Boot Camp Basics: How to Create a Great Onboarding Program
Want to make sure those new employees you’ve worked so hard to recruit get off to a productive start – and stay with your organization long-term?
Turn your orientation process into a boot camp.
Bruce Tulgan at RainMakerThinking has been tracking the impact of the talent war for decades, analyzing data from a wide range of sources to improve hiring, onboarding and retention. In his latest whitepaper, “Winning the Talent War: Building a Winning Culture of Attraction, High-Performance & Retention,” available for download here, Tulgan explains why a “boot camp” approach to onboarding is necessary during prolonged periods of low unemployment.
Here are a few takeaways for improving your onboarding program by making it more structured and disciplined:
- Day one is critical.
New employees almost always walk through your door with a spark of excitement. Make sure you design an onboarding program that pours “gasoline” on that spark to ignite their enthusiasm. Provide the attention, information and support they need to get off to a great start.
- Make onboarding intense.
The Marine Corps does not pay much, and the work is hard and dangerous – yet their washout rate is so low it can hardly be measured! Take a page from their book when revamping your onboarding. While you don’t need obstacle courses and firing ranges, make the experience intense for new hires by: connecting their job to your company’s mission; creating the feeling of shared experience and belonging to a group; providing immediate opportunities for learning; and continually challenging them. Take new employees seriously on day one and every other day after that.
- Sustain that intensity throughout the first month.
Successful onboarding takes weeks, yet many employers deposit new hires into a demoralizing, no-support work environment after just a day or two of orientation. Set new employees up for success by ensuring coworkers and managers provide the ongoing guidance, direction and structure that facilitate their new teammates’ success. The longer you sustain intensity and support from day one, the more value you will get out of your new employees.
Want more practical ideas for winning the talent war?
Improving onboarding is only one way to improve hiring and retention; in his whitepaper Tulgan shares four more ideas you can begin implementing today. For more insights and tips, get the full report.
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