Monday, December 5, 2011

New Employees May Need to “Onboard” Themselves

“Onboarding” is a term many companies use to describe the process of integrating new employees. It goes beyond the basics of “employee orientation,” which often refers to helping new employees sign up for benefits, set up computer access, meet a few key people, etc. Onboarding is broader than orientation and designed to help new employees gain a deeper understanding of the company, its culture, and how the employee’s role fits into the organization. The ultimate goal of onboarding is to help the new employee achieve productivity as soon as possible. Where orientation typically lasts a few days, onboarding is a process that extends several weeks or even months.

Many employees—perhaps even you—have experienced the “sink or swim” approach that results from the absence of an onboarding process to help foster success. Next time you start a new job where an employer isn’t proactive about onboarding you, take the initiative yourself.

Here are some steps you can follow to help onboard yourself:
  • Ask for tools and resources necessary to do your job.
  • Within the first few days of starting your job, schedule a meeting with your manager to set short-term and annual goals, as well as expectations for your role.
  • When possible, review pertinent materials before you start, especially those that will help ramp you up on company initiatives, client business strategies, goals, or projects.
  • Request meetings with internal subject matter experts early in your employment so that you can obtain background information on topics relevant to your role. Often, your manager or another department representative can arrange this in advance of your start date.
  • Ask who will be training you. At the very least, ask to have access to someone who can help acclimate you and answer questions related to your role.
  • Go out of your way to introduce yourself, promote conversation, and forge relationships in the early months of your employment, particularly if you can gain further insight into the company, key players, and your role.

No comments:

Post a Comment