What onboarding actually means

Onboarding is generally known as having the technology organised and a welcome hamper ready for the first day. Possibly a few check-in meetings in the first month.

Onboarding is more than a welcome hamper. It should be based around people and relationships.

In fact, onboarding, is a person-centred strategic approach that helps the person be as effective as possible, as quickly as possible, with minimal stress. It should be about:

  • Relationships
  • Relationships
  • Relationships

Onboarding for an employee

By the time you start

  1. Consume as much as possible that is in the public domain to understand what is being said about the organisation, what assumptions you can gain from this and what you can learn about the organisation. By the time you start, you should have a well-rounded viewpoint. When you start, you can validate your point of view and learn further. You can also ask poignant questions to your hiring manager or board and you can focus on building trust with your stakeholders.
  2. Inevitably, not everyone welcomes you to your new role. It is important to take personality out of the equation and see the job. You need to anticipate resistance and conflict and look at ways you can build relationships with stakeholders and do the job effectively.
  3. Based on your research during the recruitment process and other sources, use what have you learned about your hiring manager and the organisation, to identify potential key challenges/priorities. Draw out a few questions and assumptions of your top priorities and then ask your manager if you have the right priorities. This opens the conversation and drives the agenda, removing any ego or insecurity.

Onboarding for an organisation

  1. Within the first month, arrange for the person to meet all the key stakeholders and have it organised in their diary before they start.
  2. Have a separate meeting with HR to learn about the culture of the organisation and any other aspects that are important for them to know.
  3. Know your priorities for the position and give a reasonable amount of time for the person to deliver.

The onboarding stage is critical. Even more critical is getting the onboarding strategy people-centred.

What can you do to make that person as effective as possible, as quickly as possible, without stressing people out in the process?

Over the years, we have seen many excellent leaders transition into new roles. Some have flourished during the onboarding and others, to be honest, struggled. And they didn’t realise the impact this struggle would have on their relationships and reputation.

Onboarding is essential. Take time to get it right.

We have created a complimentary onboarding service within in our executive search and recruitment services. We provide four executive coaching sessions with our executive coach expert Josianne Robb, supporting them to have a successful transition during the onboarding. This means they can be effective, fast.

Hunton Executive can help you transition successfully into your new role, supporting employees and employers throughout the onboarding stage. 

Contact us to learn more about our onboarding coaching service.


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