Managers often worry about putting in too much time to onboard employees. They’re tempted to throw new team members into the deep end: “After putting all this effort into hiring, I still need to make time for onboarding?”
But the data shows: employees who go through structured onboarding are 58% more likely to stay for three years. Even if you find someone with the right skills and knowledge for a role, they still need to adjust to how things are done in your organization, and they will need guidance.
Consider these two scenarios:
We suggest that every organization and team of managers discuss two crucial questions in-depth around onboarding:
Below we’ll provide a few pointers on how to think about these questions. Our full onboarding toolkit, with templates and activities, is on Village Capital’s talent resource center.
The first crucial question to think through is: What space you need to create for a new employee to perform?
Good questions to help you plan your approach are:
The second crucial question is: As an organization, how can you make the best of the probation period?
The probation period is not simply about the employee proving themselves. When the probation period ends, you want to be able to say a wholehearted “Yes, this is a great fit!” or a determined “Unfortunately it’s a ‘no’, and we are sure because we tried everything”.
This is a crucial responsibility managers hold. Take intentional action to avoid painful onboarding traps like unclear expectations (“Well, I thought I was supposed to…”), delay in support and resources (“Actually, I asked several times for xyz and I didn’t get it, so I honestly think that the low project results can’t be blamed on me”), or talking only when things are not working.
Here are some ways you can maximize the probation period.
Set clear expectations:
Offer resources and support
Provide regular reviews and timely feedback