On Friday we began to explore onboarding and continuous onboarding with Debasis Dutta, VP and General Manager, Products at SumTotal. Today we’ll look at a few more answers to questions like when should onboarding stop, and how is the field of onboarding evolving?
Recruiting Daily Advisor: When should onboarding stop?
Dutta: Onboarding never stops. It is a continuous process to keep the workforce motivated, engaged and productive.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: What are some unfortunate onboarding processes that companies should cease?
Dutta: The problem with many onboarding programs today is that they are inflexible. Employers need to be able to cater to five generations, each of which brings their perspective to the team.
Organizations need to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach – which is mostly what is happening – and create a flexible program. Onboarding programs typically take about 28 days. However, it takes people about eight months to become effective in a position.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: Is the field of onboarding evolving? How?
Dutta: Yes, it needs to continuously evolve to cater to the multi-generational needs and technology disruptions of the time. Instructor-led training for some industries need to move to a more gamified onboarding program to encourage participation, attention to detail and effectiveness through retention of information using gaming principles.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: How does onboarding change with company size?
Dutta: The principles of onboarding do not change with company size but formalize, and a thorough onboarding program helps larger organizations to scale up their onboarding compliance towards a productive workforce.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: Does onboarding, or continuous onboarding for that matter, have to be costly?
Dutta: Onboarding does not need to be costly. The first-time cost of setting up tools and process for continuous onboarding might be high, but the gains that it brings to the organization regarding an engaged workforce is multi-fold.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: Does anyone other than HR factor into onboarding? If so, how?
Dutta: Yes, there are several key stakeholders that play a critical role in successful continuous onboarding, from support functions to direct managers to peers to executives to mentors. Executive touchpoints – welcome meet & greet, regular town halls, occasional alumni meetings as well as the mentor and coaches play a significant role in workforce engagement.
Recruiting Daily Advisor: How important is off-boarding and can it influence employee retention?
Dutta: By unifying critical learning, talent, and HR processes to drive engagement and speed time to capability, companies can retain talent at a significantly improved rate. Not only does a solid onboarding program increase employee retention, but it makes employees more engaged, skilled and aware that they are in a role that offers them a career. Rather than leaving a welcome pack on the desk, organizations need to think about the bigger picture, ensuring that they are doing everything they can to retain the talent walking through the door.