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PERFECT PHRASES for NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION AND ONBOARDING
Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases to train and retain your top talent
By Brenda Hampel, Erika Lamont
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2011The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
All rights reserved.
The Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding and Why Organizations Can't Afford Not to Onboard
Since the mid-90s, onboarding has been "on the radar" of most HR managers inside larger organizations. Michael Watkins, with his book The First 90 Days, made onboarding a relevant business topic, and many organizations followed his lead to create onboarding experiences for their new hires. Unfortunately, however, these experiences varied greatly and had mixed results. Some organizations defined onboarding similarly to orientation, while others left it to the new hires themselves and provided little or no organizational support.
Onboarding plays an important role as a key program that should exist between the recruitment and selection process and performance management programs in an organization. Onboarding is the bridge between the résumé screening, interviewing, and selection of a job candidate and the annual review measuring how that employee is doing in her job. Orientation, on the other hand, is the event that usually takes place on or near day one and provides an information dump of the organization and a plethora of paperwork to complete.
Perfect Phrases for Defining Orientation
Use these phrases in an internal presentation or e-mail to explain how orientation is different from onboarding:
* New employee orientation is an event.
* Orientation is more a one-way flow of information to the new employee.
* Orientation is a one-size-fits-all program with most or all positions expected to attend.
* The audience of new employee orientation is typically externally hired associates of all levels, but typically the new leaders do not participate.
* Orientation is usually owned and led by the human resources function.
* Orientation focuses on the logistical and the tactical.
* It is typically classroom-style learning.
* Orientation provides a one-way exposure and view to the organization's culture.
* Employees are still new after orientation.
* Orientation can be used effectively to introduce the onboarding program.
Perfect Phrases for Defining Onboarding
Use these phrases in an internal presentation or e-mail to explain how onboarding is different from orientation:
* Onboarding is a process that begins upon acceptance of the job and typically lasts through the first 90 to 180 days.
* Onboarding allows information to flow through several different channels from the organization to the new employee and from the new employee to the organization.
* Onboarding delivers organizational overview information to a diverse group of new employees with consistency, yet with context to the particular employee's situation.
* The onboarding experience is customized by a new employee's role in a particular function or department of the organization.
* Onboarding reflects best practices when it is facilitated by Human Resources in close partnership with the hiring manager and the new employee's ownership and active engagement.
* Onboarding is integrative and strategic.
* Onboarding delivers functional and role-specific information to the individual employee in a just-in-time model.
* Onboarding uses a blended learning approach.
* Onboarding's success results when the organization allows the new employees to observe and participate in the culture; it gives the new employees feedback and then helps them make adjustments based on that feedback.
* It allows a "live and learn" experience to the new employees to enable them to understand the culture of the organization.
* Onboarding is important for both newly hired and newly promoted employees.
* Employees are fully integrated and not new after the onboarding experience.
Perfect Phrases for Building the Business Case for Onboarding
In most organizations, new business processes are not automatically approved, funded, and readily accepted as part of how things are done. Creating the "so what?" or the business case for such a new program is the critical first step. There are many reasons to create an onboarding program in your organization. The trick is finding the reasons that are the most relevant and have the most clout with the decision makers.
These phrases can be used by your onboarding project team to create questionnaires and interviews as they gather data to support the building of a program:
* What is important in your business and your culture?
* Is it all about the numbers?
* Do key people need to be "presold" on an idea?
* Does Human Resources have the influence to initiate this type of program?
* Should the case for onboarding be made by some other part of the organization?
* Do you need both quantitative and qualitative data to present your case?
* It is important to have senior leadership sponsorship.
* Where's the "pain"?
* What are the onboarding "horror stories"?
* What business issues will an onboarding program solve?
* Are you experiencing heavy turnover in the first one to three years?
* Are your hiring managers frustrated because their new employees are not productive quickly?
* Are your new employees making mistakes that are costing your organization more resources than is acceptable?
* What do new employees say about their experiences?
* What do hiring managers need from their new hires in the first year?
* What do your leaders see as the burning issues around new talent?
* What do current or tenured employees say about the new employee experience?
* Identify the things that are done now in orientation and onboarding that are working.
* Integrate what is currently working into your orientation and onboarding processes.
* Identify an onboarding champion in your organization and engage him or her.
Perfect Phrases for Defining Onboarding Objectives
Defining onboarding objectives is by far the most important step in building your onboarding business case. Clearly stating what you want to achieve with your onboarding program will not only help in selling the concept to the rest of the organization, but it will keep you on track as you create the action items, the roles and responsibilities, and the measurement (or metrics) of the process.
These phrases serve as a guide for the onboarding project team leader, or onboarding champion, as she helps the team or the organization build the foundation for the onboarding program:
* Get clear about what business issues onboarding will address.
* What are the organization's objectives, and how can the onboarding objectives support them?
* Build measurement tools and metrics to reflect the onboarding program's objectives.
* Who is/are our audience(s)?
* Is the audience all employees, new leaders, internal promotions, external hires, merger and acquisition employees, contractors, and/or temporaries?
* Increase our speed to performance of new hires by __________%.
* Reduce early turnover (for example, in the first three years) by __________%.
* Increase the engagement levels of our new employees.
* Align our new employees with our culture.
* Preserve our culture as we grow.
* Reduce the time for new employees to meet their first-year objectives.
* Increase the sales volumes of new employees by __________%.
* Get new m
Excerpted from PERFECT PHRASES for NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION AND ONBOARDING by Brenda Hampel. Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
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