19 Feb 2018

Onboarding Done Well


At the start of the year we recruited a new Client Services Co-ordinator at Instep; Kirsty. The reason for recruitment is to cover the role during a staff member’s maternity leave (mine!).

So, at the end of 2017 and early this year, I began the process of building Kirsty’s plan to onboard her to all things Instep. Onboarding is something that every company needs to have in place and, to give the new employee the best welcome and best ‘onboarding’ experience, needs to be done well.

However, it is also an area of any recruitment where many of us struggle, perhaps for several reasons:

  • 1.It’s time consuming
  • 2.Onboarding, by default, distracts you from your own workload and priorities while you train and equip a new employee
  • 3.It can be seen as a ‘drain on resources’ as you look to engage the new recruit with the wider team and business areas

But, this stage is not only necessary, it’s crucial, and a new employee’s future with your business can depend on the success of those first few weeks. When done well, it’s not just the new staff member who reaps the benefits!

So, what does successful onboarding look like?

  • Make the new starter feel welcomed to the organisation, and that they want to be part of it
  • Quickly engage and motivate them to give 100% commitment to their new job
  • Reassure them that they have made the right decision to join your company
  • Excite them about the opportunities and their future career
  • Provide all the information that they need to make these things happen, in a way that is meaningful to them.

So, back to us and Kirsty… Kirsty is in her fifth week with us and is enjoying her new role, opportunities and the new world of training and development at Instep.

What have we done well?

What have we learnt?

And what can we do better the next time we bring on a new member of staff?

What have we done well?

Kirsty has absolutely felt welcome! Following the card and flowers, I ensured her first week was full of meetings and calls with the Instep team to say hello in the first instance and introduce their role and remit. We introduced her to the wider team of trainers, based across the UK, via our internal newsletter. It’s been great to hear them picking up the phone to say ‘Hi’ or sending in a welcome email.

As well as an introduction to her specific role, we made sure she knew where her role fitted in the bigger Instep picture; we engaged her quickly with the people and the process. This role is a central one and many others rely on us getting our bit in the process right; so, a bigger picture understanding has really helped Kirsty to take ownership of the role and her training.

What have we learnt?

Reminds you of the great work you do

The onboarding process does remind you of one thing which we can sometimes forget in the day-to-day – that our company is a brilliant one and the work we do is excellent!

During her first few weeks, Kirsty has been amazed at what we do, how we do it, our commitment to our clients and our attitude towards continuously improving what we do. It’s a pleasant and timely reminder for anyone in an organisation of why we choose to work where do. I have waxed lyrical about Instep to Kirsty, our values and how the team feels like one team and each team member is valued for who they are and not just the job they do – and I have genuinely meant every word!

Onboarding is a Team Effort

A great onboarding experience is a team – and organisation’s – responsibility. Often, we leave this to the immediately responsible person; the line manager or someone in the same role. While this responsibility does sit heavily with these people, for a new staff member to truly become embedded and engaged in an organisation, it takes a wider team to do this. All around the team there will be a wealth of knowledge and experience – and friendship! It would be a waste to not tap into these resources.

Kirsty has enjoyed time with many different team members at Instep; generating her own awareness of roles, company history and values, as well as allowing her to begin forming her own working relationships – all of which are paramount to her successfully becoming part of the Instep team quickly.

What can we do better?

Instep prides itself on continuous improvement – there’s always something to ‘make shinier’! Onboarding is no different. So far, Kirsty is getting a well-rounded experience of Instep and is completing her training of our systems, processes and ways of working.

But we can still do more. Training Kirsty has put our procedures to the test; making sure they’re easily understood and utilised by anyone and don’t assume prior knowledge. It has highlighted to us where we have perhaps grown a little complacent and need to sharpen up.

There’s nothing like a fresh pair of inquisitive eyes pouring over the activity of a team or business and asking the curious questions to make you think about why and how we do what we do! Welcome the questions; they may lead to a brilliant innovation!

Hold Up the Mirror – Can We Help?

Onboarding new staff successfully for any and every business is key. We have worked with some clients to help them design their own Induction Programmes, but sometimes there’s nothing like holding the mirror up to yourself and see how well you do at the same time.

If you would like to discuss your Induction Programme or get that ‘fresh pair of inquisitive eyes’ to make sure what you have is current, sharp and fit for purpose, please get in touch with us – Kirsty is waiting to take your enquiry!