New employees should be able to onboard themselves at their own pace, on their own device, in their own preferred location. It serves as an engaging exercise for new employees while hopefully saving the human resources department some work. The most important reason to let new hires onboard themselves is that it allows them to ease into the workplace in a manner that is most comfortable for them.
Ease Into The Water
While many of us have been entrenched in our jobs for years, those fresh college graduates and the many adults who are changing jobs or careers mid-stream are in quite an uncomfortable position.
Nobody likes being the new guy. Yet if the new guy gets to assimilate to his new work environment at his own pace, on his own platform and at his own preferred location, he will be much more likely to stick with his new employer.
If you do decide to let new employees onboard themselves, make it crystal clear that you and other employees will always be available to tend to questions and concerns. This way, the new hires won’t feel frazzled and be tempted to walk out of the building due to concerns, nerves or frustration.
Ideally, you will be able to offer the new hires consistent feedback and ask them to evaluate their transition process after the first week or so. Document each review so that you can analyze the feedback in a detailed manner at a later date.
While some might scoff at the idea of a new employee onboarding himself, it should be known that most people prefer autonomy compared to direction provided from the top down. The introductory phase is such a critical phase for new hires.
A 2013 Aberdeen study of 230 organizations shows that 90 percent of companies believe that new hires make the decision to leave or stay within the first year. Of special importance is the first day and the initial couple of weeks.
Oftentimes, the manner in which an onboarding buddy treats a new hire determines his fate. Don’t run the risk of one of your employees doing something to put off a new hire who you had pegged as a future superstar.
Maintain an Onboarding Structure
Simplify the onboarding process by building a system that lets employees help themselves comfortably embed themselves within the organization. If you aren’t available as a consistent resource, establish a “go-to” person for each new employee to consult with in the event that he experiences a problem.
While the idea of letting an employee onboard himself might seem counter-intuitive, it will teach employees to become self-reliant, proactive leaders with refined professional and social skills.
Start building an autonomous onboarding system here.
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