If the onboarding process is implemented and managed correctly, it can help lay the foundation for a mutually rewarding relationship that lasts for many years – and ideally many decades.
On the other hand, if there are any gaps in the process (however unintentional), then it could spark misunderstandings or mistrust – and ultimately contribute to a breakdown of the relationship, or at the very least, a less-than-optimal work experience for all involved.
In light of this, organizations of all sizes – from small businesses to large enterprises – should wisely seek to develop a new employee onboarding guide. While each organization is different, below are the 5 key objectives that all onboarding guides should cover in order to be practical and robust:
Objective 1: Foster a positive experience for new employees.
Fundamentally, the onboarding guide must foster a positive new hire experience for both the new employee, and the organization. As such, it’s in everyone’s best interest that all activities carried out or governed by the onboarding guide are handled with an eye towards building trust, establishing respect, and encouraging emotional buy-in. Ultimately, while an onboarding guide governs the first few crucial days and weeks of a new employee’s tenure, the goal is to develop a long-term relationship that, as noted above, ideally lasts for decades.
Objective #2: Help new employees verify that they’ve made the right choice.
While the onboarding guide isn’t a “sales document” and shouldn’t be crafted as such, it should nevertheless direct managers, mentors and all other current staff who participate in the onboarding experience to help new employees verify that they’ve made the right choice. These words of encouragement and signs of support can go a very long way towards helping new employees embrace their new workplace, and set aside any feelings of anxiety that are a natural part of any major life change – even those that are positive.
Objective #3: Orient new employees to the organization’s vision.
Without overwhelming new employees, the onboarding guide should focus on orienting them to organization’s vision. New employees should be clearly shown how the organization implements, expresses and illustrates its mission and vision in everyday tasks and activities. This should be done at a high level, since it will be the task managers, supervisor or team leader to provide a more detailed overview of specific objectives, goals and plans.
Objective #4: Help new employees identify their roles and responsibilities.
The onboarding guide should cover each new employee’s key roles and responsibilities, including those related to acceptable behavior, anti-harassment policies, and other vital expectations. With this in mind, new employees should be provided with documentation (either in print or most likely online) that they can refer to as necessary. They should also be encouraged to ask questions or seek clarification before taking an action or making a decision – not after.
Objective #5: Provide new employees with an overview of their training plan.
New employees are just as eager to be productive as their new employer – sometimes even more so! However, in most cases, some degree of training is in everyone’s best interest (e.g. using computer software, understanding workflows, familiarity with processes, and so on). Ensure that the onboarding guide has a meaningful training component, and doesn’t throw new employees into the proverbial deep end to find out if they can swim…or sink.
An onboarding guide is a dynamic document that provides a framework for what both new employees and the organization hopes will be a positive, mutually rewarding relationship. It’s also a helpful reminder to organizations that new employees need and deserve a level of enhanced support and direction; regardless of whether the role is entry level or executive.
If your organization needs expert-level advice on developing your onboarding guide for new employees, or if you want to augment your onboarding process with self-serve automated HR software that ALL of your employees – both new and existing – will find rewarding and beneficial, then contact us today.
We’ll be pleased to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation and live demo of our acclaimed cloud-based HR software solution.