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All ONBoard – Next Stops: Onboarding and Offboarding

By SRAI News posted 04-13-2023 09:13 AM


All ONBoard – Next Stops: Onboarding and Offboarding

Last month, we prepared for our journey into a new position and discussed what, as an employer, we need to prepare for the arrival of a new employee. We also discussed things to look for if we are in the role of the new employee. This month we are boarding the train and ready to prepare our new employee for the first 90 days of the journey. We will also briefly discuss what to do when the journey comes to an end.

Next Stop: On-board
A similar chart could be compared for onboarding regarding good vs. bad experience. 

Scenario 1 Scenario 2
Training not identified, goals not met, and low productivity Training expectations identified, meets goals, high performer/productivity
No work-life balance Flexibility due to training
No integration into company culture Integration into company culture via employee engagement activities
Negative/low morale due to poor investment in employee Positive morale due to high investment in employee

Questions to ask yourself about the scenarios and their impact on the experience: How was your first 90-days? Do you still want to work for the department or company? Are there any concerns? How do you feel as a new employee? After reviewing the scenarios above, what impression did you give the new employee about the organization? Scenario 1 can leave a new employee feeling negative, discouraged, frustrated, or worthless, while Scenario 2 can leave them feeling positive, motivated, productive, and valued/appreciated.

Below is an outline of things to consider while on-boarding, and should be reviewed before the new hire begins. This is the period of time from day one through the first 30- 60- and 90-days on the job. Ask for feedback from the new hire to assess the impact of the onboarding experience, any impressions of the employee, and if there are points of improvement.

Onboarding Checklist

  • Create an onboarding checklist. This may vary depending on the role and therefore may require different iterations depending on the role.
  • Review the onboarding checklist for any updates or changes before the new hire arrives.
  • Orientation – Welcome and introduction to the department/organization that is general, and not focused on a specific individual. It does not involve training, but covers a higher-level view of policies, benefits, and overall goals. 
  • Introductory email welcoming new hire.
    • Introduction to coworkers, management, or departments. Introduction to management and other departments could occur over the next 30-90 days and is not required to be completed on day one. 
    • Virtual introductions work well for those working from home or in locations that would not allow for in-person meetings. 
    • In-person meetings are best for hybrid workers or those 100% onsite.
    • Involve the new hire and existing employees in welcoming. Encourage other employees to welcome the new hire.
    • Assign new hire to an onboarding “buddy.” This is a peer they can go to with questions and advice.
  • Providing the onboarding checklist to the new hire on day one. This will give them insight into expectations for job performance. Include a schedule of training through the first 30-, 60-, and/or 90-days.

Final Stop: Off-board
Off-boarding when someone resigns is just as important to be prepared for as when someone starts their position. This is the period of time from notification of resignation through the final day on the job. Below are some things to consider as you prepare for someone leaving. 

  • Outline what’s needed to complete the offboarding process. This may vary depending on the role and therefore may require different iterations dependent on the role.
  • Receipt of resignation letter and HR notification.
  • Schedule date for removal from systems, website, access, etc. 
  • If fully remote or hybrid, schedule a date to drop off or ship equipment and supplies for return to the department/organization.
  • Transition plan for workload. 

Is it work having an onboarding document (for pre-, on-, and offboarding)? Absolutely! Onboarding is an experience for the employee and it sets the tone. In Wes Dove’s article, The Benefits of Successful Onboarding, statistics shows that for an employer with an onboarding plan, 69% of employees stay at least the first three years, 58% stay at least three years or more, with 50% retention of employees overall and a 50% increase in productivity. With these numbers, don’t you think it’s worth giving a try?

Read last month's article All ONBoard - First Stop, Pre-boarding.

Authored by Mimi Davis, Grants and Contracts Senior Manager
Duke University

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