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  • Writer's pictureAnushruti

‘Flap’ your way to a smoother Onboarding Experience

The phenomenon ‘butterfly effect’ explains that a small change in initial conditions can lead to vastly different outcomes down the line. The concept imagines a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon. A flapping wing represents the minuscule changes in an ecosystem, and these changes compound as a model progresses. And the exponential growth of errors in the model lead to deterministic chaos.

Though this model points out that we can therefore never be extremely accurate in our prediction of outcomes, it does prove that small events that act on starting conditions, serve as catalysts in strongly changing the course of outcome.

Reports suggest that most of the employees make decisions about staying or leaving the organization within the first three months of their joining. It is no coincidence that the initial experience has a strong bearing on their perception about the career growth in the organization and hence the stickiness. Thus, to alter the plan of these new recruits prematurely heading for the exits, organizations have to give greater attention to how they convert attractive job candidates into successful longer-term employees.

We need to utilize this period to create a positive impression that would stay with the recruit for the entire duration of their careers and help align them to the business goals. A smooth onboarding process ensures an employee that is engaged and one that starts contributing early.

Most of us remember our induction process as a series of sessions on company history, policies, compliance and procedures etc. and may be coupled with some reading materials. It is safe to say that each of us felt overwhelmed with the loads of information thrown at us. Not something we were looking forward to. Following are few things we can try implementing to achieve an instructive onboarding experience:

  • Start early. Reduce the ‘first day stress’ of the new hires by an e-welcome before the first day itself: Experiment by creating an e-interface to clear doubts on what all to expect on the first day, an e-tour of office campus, share company videos on personal experiences and more.

  • Newbies want to know what their ‘career path’ would look like in the organization. They crave to understand what's expected of them and what they need to do to progress. Try throwing in more personal stories of the leader’s journey in the organization.

  • In the initial stages of their career, ‘learning and growth’ is what employees are looking for. Ensure this period is well structured with multiple cross-functional assignments, training and forums to showcase their ideas.

  • Once the newbies join their teams, getting sufficient time from their bosses is another daunting task. Help the boss ‘plan’ the first few weeks for them. It should include discussions on their individual goals and assessment criteria, time blocked for the discussion on progress and feedback.

  • If new employees immediately know ‘why’ their work is important and their impact, they are more likely to be productive and focused. Ensure that onboarding paints a clear picture of how the team goals and work will impact the top and bottom line of the organization.

  • A ‘pat on the back’ in initial stages of careers helps instil confidence. Ensure you celebrate their initial wins, no matter how small they are.

By understanding the extent of derailment from the expected outcome that a ‘flapping’ in an onboarding process can cause, we should focus on creating this experience: a precious one for our hires. The traditional goal of simply having people enrolled, needs to shift towards creating memorable moments for them as a good on-boarding not only results in low attrition and lower turnover costs but also increases the average productivity.

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