The When, Why and How of Onboarding for Results

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Advanced onboarding tactics for organizational success

Onboarding isn’t a new idea or process — most organizations have some sort of orientation program for their new hires to introduce them to the company and slot them into their new role. Such programs can be as simple as completing new-hire paperwork over an afternoon or as complex as a multi-stage cohort program designed to build camaraderie and competency over employees’ first few months.

What is new, however, is the idea of onboarding that takes place at specific moments in an employee’s career — preboarding employees before their first day on the job, orienting them in their new roles as they’re promoted to management-level positions and offboarding them if they leave the organization. Onboarding isn’t limited to an employee’s first few days or months; it’s evolved into an end-to-end process designed to support both employee and employer. In fact, onboarding has now evolved to include not only new employees, but also new managers or internal promotions. By thinking of onboarding as an end-to-end process rather than something that happens just once, organizations demonstrate commitment to their employees, which in turn can help retention. Research shows that 1 in 5 workers over 35 are considering a new job — and 2 in 5 employees between ages 18 and 34 are also looking.1 By continuously supporting employees with engagement, development and training opportunities, organizations will be able to keep them.

What does a total onboarding solution look like? Who are the stakeholders involved? How do organizations support new managers? How is the process different for employers that need to onboard multiple employees at scale thanks to a merger or acquisition? To answer these questions and more, the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group — the research arm of Chief Learning Officer — partnered with SilkRoad for the 2018 CLO Advanced Onboarding survey. We asked survey respondents about their organizations’ onboarding practices to identify key processes and outcomes for end-to-end onboarding.

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