Last week on the Joy to Lead Podcast we talked about the seven mistakes we often make in our onboarding processes. If you have not listened to that episode yet, go back and listen to that episode so you can begin to tweak your onboarding process.
One of the mistakes we talked about is rushing the onboarding process. We not only rush into it but also rush the entire process. We tend to cram it into a few weeks or just a few days, when in reality the onboarding process should take over 90 days and be broken into different phases.
Hiring does not immediately solve all of your problems, and that’s why we have to go about it intentionally and slowly, knowing that a fully successful team is built on a successful hiring and onboarding process. Get ready to dive in because today, we are talking about the very first 30 days of your 90 day onboarding process.
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Onboarding Should Happen Over 90 Days
Onboarding a new team member is a true investment because you are adding to your workload without having a team member who is fully capable of carrying the full weight of the role just yet. A rushed onboarding process will result in an unsatisfied team member and improperly trained team. A foundation built on inefficiency that will likely result in high turnover later one. Not to mention your culture imploding which can all cost your company a fortune.
Onboarding should happen in three distinct phases of 30 day intervals with the first month focusing on creating a structure and a space for deep learning and connection.
During this time, your team member is focused on learning the ins and outs of their role and the processes and procedures to perform the role all while absorbing and acclimating to all those hidden team dynamics, the values, your vision, your mission, your purpose, your client and team relationships.
The second month we’re focusing on building onto what they’ve learned in month one -hey’ve learned about their role, tasks and the team. They’ve also learned about your standards and expectations. Now we want to see them integrate more of themselves into the role by building and strategizing.
And in the last month, you will evaluate their performance and track metrics. Your new team member is now functioning more independently and likely leading the execution of the project or strategy that they created. Your job is now to evaluate their performance using predetermined qualitative and quantitative metrics.
Pre-Onboarding Sets the Tone for Your Onboarding Process
Your priorities during pre-onboarding are to build anticipation and excitement. During the first 30 days, you are to provide as much information, connection and resources as possible to aid them in learning aspects and their function on the team. Who do they need to meet and begin building a relationship with in order to thrive in this role?
Next, map out the resources that they will need and the education courses, tools, or other resources or training materials they will need in order to thrive and be confident in this role. Don’t expect them to be highly innovative or strategic during the first 30 days. You need to give them space to learn.
Don’t expect them to know everything you know, in fact, expect them to know nothing. Err on the side of over communication in those first 30 days. Check in with them at least once a week to give encouragement and give them a boost of praise where you see fit but also a chance to ask requests or questions.
Your First 30 Days of Onboarding
Day one is the day for coaching and vision casting. This is a day for discovering and having a conversation about what they are hoping for, excited and nervous for. What are their goals in relation to the metrics they are responsible for? How can they expect to be evaluated? What is their first month’s action plan?
During week one, they should be focused on getting immersed in the technology and software they will be using along with team members and training materials. Be sure to give them space to explore and connect that first week. The first week is focused on exploring, connecting and then start layering on tasks projects.
At the very end of that month, we’re hosting an evaluation in that first month. We’re looking at what the objectives are when it comes to learning and mastering the skills and the process needed to perform the task at hand. We’re evaluating objectives and sharing any concerns, problems or problem areas that you see arising and ask what resources they are needing heading into month two.
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