How to help new colleagues get fully on board
Sophie and Paul are expecting a baby and are overjoyed. The period of intense preparation begins. Should they put the cot in the bedroom or clear out the office? Which is the best girl’s name? When Amelie eventually arrives, the newcomer quickly gets used to her parents, who integrate the new family member immediately. Thanks to their good care, Amelie does well. After a few weeks, Sophie and Paul can’t even imagine being without her, even though the sleepless nights are quite strenuous!
It is easy to draw a parallel with the business world. In companies too, employees are happy when new colleagues are hired because new recruitments are an investment in the future. At the same time, not every recruitment is successful. Signing the contract is just the first step. Success is not guaranteed either for the newly hired employee or for the company. Isn’t that reason enough to give new team members the same sort of attention new parents give their offspring? The faster new colleagues feel comfortable and integrated, the faster they will help their team to achieve success.
Newcomers have about 90 days to prove themselves in their new job. It is also estimated that one in four or five working relationships fails during the trial period. The reasons for this differ. Sometimes a new employee still needs more support and the senior team does not (or is not willing to) notice. Furthermore, because time is short, they may fail to train the new recruit in a structured way. If things go well, the new employee manages to find their own way in their new position due to their own proactivity, ability to catch on quickly and tenacious will. In the worst case scenario, he or she may leave the company after a short time for no clear reason. The team is also frustrated as they have to look for another solution.
By having a good onboarding process introducing new employees to the company’s structures, processes, tools and culture, managers and their teams can avoid this scenario and create the right conditions for the rapid integration of the new colleague. For example, Krauthammer customer L'Oreal developed a two-year integration programme called L’Oreal FIT for a committed and mutually beneficial relationship with their new employees. The personalised integration programme consists of:
- Training and round table discussions
- Personalised schedule of meetings with key insiders
- On-the-job learning supported by line management
- Individual mentoring and HR support
- Field and product experiences
Clear expectations and goals are often the sticking point for successful on boarding. Only those employees who know the expectations can meet them – and that goes for both sides. If expectations are unclear, dissatisfaction is already pre-programmed. Expectations regarding desired behaviour, communication style and shared values should also be clearly communicated.
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