Starting a new job can be stressful as it is exciting. How can organizations help in the transition? The answer is in the onboarding process. More than just saying “Welcome to the team!”, onboarding is composed of a series of steps carefully planned to set the new employee up for success.
What is “onboarding”?
Onboarding is a familiar term in the practice of human resources. It is a strategic and carefully planned process of introducing and integrating a newly hired employee into an organization. The onboarding process is composed of a series of activities that involves HR, managers, and other team members. The purpose of onboarding is to acclimatize newly hired team members. By giving them the resources and tools needed to adapt to their new role, they will be more eager and confident to be effective contributors to success.
Is onboarding the same as employee orientation?
Because orientation and onboarding both help new employees get started in the workplace, it’s understandable why many use them interchangeably. However, they are different from each other. Employee orientation is an initial step in the process of employee onboarding. Onboarding is more comprehensive and in-depth compared to orientation. In terms of duration, an orientation can happen in a day while onboarding can extend to a few weeks to even a whole year.
How long is the onboarding process?
When it comes to deciding how long an employee’s onboarding should be, the answer will depend on the organization. Across industries, there is no uniform duration for onboarding because each company’s needs will vary. It will also depend on the specific role of the individual and the responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.
A lot of companies set their onboarding process for at least one month to a few weeks. For others, onboarding can even last up to one year. While this ensures a thorough process, a new employee can be left feeling overwhelmed. They may also risk not having a sense of connection to the rest of the team members due to the long onboarding process.
Again, there is no standard for the duration. It is up to the business leaders and HR team to gauge the length of onboarding that is most suitable to the employee and the business.
What is the onboarding process like for a newly-hired employee?
An organization’s HR team champions the onboarding process. They take charge of the overall planning and designing of the onboarding process and collaborates with different managers and departments.
Essentially, onboarding begins the moment a candidate signs the job offer. From there, HR begins to establish a relationship anchored on professionalism, trust, and support. Aside from new employee paperwork, onboarding also involves introduction and training on company history, policy, and culture, handbook, and other relevant materials. A thorough discussion of benefits is also essential to let the employees know what the company can offer them. Job training will depend on the specific role and the employee’s manager.
Additionally, onboarding includes tours of the office facility, introduction to business leaders, executives, and other team members. The goal is to equip and empower the new employee to become a confident member of the company.
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