Every new year brings with it the opportunity to briefly look back and take stock of the past one. What better place to start this review than by reviewing the effectiveness of your new employee onboarding program? After all, a solid onboarding program is key to one of the most import new beginnings not just for your new team member but for your organization as well.
At many organizations, employee on boarding involves indoctrinating the new hire into the corporate culture. New employees typically learn about the company's history, mission, vision, its founders, organizational structure, and generally how the organization operates. This has become a pretty standard modus operandi, with trainers routinely scheduling these sessions to bring new hires into the company fold. At many organizations, this onboarding is a one-way street, with the organization information-dumping as much information about the company as possible in as little a time as allowed into the new hire. Not surprising is the fact that many organizations who employ these run-of-the-mill onboarding programs measure their success by how much knowledge the new hire acquired about the organization. Barely a level two evaluation by Kirkpatrick's standards, and pretty low expectations.
Ask many managers and corporate leaders what they value most about hiring "outsiders" and many will report valuing the "new perspective" an outsider to the organization brings to the table. Trouble is, most new hires from the "outside" are hired and almost immediately indoctrinated in the company's ways. Not so at one organization who recognized this dichotomy. Wipro, which provides telephone and online chat support for a global customer base, tried something different and was able to achieve a more than 32% reduction in turnover during an employees' tenure with a new onboarding strategy. Additionally, customers' reported receiving significantly better service from employees that went through this new onboarding program.
Wipro placed a heavy focus on individuals being able to perform in line with their individual strengths. This new "Personal-Identity Socialization" onboarding program allowed new hires to play to their strengths, and even bolstered the self-esteem of employees who participated in the new approach. You can read more about Wipro's innovative approach to new hire onboarding, and see if you may want to incorporate parts of their strategy by visiting this link.
These are the out-of-the-box experiments in HR that lead to significant performance and productivity gains for organizations, and where HR truly has an opportunity to earn a seat at the proverbial table. When was the last time you looked at your new hire onboarding program? Are you simply measuring how much information sticks in their heads, or, are you demanding more of your investment dollars when it comes to onboarding your people? Let us know, we want to hear from you!
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.