The Great Initiation – How to Avoid Onboarding Blunders

What comes after the Great Resignation? Onboarding all the new hires.  

According to “The First 90 Days,” a disturbing proportion of new hires don’t make it. That means that every person you lose could take more than one replacement before you find a fit.

Recently a client, whose team is covering extra work because there are open spots, shared frustration with a new hire who is a bit of a loose cannon. Tension is building. She’s putting out fires.

They’re not getting the “important, not urgent” work done that supports long-term goals.  

By year-end, results could be way off target.

So yeah, it’s important to have a system that can make onboarding less onerous.

So you can avoid disputes that can happen when a new hire doesn’t fit in. So new hires can take initiative and gain autonomy faster. So everyone can collaborate sooner. And you can harness the experience your new hire brings to the team.

And you can get back to the productivity that generates amazing results.

As a manager, think about some principles that can fast track integration:
  • Put relationships first. Engage the team in activities so they get to know each other quickly. Ice-breakers, virtual or in-person happy hours. Lunches with key team members. The faster people get to know each other, the better.
  • Be clear on your expectations for the first three months. And communicate the goals consistently. A lot of new hires try to do too much, do it like they did it at their last job, or get lost trying to get (the wrong) things done. Being proactive can help everyone reduce confusion.
  • Provide exposure to other teams and senior leaders in meetings. The sooner they can stop going through you for everything, the sooner you can refocus on your work.
  • Share everything you can about your company’s culture, and be patient. Culture is one of the most difficult parts about transitions. You can’t be too patient or supportive with this.
There’s much more in “The First 90 Days.”  But remember, a stitch in time saves nine. If you are proactive and give onboarding the attention it needs, you will reap the rewards long-term.

My best,
Claire

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