I know that there are no “best practices” in new hire development, also known as onboarding, as each organization is unique and often rather complex. However, there are some practices that could make onboarding better in certain contexts. I’ve looked at several examples and am very interested in unique practices (outliers) beyond the corporate norm.
I’d appreciate any unique examples if you can share them.
Reference: Onboarding bookmarks on Diigo
Here are some of the key themes that I found about onboarding programs across many organizations.
Personal, dedicated coaching for each new hire (Capital One, Nokia).
Connecting each new hire to to key contacts in the organization (Capital One, Nokia). Note that Nokia will even pay for new hires to travel to other locations to meet their key contacts and co-workers.
Ensuring new hires understand the shadow or informal part of the organization through the use of tools such as network maps (Jon Katzenbach, Senior Partner of Booz & Company, author of The Wisdom of Teams).
Pairing with another worker or even tripling with two experienced workers and getting to work immediately, in order to reduce formal training (Menlo Innovations)
Two actions that can begin even before a formal offer is made:
- Providing access to an online knowledge base.
- Connecting to an internal social network to connect online & ask questions.
Embedding collaboration from the start by co-developing an individualized new hire program.
Giving time for new hires to just look around and talk to people (Semco SA; New Seasons Market)
Having weekly/monthly new hire welcome breakfasts, lunches & Happy Hours which all managers attend.
Other common qualities of good programs are that they are – informal; extend over time (up to 2 years in some cases); and involve active participation by supervisors/managers
Some companies, like Zappos, will pay people ($2,000) to leave after onboarding, so that only motivated workers stay.