Why onboarding is not induction

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Written by Adam Reynolds on 5 February 2018 in Opinion

Adam Reynolds follows up a recent webinar with some good insight into onboarding. 

I joined Paul Matthews and Liam Butler on the panel of Training Journal’s January webinar to discuss onboarding and how and if ‘learning and development can support new arrivals to deliver immediate performance’.

One key learning that came from the webinar was one point about ‘although they may overlap and compliment each other ultimately an induction is not onboarding’: this was raised because it's one of the most common mistakes businesses make and as a result often costs them good people.

Onboarding should start as soon as the offer has been made, it’s the pre-induction, the process of emotionally connecting the new employee to the culture, company and process. This pre-first day platform is essential in order for the employee to feel engaged and comfortable within the organisation before they start to deliver and perform.

It’s also the perfect point to collect information and distribute key information about the role and organisation. All new starters will be nervous and excited and everyone reiterated that it’s fundamental to encourage and act upon the positive feelings so they feel their decision to join the new organisation was one for the better.

Research has found almost eight in ten (79%) of new employees agreed that they would have settled into their new role much more quickly had there been a better onboarding process.

It’s fundamental to encourage and act upon the positive feelings so [new employees] feel their decision to join the new organisation was one for the better.

This area provides the critical touch points ahead of the first day, enabling them to engage with their new team, read all necessary documents and find out who they should ask for upon arrival, where they will spending lunch - all the simple yet worrisome areas that plague a new starter. 

Without a good onboarding process, four months is the average time global office workers have said it took for them to feel settled and happy with what was expected of them after starting in their current job.

This highlights the necessity for a commitment to ongoing development and support of a new starter through onboarding, building through the induction and continuously improving in the months after.

Once onboarding has successfully integrated the employee into their first week, the induction period is introduced. The initial guidance and intel has been provided prior to the first day, so the business can then build upon these foundations and give the new starter the coaching, mentoring and one-to-one time that an online training system cannot.

Paul Matthews from People Alchemy made an important point of how it all boils down to what you want your new starter to go home and say on their first day.

Therefore, if everything is smooth-sailing from the moment they accept their new contract to the first team lunch, and the training and support they receive then the new starter is likely to be a lot more engaged and settled and ready to start delving into the business aims and objectives.

For more statistics about onboarding download the webonboarding report for free here

Watch the January webinar about onboarding here.


About the author

Adam Reynolds is CEO of webonboarding.


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