Congratulations! You have made it through the hiring process and have officially hired your new team member. Now what? Today on the Joy to Lead Podcast we are talking all things onboarding. The onboarding process is one of the most important steps in the hiring process yet one of the most overlooked. It is what sets the tone for your new team member!
I will be covering the most common mistakes I see people making and even mistakes I have made myself. I learned the hard way not to do these things. Tune in and see if you are making any of these mistakes when onboarding a new team member and learn how to remedy these team onboarding mistakes ASAP.
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Onboarding Sets the Tone for New Team Members
Hiring and onboarding can be fun! Onboarding sets the tone for the experience our team members are going to be having on our team. Onboarding is crucial but is usually the afterthought for most hiring processes. It should not be a tedious job but instead a way to set up your new team members up for success and increase your loyalty while decreasing your turnover rate.
The onboarding process is 70% of the most important part of hiring a new team member. It’s a part of the integration process. Hiring does not end once the person agrees to join your team and signs the offer letter. It keeps going through the first 90 days of their tenure with you.
Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding
Rushing Into It: You have to prepare and not rush into onboarding. Not having a plan mapped out for how you will integrate this person into your team over the course of 90 days is a huge mistake. How are you going to be integrating this new human into a group of humans who are already working together? You have to have a plan for supporting this new team member as they come into your company. And it has to span the course of 90 days.
Rushing It: Compressing the 90 day onboarding process into a week or even a day is a huge mistake. This is very task oriented thinking where you’re only focused on getting tasks off your plate or getting tasks onto the plate of this new team member. Any role is 90% culture, relationships, belonging, those hidden dynamics and 10% tasks. We have to prioritize, making sure our team members feel a sense of belonging by connecting them with our team. We have to push into our onboarding process. It’s so important to take 90 days to onboard a team member.
Using Personality Tests in the Wrong Way: We’re not out to just build teams with personalities we get along with, or we think we get along with. We’re here to build robust teams. We should use personality tests to help integrate them into your team and see how this person is going to fit onto your team and then use the information strategically in onboarding to know how to connect this person with others and how to support them as they enter your team.
Forgetting the Experience: Add The Power of Moments by Chip Heath to your list of books. This book is all about crafting this ball of memorable experience to facilitate a sense of culture not just on your team, but in life. The way your hire feels on their very first day will set the tone for how they feel through their entire tenure with you. Day one sets the standard and the expectation. From then on they will seek to prove what they experienced on the first day. We forget onboarding is less about tasks and more about establishing culture, communication, relationships, and creating a memorable experience
Not Focused on Shaping: We tend to view onboarding as a task oriented process, rather than a learning, shaping and growing process. It’s like you’re transplanting a plant. Imagine the care you have to take when you’re transplanting something with roots. You have to water it, tend it and care for it. Every plant is different so you have to be in tune so roots take hold in the beginning to grow in the new soil. Think of all the dimensional layers your new team member is now navigating. They’re seeking to understand and find out if I am safe to belong here as I am? Where is my authority? Where is my lane?
Not Training Communication Structure: The first month of onboarding, we should have an open door policy for questions, resources and feedback. Our team members should be encouraged to proactively come and ask questions of us, but we need to be careful as to not train them to be dependent upon us for information. We use onboarding to support them when they need support and then give them some training wheels and then let them ride by themselves.
Not Defining Success: They should know exactly what you are looking for in terms of success. In addition, you want to find out what success looks like to them. On the first day use this information to create definable metrics you can then use to hold them accountable and to evaluate them.
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