Some organizations do a great job helping employees get started in a new role. In other companies, people don’t even have clear job descriptions, so the on-boarding process is a little bit like being thrown into a salad spinner.
In a recent article entitled Three Keys to Effective On-Boarding, Madeleine Homan-Blanchard, cofounder of Coaching Services at The Ken Blanchard Companies identifies three ways managers can help new employees (or existing ones in new roles) get off to a fast start.
- Explain the local culture. There are many subcultures at play in any organization, and it’s the manager’s responsibility to explain how this particular team operates. Whether managers share it formally or informally, the existing culture and values need to be made extremely clear to new people.
- Share expectations. A second strategy that Homan-Blanchard recommends to speed up the individual on-boarding process is for managers to spell out very clearly what the expectations are for the new employee. This gives new people a sense of safety because they know exactly what they are dealing with and what they will be evaluated on.
- Map relationships. Finally, Homan-Blanchard recommends that managers help people understand who the people are inside and outside of the department that they can go to for help if they need it. As she explains, “Many times this won’t be obvious on the organizational chart so it is very beneficial for a manager to say, ‘It might look like these three people are the ones to go to for that type of question—but if you really want to get this done here’s the person you want to talk to.’”
With a little extra time at the beginning of the process, managers can help eliminate some of the “deer in the headlight” hesitancy and confusion that trips up a lot of people when they first start a new role.
To learn more about Homan-Blanchard’s advice for getting people off to a fast start in your organization read Three Keys to Effective On-Boarding. Also check out a free webinar that Homan-Blanchard will be conducting on August 17, On-Boarding: How to Shorten Ramp-up Times for Employees