It pays to have a great onboarding process
Companies spend a huge amount of time in selecting the key executives. At the top end, this can include assessment centers, a battery of psychometrics and myriad format interviews. Finally, they get their candidate – the 'perfect fit' for the job. So far, so good. But what do the companies do about induction and orientation as part of onboarding? Almost nothing – or nothing that adds any great value.
Organizations should assure that newly hired executives feel welcomed, valued, and prepared for what lies ahead. From day one, it’s important to make them feel comfortable so they can quickly reach the goals they were hired to achieve.
The right Orientation
Orientation is a function that allows a new employee to learn about the organization, what the expectations are in the position, who is responsible and accountable, and in general what they need to know to become an integral part of the company. This is an opportunity to explain to the new employee the importance of their position and how it works to the support of the goals of the company.
According to Arthur M. Cohen and Robert E. Nemecek, "the way in which persons are brought into a company, are inducted into it, and are assimilated into it, greatly affect the following: 1) the rate at which they catch on and feel comfortable in the job and work environment, 2) their job satisfaction and morale, 3) their ability to learn, 4) the time required for them to reach full productivity, 5) attitudes they formulate toward the company and those around them, and 6) an early decision whether to stay with the company or not."
On average, the time for newly hired CXOs to achieve full productivity is more than 26 weeks. And recent studies show that it costs a business around Rs 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs to replace the CXOs.
Creating the Wow factor
Engagement of family members of CXOs is very crucial. Relevant official letter can be handed over in the presence of the spouse. This creates a wow factor both for CXOs and their family.
Just before the day of joining of CXOs, his/her cabin should be all set with fully functional laptop, speaker phone, printer and other necessary devices. Mailbox should get configured beforehand. List of important phone numbers and the telephonic procedures should be kept on the table. Cabin should be thoroughly examined by the admin for its full functionality. Welcome Kit containing all the relevant stuff should be ready to be presented to the newly joined CXO.
On the first day at the office, there should be personal one-on-one interaction with key executives who will make newly joined CXO aware about his/her peer group, DNA and culture of organization, challenges, and relevant facts and figures. There should be extreme clarity about the powers they would be having and what they won't be having. Any wrong decision can backfire.
Orientation involving human interaction, recognition and special treatment has a greater emotional touch and is very valuable. After all it’s a 2-way communication and not the 1-way communication like the AVs and e-portals. Audio Visuals and e-portals can’t clarify any doubt if occurred however personal interactions can.
4 C’s of successful onboarding:
In nutshell, it’s in the hand of the organization only how fast it accommodates, assimilates and accelerates new CXOs in order to achieve their goals.
- Johnson, L.K., 2006. Rapid Onboarding at Capital One. Harvard Management Update, 11(9), pp.3--4.
- Jose M. Acevedo, Assessing new employee orientation programs