Although many people associate the term “onboarding” with training, there is now much more to the onboarding process than merely teaching a new employee how to do their job. The onboarding process has expanded to include making a new hire feel welcome to the company and part of the organization’s culture, something which Cyberbacker VP Theresa Coo is quite familiar with.
The traditional onboarding process for new hires is a short company-wide “new employee” orientation (often just one day, but typically no more than two or three) before they are directed to their departments for training. This process is like throwing a toddler into the water to teach them how to swim. Although employees might eventually be able to keep themselves above water, they will struggle more than if they had the proper amount of guidance.
Coo found that the core inadequacy of the onboarding process was its inability to properly disseminate information.“ We found that, after the traditional onboarding process, people still have questions because they aren’t getting enough information or guidance when they first join the company,” she says. “We realized that we needed to do more to ensure that people in the company are aware of these things, hence the creation of the 100-day onboarding process.”
How the 100-day onboarding process addresses onboarding’s inadequacies
The goal of this extended onboarding process is to provide more and longer support to new hires. “A 100-day onboarding process allows us to give new hires the information they need in small pieces, rather than just dumping it all in one go,” Coo explains. Dumping a substantial amount of information on a new employee on the first day is not only detrimental to their understanding, but also their long-term retention in the company.
For Coo and the Cyberbacker team, one of the most important aspects of this 100-day onboarding process is time to work with new hires one-on-one. “We schedule five 20-minute one-on-one sessions with each new hire, spread across their first 100 days at the company,” says Coo. “We meet during their first week, second week, 30th day, 60th day, and 90th day to touch base and understand how to best support them. These sessions focus on how they are adjusting to their role, talking about the challenges they face, and gathering the support they need to succeed.”
However, perhaps the most important part of these one-on-one sessions is helping new hires set goals and expectations. “Adjusting to a new company can be difficult, particularly if they are working a different shift, in a different culture, or have to embrace some other drastic change,” says Coo. “We provide the resources our Cyberbackers need to help them adjust and become properly immersed in their new roles, and an essential part of that is creating actionable goals.”
How a longer onboarding process benefits businesses
Business leaders should also consider the onboarding process as an opportunity to receive valuable feedback. New hires come into the organization from various backgrounds and perspectives. They may be able to see something that you as a leader may not have been privy to. “The 100-day onboarding process allows us to gather data on how to improve our current processes and help lessen attrition in the company,” Coo explains. “This feedback is also forwarded to the proper divisions in the company, so they can adjust and improve accordingly.”
Coo also hopes to remind business leaders that everyone in the company should be involved in the onboarding process. “After the onboarding process, each team member should understand how each part of the organization plays a role in the success of the organization and the individual,” she asserts. “Onboarding goes beyond the trainers and coaches — it also involves the accounting team to set up compensation, the recognition team to explain benefits, and more.”
The most important thing for business leaders to remember is that people are the ultimate asset of the company. Time and money spent on the onboarding process are not wasted, but an investment in the future of the company. A longer onboarding process offers several benefits, not just for the new hires, but also for the company and its leaders. The result of this process is employees that tend to be more immersed and engaged within the organization.