Really, who cares? I suppose many do not. I know many companies do not onboard effectively and seem to keep their doors open. I know many companies that say they onboard, but do an abysmal job at it. They too seem to be still schlepping soap products or selling mattresses or building software regularly.
However, if you have a workforce that wants to be purposeful, if your company focused on attracting the best candidates for your current culture, if you are going to lower turnover, if you know that great experiences for candidates translate to great experiences for employees, if you want to create a culture of alignment that values clarity, communication, transparency, and agility, onboarding is important.
Why would you choose not to attempt to onboard effectively?
If you think a lack of resources is a reasonable justification for skipping a focused onboarding program, you are wrong – or perhaps lazy. Or maybe you would prefer to spend more time recruiting all the employees you continuously replace because they decided quickly your organization hasn’t measured up to the hype they heard during their interview process.
Why This Is On My Mind
I recently started a new job for a small, yet mighty recruiting consulting company. I am more than midway through my career, as are many of the others on the team. I have been through many onboarding processes. I assume it would have been very easy to skip a formal onboarding process and have me roll with it, considering my experience. Despite that, my new leader knew better and put me through the paces.
It worth every minute of time, money, and energy. More importantly than any of the financial stats shared earlier, it made me feel valued. It proved the company and every team member was committed to my success. It settled the ground beneath my feet by providing clarity, support, and productivity tools.
The process validated me as a person a professional and my decision to change my life by accepting this job. The process most importantly began to build trust, the foundation of any successful team.
Talent Leader, you can absolutely succeed without investing in onboarding. But it is a little like buying a car without seat belts. You may get from point A to point B, but your passengers may quickly determine the ride just is not worth it – or safe for their career.
Dawn Burke, Sr. Consultant for Recruiting Toolbox and founder/advisor for Dawn Burke HR, is an HR leader, speaker, and writer specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture. Her HR/recruiting/leadership career has spanned the last 20 years, with past gigs including a foundational role as VP of People for Birmingham, AL’s award-winning technology company, Daxko (And yes, Kris Dunn and Dawn are making Bham the HR capital of the world! Who knew?). You can also check her out at DawnHBurke.com and a variety of other interesting places. Google her, it’ll keep you posted on what she is up to.
Most importantly: She is addicted to TV, knows most of the lyrics to Hamilton and West Side Story, loves to cry at movies (check out Cinema Paradiso for a cry fest!), thinks wine, a wheel of Brie and Milk Duds make a well-balanced dinner, and sings in her car daily. Her husband and cat are the Yin to her Yang.