One of the biggest concerns of any growing organization is the constant need for talent. Talent is harder to find and attract. Even more challenging is retaining talent. Sure you may have the culture, benefits, environment and growth that could support your cause, however, to get there and actually sell your company as an employer of choice you need to take a closer look at the first process of engagement with your new recruit – onboarding.
How do you develop an effective onboarding process that will encourage and retain your new recruits? Here are a few strategies you can apply to get you started.
1. Preemptive Engagement
So you’ve made your offer and hired a new talent. That’s great but is it the right choice, for either of you? Once the new recruit is on board it’ll be quite a loss if things didn’t work out, both in terms of time and money. A technique to avoid this is starting the onboarding process early. Get all the necessary paperwork and policies out of the way with an online portal that they can access before they set foot in the office. It’ll provide them an orientation into the company’s culture, policies and even its history making the first day blues a little less of a culture shock. In fact you could go a step further and let them know what to expect on their first day, or even the first few weeks. Give them a game plan that they can wrap their heads around so that when they’re in the office they have their game faces on.
2. Chalk Out a Plan
The first year is probably the most crucial for any joiner. If they can pass this period successfully you can rest assured that you’ll increase your chances of retaining them. Making the first year count then becomes all the more important. To start off, make sure you clearly communicate and help them understand their goals and the expectations of the department and company. This allows your talent the ability to navigate their career in an upward motion. Compliment this with a long term training plan, tag a mentor to them and support them as a coach. Giving your new recruits the assurance and comfort that you’re invested in their growth will help you extract their full potential.
3. Network and Integrate
An often overlooked aspect of the recruiting process is assimilating. There’s a good chance that the new recruit will develop a healthy working relationship with their team members. But what about the others in the organization who they have no daily interaction with. Randomly approaching people from different departments won’t have an impact and nor is it easy to strike up a general conversation. That’s why activities like lunch time strategy games (chess or Blokus) are a great way to encourage people to converse and network. Cross-functional meet and greats are also a great way to bring together a group of individuals who normally won’t be in the same room together. Develop an organization culture of ‘socializing’, be it face-to-face or using social media. If you’re all contributing your efforts to the success of one company, irrespective of which department you belong to, it’s important you integrate.
4. Culture Enrichment
Probably the most important and crucial aspect of onboarding is imparting cultural values. This, of course, is ongoing throughout a talent’s career with a company as everyone needs to be reminded what they’re striving for. But more than a reminder, talking about your company’s culture will help a new recruit understand the beliefs and ideologies of the company. More importantly it’ll provide company’s the hook that’s needed to retain talent. If your culture is truly attractive, in terms of what the company strives for, it’s overall purpose, how it empowers people and how innovative it is, it’ll make your company the employer of choice. Your talent, new or seasoned, will associate their personal goals with your company’s and overall the level of contribution they make and the commitment they exhibit will be impactful.
A solid talent management strategy incorporates a robust onboarding program that’s well thought out and extensive. A half-baked program will get you the same result – half the retention ability and only half the motivation levels of your talent. Think your orientation through as the investment you make in developing an effective onboarding process will surely pay out in terms of higher productivity and loyalty.
This article originally appeared in Paul Keijzer.
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