The 6 critical steps of onboarding and how to implement them
Why generational shifts in the workplace require you to revamp your new employee orientation
How Southern California Edison successfully transformed its new employee orientation into an effective platform for navigating organizational culture and boosting employee engagement
The biggest mistake a company can make when onboarding talented, energetic employees into an organization is to cram hours of mind-numbing employment information into their new employee orientation. And yet, this is exactly what many new hires, arriving enthusiastic and ready to work, must endure during their first week on the job with a new employer. New employee orientations are dumping grounds for compliance. Every department wants to shove as much information about employment, benefits, diversity, and safety as possible into the time allotted. The result is a jam-packed session of PowerPoints, handouts and talking heads. Instead of reaffirming an employee’s decision to take the job, and welcoming him or her into the culture, the company unintentionally creates a finger wagging session that leaves new hires weary and dispirited.
New employee orientations play a critical role in building organizational savvy and helping employees connect to and navigate company culture. This can be done effectively, by off-lining administrative information from the orientation and instead using the time to educate new hires on corporate history and culture and to help them establish bonds with their peers and others in the organization.
Angela Chang, Learning & Leadership Development Manager at Southern California Edison and Amy Hirsh Robinson, Onboarding Expert and Principal at the Interchange Group, provide best practices, using Southern California Edison as a case study, for designing orientation and onboarding programs that accelerate business performance, organizational change and talent retention.
An effective New Employee Orientation (NEO) ensures the engagement, retention and acculturation of new employees. It also serves as a crucial lever to attaining cultural transformation in an organization. If your company has embarked on a culture change or recognizes that the culture (and consequently, the behaviors and attitudes of employees) must change to drive better business results, it is best to focus on employees at the beginning of their tenure, when they are most impressionable. It is during these first days, weeks and months with a new employer that employees decide whether they will be champions of change within the company, become disgruntled and leave, or stay and become toxic by upholding the “old” culture.