It Really Is About the Journey: How to Nail The 4 Stages Of Employee On-Boarding



We would imagine most modern businesses are familiar with the concept of customer experience and customer journey mapping. Whether you’ve actually found the time, headspace and inclination to get your flow-chart on is another story!

It is reported that the biggest time for customer churn - the act of swiftly giving up on the journey to head for the safety of home - occurs during the on-boarding phase. The onboarding phase is when customers are moving from the first contact through to using your product or service for the first time and beyond.

It is so important to clearly map out your ideal on-boarding process; using pen and paper, sticky notes or an online tool like LucidChart. This not only ensures that customers are getting all the information they need, but that it is in manageable/consumable pieces and at the right times throughout their journey; as new members of your community. This gives them the best chance of becoming die-hard fans and long-term customers!

We hope you can see how similar this is to the on-boarding of a new employee?! Customers and team members are all people, looking to be guided through the process with as little ambiguity as possible!

Have you considered or updated your on-boarding experience recently? Those first few days, weeks and months (not to mention the recruitment process too) are critical for getting team members up to speed and functioning as contributing members of the squad as quickly as possible.

We popped below the four key stages of employee on-boarding, and what you should be considering at each!

First Impression

Ideally, your brand will be reaching both active candidates (those who are in the market, looking for a new opportunity) and passive candidates (those who are actively looking, yet) so there are a few key questions to reflect on for this phase:

Do your job ads (whether they are through a job board like Seek, or via your social channels) properly represent your business and the culture you want to foster?

Do you have a platform or avenue for sharing your employer brand when you are not actively seeking new talent? For example, do you share about your team member milestones or internal culture via Instagram or LinkedIn?

How do people move from brand-aware to a candidate? Is this clear on your website or in your communications?

Embrace the Churn

Just like a customer journey there is fall out as we get closer to end goal, however usually in a candidate journey the balance of power is in your favor (i.e., you’re the one making the cuts). This is often the first chance that candidates get to ‘look behind the curtain’ (or the curated world you might show on social media) and get a real sense for your business. Through this phase, you can help candidates to self-select by being clear with expectations and cultural standards so they can assess whether these align with their expectations and values.

It is also a great opportunity to make a lasting [positive] impression on every person who flows through your process. Make the “not today’s” your biggest brand champions by giving them a great experience; taking the time to respond to their queries, follow up when you say you will and give them some constructive feedback!

Razzle Dazzle ‘Em

Make their first week one to remember, and brag about to their friends, ensuring any ‘buyers remorse’ is blown out the door. Our top tips for a stellar first week:

Kick-off day 1 before day 1 with a call or text confirming you’re excited for them to join the team, what time they should arrive, anything they need to bring (i.e., “We’ll be having lunch as a team so leave your brown paper bag at home!”) and parking/transport tips!

Share the merch love! If you’ve got some branded collateral - pens, notebooks, or stress balls - pop one of each in a cute little flat lay on their desk that is totally Instaworthy! Everyone loves a little pressie and it will continue to get your brand out to a whole new network!

Do a little bonding – spend some time chatting about things that aren’t work, either over lunch or something a little more anxiety-inducing like rapid-fire ‘this or that’ questions, so that you and the rest of the team can get to know who they are beyond a job title and who their previous employer was!

Be organized! It’s great to see how people cope under the pressure of being thrown in the deep end, but where possible have a plan (even a loose one) of what their first week will look like, with a mix of projects to be completed solo and meetings/shadowing with yourself or other members of the team.

Keep Dating

An employee journey doesn’t end with their first week, month or even probation. And especially if you’ve mapped out a killer intro, you don’t want to let things crash and burn after the confetti has settled.

To keep your newbies engaged as they become your regulars, you must continue to provide them with the information and ‘the romance’ to have them coming back each day and wanting to give, do and be more for your business. Continue to clearly communicate your expectations, which will get easier and quicker over time, and checking in with them about their workload, their goals, any support they require and all those great juicy leadership things!

Throughout the whole journey, you should reflect on this question: How do I best communicate expectations and information throughout this phase of the journey to ensure effectiveness and clarity?

Now go forth and rock their socks off!


Originally published on Club Sandwich Consultants blog.



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