Ensuring That Onboarding Does its Job
CSC’s onboarding process was overwhelming and inconsistent. Using SEE, it developed a more consistent process, enabling new hires to feel comfortable and confident more quickly.
The onboarding process at Community Shares Colorado (CSC) provided new hires with an overwhelming amount of material at the outset, but also excluded key information. As a result, new staff felt it took approximately a year until they could comfortably say they had the skill and competencies required without needing to reference other staff. CSC used SEE to better understand what new hires needed to be effective in their roles, and develop a standard onboarding process that met their needs while not becoming burdensome for managers.
Thinking with SEE
Community Shares Colorado recognized that the confusion generated during onboarding was negatively affecting new staff members’ ability to understand their workplace environment. That undermined their model building efforts and made it more challenging to be effective in navigating the necessary responsibilities.
The Small Experiment
CSC structured and standardized onboarding, enabling them to avoid overloading new hires with information, improve their consistency, condense the timeframe, and facilitate new hires’ understanding of how to move forward and why. They created two onboarding guides – the one for managers was more procedural, while the one for employees had more declarative information to ensure that all the onboarding bases are covered.
As of this writing, CSC has not yet implemented the entire onboarding guides. However, they have gotten some preliminary feedback from staff who said the complete portions were a definite improvement, but noted that it was designed for onboarding long-term staff, rather than short term employees. CSC is expecting to complete the guide and receive new hires in the next few months.
Experiment for Yourself
Consider a formal onboarding procedure, whether that be a written in-person document or online. Think about what information a new hire needs for understanding the organization and the person’s responsibilities. Providing too much or too little information can be equally problematic. Make sure the information is understandable for someone who is not familiar with your situation. Finally, the information needs to be organized so the new hire can readily find answers to questions as they arise.