This Harvard Business Review article struck me because it's so similar to a topic we just discussed on our Talking Talent podcast. (You can listen to the episode, The First 90 Days: Setting Yourself up for Success with New Hires and Promotions, here.)
Both the authors of this article and our podcast guest, Dana Look-Arimoto, bring up the fact that one of the most difficult parts about starting at a new employer is learning all of the unwritten rules. How do you know who the right stakeholders are? How do you navigate the structure of your organization? What are the unspoken cultural norms?
The fix is simple -- regular, face-to-face contact or if the employee is virtual, over the phone or video chat.
The authors of this article write that not only did starting an onboarding buddies program at Microsoft add that context, it also boosted productivity and employee satisfaction. It was also beneficial for existing employees.
The answer to a strong onboarding program might be more simple than you think. When you give a new hire access to a person or people who can provide information and empower that new hire to ask questions and start conversations, most people can guide their own onboarding process.
Ultimately, we’ve found that successful onboarding doesn’t require an overcomplicated playbook. It’s important to have a multi-dimensional onboarding plan in place, of course, but remember the most important thing a new hire needs for success is support. All it takes is a planful manager and a dedicated onboarding buddy to ensure their new hire has a positive and productive first few months on the job.