Where does onboarding begin?
It should begin from the moment a new employee accepts and returns their contract. Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into an organisation and familiarising them with your product or service. It is also known as ‘organisation socialisation’. It refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills & behaviours in order for them to become effective team members, or, ‘insiders’.
If we focus on the concept of onboarding being about the person’s integration into their new business, we need to make every effort to make them feel part of the business before their start date.
Regular communication, keeping them informed and in the loop with key project milestones will help your new employee already feel part of it all. The time in-between the contract signing and your employee officially starting is a critical period and it is in this period that their integration into the business should begin.
Involve them in team meetings, or business socials. Assist them by giving them the opportunity to form colleague relationships ahead of their start date. Not only will this benefit the new employee but it will also enable their team members to familiarise themselves with their new colleague. The new employee will immediately build a sense of organisation, the team, and the culture. This way, when the start date does come around the new person will already feel integrated and begin to deliver on their role at a much more efficient rate than without this interaction. They will have already found their feet and feel comfortable in getting stuck in.
Knowing a bit about how things work, who does what, and how they fit into the business from before their start date will make the transition into their new position so much easier – by considering a new person’s integration into the business at this early stage will save you time in the long run and make for a happy, confidently settled team.