The First Three Months

Inspecting the 30-60-90 day expectations

The first week of the new month has gone by without any major glitches. Nico Newbie has figured out the intranet platform, knows his direct team members by name and can get himself back and forth from the parking lot to his workstation without getting lost in the building.

Be aware, however, that you are not out of the woods yet. Research by the SHRM Foundation suggests that 20% of new hires leave their organisations within the first 45 days.

On a brighter note, organisations presenting well-crafted, structured onboarding programmes to new employees may experience up to 54% more new hire productivity within the first three months, compared to those just “flying by the seats of their boardroom chairs” during this period with no formal programmes in place.

There are numerous onboarding solution providers nowadays, promoting glamorous platforms and shiny apps to automate the entire onboarding process for you. Their marketing pitches offer unique features and capabilities that can accomplish anything and everything (except perhaps make coffee).

Nonetheless, as efficient as these products promise to be, one should always query what their quantifiable deliverables are regarding productivity, performance and profitability. There is no purpose in doing things right (efficient), but not doing the right things (effective).

Inspect what you Expect

The first week of the new month has gone by without any major glitches. Nico Newbie has figured out the intranet platform, knows his direct team members by name and can get himself back and forth from the parking lot to his workstation without getting lost in the building.

Be aware, however, that you are not out of the woods yet. Research by the SHRM Foundation suggests that 20% of new hires leave their organisations within the first 45 days.

On a brighter note, organisations presenting well-crafted, structured onboarding programmes to new employees may experience up to 54% more new hire productivity within the first three months, compared to those just “flying by the seats of their boardroom chairs” during this period with no formal programmes in place.

There are numerous onboarding solution providers nowadays, promoting glamorous platforms and shiny apps to automate the entire onboarding process for you. Their marketing pitches offer unique features and capabilities that can accomplish anything and everything (except perhaps make coffee).

Nonetheless, as efficient as these products promise to be, one should always query what their quantifiable deliverables are regarding productivity, performance and profitability. There is no purpose in doing things right (efficient), but not doing the right things (effective).

SMART goals are:

SPECIFIC – Simply stated, making sense and significant enough to be pursued.

MEASURABLE – Where meaningful results, motivates the employee to move forward.

ACHIEVABLE – No pie in the sky wish lists. Goals agreed on should be attainable.

RELEVANT – Realism and reason will render the desired outcomes.

TIME BOUND – A beginning and an end to every action plan.

Month 1 – Time to Learn

The first 30 days of onboarding should revolve around incremental (kaizen) learning activities, serving as training wheels to equip new employees with a solid foundation to launch their careers from.

Spice things up a little by presenting a variety of training mechanisms such as one-on-one sessions, interactive group tutorials or self-directed digital learning, for example, micro-learning or gamification apps.

 

Learning activities to include:

 

  • Hardware and software tools training to get them comfortable with company platforms, intranet systems and workflow processes.
  • Provision of reading lists containing useful literature (articles, books, blogs) regarding industry legislation, indicative performance, competitors and innovation practices.
  • Concentrate on company-specific learning to accumulate knowledge about products, clients, culture and the overall future direction the business is pursuing.
  • Turn theory into practice by assigning them with a small, simple project to wet their feet with and build their confidence.
  • Bi-Weekly one on one meetings are imperative at this stage to monitor progress, manage course corrections and keep them motivated.

Question of the month: If they were able to choose, which facet of the training process would they change for the better?

Month 2 – Building up speed

From day 30 – day 60 the emphasis should be on planning their potential career paths and affording them with ample opportunities to immerse within the team realm. They are now moving out of the incubator and into the simulator.

Building activities to prioritise:

  • Crafting a personalised career development plan with supporting metrics and key performance indicators which serve as their route map to attaining the set goals.
  • Encouraging team collaboration by providing them with opportunities to contribute to conversations during meetings and discussion sessions, even if they have to be put on the spot sometimes.
  • Increasing their involvement by including them in a variety of projects to expedite the overall development process.
  • One-on-one feedback and review sessions should take place every week to track their progress, identify pain points and decide on solutions to either fix or prevent problematic issues.

Question of the month: How do they feel about their decision to join the company and are they excelling, settling or struggling at this point?

Month 3 – Moving towards Independence Day

The last 30 days of the onboarding programme is all about establishing a new hire’s independence and autonomy. There should be a deliberate shift from an “observing and simulating” state into a “doing and reviewing” mode.

This final stage of their apprenticeship period involves less managerial handholding and more leadership scaffolding. In a nutshell, provide the new employee with a framework (ladder) to climb by themselves, but be there to catch them when they fall.

To do activities for this period:

  • Increase their level of responsibility by consistently allocating more individual projects to them.
  • Conduct a formalised performance review.
  • Discuss opportunities for future growth and reiterate goals, metrics and KPIs.
  • Schedule a two-way Q&A session between the newbie and their mentor for some hard hitting, honest conversations.

Question of the month: Do both employer and employee measure up to each other’s expectations yet?

In our next article, we will discuss Stage 4 of the onboarding process by evaluating the outcomes of the mutual recruitment promise during the first 12 months, in terms of employee contribution, value adding generation and satisfaction levels.

eSTUDY is an accredited digital training company that specialises in upskilling your employees with accredited eLearning solutions to help your business grow.

 

 

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