The 6 Biggest Onboarding Mistakes And How To Bypass Them

03/23/2018

Good onboarding has become a relevant decision criterion for many applicants. Be it because the applicant has already had negative experiences with other companies, or because career starters want to get the feeling from the beginning to be actively integrated into the company. Onboarding is well known among HR professionals and there are several ways to set up such a program. Useful checklists for the various phases of the onboarding process can be found here. Likewise, there are many tips on how to design an onboarding on the internet. Today, we take another perspective and focus on the 6 biggest mistakes in onboarding and how to minimize them or, at best, completely bypass them. Let's see those mistakes one-by-one:

1. Complex System Landscapes

The new employee has to find his way around the complex system landscape of the company, which is necessary for his onboarding. Be it for the issue of technical equipment, access cards to buildings, safety instructions, etc. Often, this process is decentralized, has different people in charge, and leads to different points of contact for the new employee.

  • Try to centralize this process internally. If this is not feasible from the infrastructure, then make sure you have a central contact person.

2. One-Day Onboarding

Effective onboarding is a process that lasts for a long time and can not be completed in one day. The new employee should be accompanied, and the training should be done in several steps. This even applies to employees who change positions within the company. Again, the onboarding mistake is to believe that this can be done in one day just because they already know the company and know what to do.

  • Split the onboarding process into different phases. You can already start with a pre-boarding. After the essential orientation phase, a further phase of integration should take place, which also empowers the employee to actively contribute and take on responsibility.

3. Learning Level Independent Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfer in the context of an onboarding is rarely adapted to the level of the new employee. There is no consideration of the individual technical competence as well as practical experience. Instead, new employees have to complete exactly the same training.

  • Try to customize the onboarding and adapt it to the qualification level of the new employee. Offer training or introduction according to different levels of qualification: beginner, advanced, expert.

4. No Targeting

Onboarding usually includes basic company policies and behaviors. However, there is a lack of focus on the specific position and role of the new employee. Many, after onboarding, know neither the long-term business goals nor how they should contribute to their position.

  • Make it clear to the new employee how his position fits into the company, and how he influences the company's success.

5. Missing Measurability

The effort in the onboarding process is difficult to measure in terms of efficiency and also a success. Especially when individual onboarding activities are mapped to specific teams or departments. Extensive onboarding is of course also associated with costs. As a company, you should keep an eye on the ROI and regularly review how it is changing.

  • Try to measure the activities sensibly and make surveys to evaluate the success. This allows you to improve or change ineffective activities and ensure efficiency.

6. Lack Of time Of The HR Manager

Many HR managers need to do the onboarding activities alongside other tasks. As a result, many things are automated as much as possible, thereby shortening individual support. However, this is decisive for the effective training of the new employee.

  • Try to get enough time for the onboarding activity. Here too, the results from point 5 can help to obtain sufficient legitimacy from your supervisor.

If you manage to avoid these 6 onboarding errors, it will immediately have a positive impact on the experience of your new employees and pave the way for successful collaboration. Onboarding should always be integrated into the entire learning development strategy in order to achieve the best effects. eLearning elements can also be used for onboarding to save costs and to digitize certain activities. We advise you to work out the optimal strategy for you, to check it, and to support it with suitable eLearning solutions.

By Patrick Walther

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