of employees and staff phone directory should be made available to the newly hired employees. This procedure entails provision of the rules of the organization. If a company holds an employee handbook and process manual, copies of these documents should be provided .

Messmer (2012) asserts that human resource managers must also keep orientation practical. Given that new hires join different organizations at varying intervals, organizing formal sessions can present some problems. However, human resource department must conduct orientation as soon as possible. According Messmer (2012), if an organization regularly adds new employees, holding formal sessions for each of the new hires may not be practical. In this view, the best option is an integrated perspective that entails a formal occurrence that takes place on monthly or weekly basis. This process should be preceded by an informal personalized orientation on the first day that covers the necessary operational and administrative factors of the job.

Involvement of senior management is paramount. Formal orientation sessions should involve the presence of some key senior management members. Some organizations launch the orientations session with video message from the top management, which is acceptable particularly when the video is up-to-date, and of high quality. Having top managers present in the course of an orientation session offer more importance and credibility to the whole onboarding process.

Holding a large group sessions in an appropriate room is another best practice in onboarding. If an organization is holding large group orientation sessions perhaps with oral presentation or video presentation, a large room is necessary, as it will accommodate the new hires and their mentors (Reed & Bogardus, 2012). Cramped or unattractive setting may sabotage the ability to communicate and may lead to transmission of incorrect message to the newly hired employees. An attractive setting sends the message that the organization is organized and professional and that it hold its employees with due respect. A conference room can be hired if an organization does not have adequate facilities.

According to Messmer (2012), onboarding is the first formally structured experience an employee hold in his/her new company. At this point, an organization strives to make everything that takes place during the first day to match the message conveyed during the recruitment procedure. Precisely, every event-taking place during the first onboarding day should mirror how the company presents itself in the world of business. The onboarding team can convey information through verbal information. Verbal information is simple and suitable to the most apparent stuff. Audiovisual presentation is another channel of information and it is suitable for onboarding because it… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Onboarding Best Practices.  (2012, September 29).  Retrieved May 26, 2019, from

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"Onboarding Best Practices."  29 September 2012.  Web.  26 May 2019. <>.

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"Onboarding Best Practices."  September 29, 2012.  Accessed May 26, 2019.