Onboarding Practices Essay

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Onboarding Best Practices


As the procedure of recruitment progresses in most organizations, the term onboarding becomes used in human resources. The key to organizational capacity to execute policy and attain its objectives is a productive workforce. An exceedingly competitive business backdrop requires its entire workforce to perform at its best at both team and individual level. Onboarding is an intricate operation affected by numerous aspects relating to the newcomer employee and the institution. These factors include the characteristics and behaviors of an employee as well as the organizational efforts. Augmenting commitment of employees is paramount for productivity in any organizations. To achieve productivity, skills and attributes acknowledged in each novel employee requires adequate support and detailed introductory procedure. Effective onboarding is crucial to acclimation and socialization of new employees within their working place. The acclimation procedure is an accepted expansion of employee's orientation training. Advantages of productive onboarding entail maximizing novel employees' complete productivity in an organization's core functions. However, the onboarding procedure and experience can vary. It can either be a well-managed and swift conduit to the involvement of an employee, or an unproductive and expensive entry into the organization. In this regard, paper assesses the best practices employed by organizations to capitalize on the onboarding process.


Historically, the procedure of helping newly hired employees to acclimate to their working setting has been referred to as orientation. Orientation usually begins with an introduction to the work area, organization's facilities and building on the first day of work (Bruce & Montanez, 2012). Formal and informal presentation of organizational policies, operating processes and other administrative details follows. However, in the contemporary world, orientation is not a stand-alone occurrence, but a part of a bigger process known as onboarding. Some people view onboarding as a new buzzword for orientation, but it is up to a company's human resource management to do more to make certain that new hires become satisfied and productive members of the organization. The onboarding process is also referred to as assimilation, alignment, transition and integration process (Mesmer, 2012).

Defining Onboarding

Onboarding entails the direct bridge amid the promise of a novel employee talent and the achievement of definite productivity (Bradt & Vonnegut, 2009). It is also an organizational socialization. Organizational socialization is the system by which newly hired employees in an organization obtain the required skills, behaviors and knowledge. Strategies employed in onboarding process entail videos, meetings, lectures computer-centered orientations or printed materials (Bradt & Vonnegut, 2009). These strategies establish newly workers to their novel organizations and jobs. Onboarding facilitates optimistic upshots for the novel employees, and it enhances job performance, organization devotion, stress reductions and more importantly, promotes job satisfaction. Onboarding practices are significant to all institutions seeking to uphold a competitive edge. Onboarding process can be a tactical procedure that improves the bottom line of an organization although it seems like a purely transactional action. Newly hired employees begin as liabilities before they acquire the required experience and skills to create positive contribution in an organization. In this regard, the best procedures in the onboarding process are paramount as they allow employees to get up to speed and offer positive contribution in an organization.

The human resource department should differentiate onboarding from socialization strategies. Wanberg (2012) asserts that onboarding concerns exactly what is done, that is, the programs, policies and practices executed by an organization or its agents and experienced by new hires. Centering on the distinctive actions, according to Wanberg (2012), looks past tactics of socialization. The divergent onboarding practices experienced by a new employee may mirror a combination of dissimilar socialization strategies. Wanberg further ascertains that employing measures of socialization strategies instead of the original aspects may weaken observed links and lead in the loss of crucial information (Wanberg, 2012). Evaluating specific onboarding activities and the means through which these activities are conveyed should offer richer and briefer information.

Benefits of Onboarding Practice

According to Snell (2006), organizations that do not prop up a detailed introduction stage for novel employees risk losing productivity created by the employees and their interest in the organization. Snell asserts that sixty-four percent of newly hired executives fail in their new jobs and the average years that such CEOs remains in these jobs is less than 4 years (Snell, 2006). These statistics are worrying and they underline the significance of forming the correct experience to retain productive employees and productivity. All novel employees undergo a learning curve during which they operate below the level of completely productive employee (Bruce & Montanez, 2012). Employee learning curves demonstrate the amount of time needed for employees in novel positions to attain complete productivity and the rate at which they develop towards complete productivity in the course of the ramp-up phase. An efficient onboarding procedure allows new employees to attain access to data, materials and tools required to carryout their roles more efficiently. Efficiency formulated through successfully onboarding a new employee hold direct optimistic effect on the entire productivity of an organization.

Technology and process enhancements can convey actual bottom-line upshots obtained from benefits that include:

Lowered effort and time for human resource, hiring managers and other people engaged in onboarding

Enhanced accuracy and speed of collection of data and transmission between human resource information systems and payroll

Constant policy and legal compliance

Lowered shipping and printing costs for onboarding

Capacity to get new metrics for considerable process effectiveness

Improved general new employees' experience including a distinct, self -- service data source in the course of the vital first days on the new job

More efficient manager/employee relationship

Snell (2006) asserts that optimized onboarding leads to lowered time to competence or contribution, enhanced employee performance and productivity, enhances powerful bonds amid employees and improves loyalty and job satisfaction. Optimized onboarding also enhances retention and engagement of employees. According to Hernandez (2009) through assessing an organization's agility before beginning an onboarding engagement besides assessing leadership and problem-solving style of new executives, one must enhance transitional coaching and accelerate the contributions of and shifts developed through the new employee. Hernandez (2009) confirms that relationships are crucial, but how a new executive navigates and leverages the relationships among major stakeholders on the senior team and across the entire organization must rely on what in the matrix best represent the company. Hernandez (2009) asserts that the most common pitfall for executives undergoing an onboarding transition is thinking that they are in prospective zone when they are in a challenge zone.

According Dam (2007), following an effective selection and recruitment, the most significant means that companies enhances their effectiveness and management of their talents is through onboarding. On boarding helps newly hired employee adjust to performance and social factors of the novel jobs smoothly and quickly. Onboarding is a priority for human resource department given that more than twenty-five percent in the United States working population experiences career changes. For instance, about 500, 000 managers from "Fortune" five hundred companies assume new roles each year and generally, managers start novel jobs every 2 to 4 years (Bradt & Vonnegut, 2009). However, half of senior hires outside the companies fail within the first eighteen months in their novel positions. Half of all workers working on hourly basis leave their novel jobs within the first one hundred and twenty days.

Onboarding Practice: Formal and Informal Onboarding

Studies suggest employees get approximately ninety days to prove themselves in their new jobs. Every company holds its own intricate process by which new employees learn knowledge, behaviors, attitudes and skills needed for them to operate effectively (Dam, 2007). However, the comprehensiveness and formality of onboarding practices differ broadly across companies. Perspectives to onboarding practice range from systematic and structured. Organizations must consider whether they are best served through formal or informal onboarding.

Informal onboarding is the procedure through which a new hire learns about her or his new job without an unequivocal organizational plan. Formal onboarding, on the other hand, is the written set of organized procedures and policies that help new hires to get accustomed to their novel jobs with respect to socialization and tasks (Stein & Christiansen, 2010). Companies that get involved in formal onboarding through executing step-by step programs for new hires to help them learn their roles are more productive than those who use informal onboarding. Formal onboarding offers a fixed sequence of actions for new hires.

Specific onboarding programs, policies and programs should be differentiated along many dimensions including the type or the temperament of activity, the objective of the activity, the content or the scope of the activity and the level of the organization in which the onboarding activities aim at. With respect to scope, Wanberg (2012) highlights four different "C's" which include compliance clarification, culture and connections.

Compliance is the lowest level of the onboarding practice and it entails teaching newly hired employees the fundamental legal and policy-linked regulations and rules. Clarification, on the other hand, stresses that employees understand their novel jobs and the expectations linked to their jobs (Bradt & Vonnegut, 2009)…[continue]

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