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by Randall Craig on January 11, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Management, Motivational, New Job, Retention

Tagged as: , , ,

No, it has nothing to do with Airline strategy. When you start a new job, honeymoon period. Then reality sets in. Employees will either thrive (good hire), disengage (walking dead), or become journeymen (consistently average work.) What can we do to improve employee engagement, reduce start-up stress, and improve retention?

The concept of “onboarding” refers to the process of processing new employees. Not just the administrative forms, but also giving them an orientation on their first day, ensuring their computers and phones are working etc. Organizations have been doing this for years, and most sophisticated organizations are… sophisticated. But what about those activities that happen after the employee signs their contract, but before their first day on the job? I call this the concept of “preboarding”.  At this point, they’re keen. They’re a bit unsure, as it is a new environment and they don’t want to fail. And because of this, they are very open to anything that will help them achieve success.

To open the door for preboarding activities, the preboarder should sign a non-disclosure agreement during the interview process. Preboarding activities can include:

1) Sending orientation documentation.
2) Including the preboarder in staff social activities, company-wide kick-offs, and any other major events, if they are planned.
3) HR Paperwork, along with the instructions to bring them in completed on the first day. Or send them in.
4) Intranet access, so that the preboarder can learn more about the internal information structure: where information can be found.
5) Sending specific documents to review, such as Business plans, presentations, catalogs, etc.
6) Asking the preboarder directly if there is anything else that the organization can help them with before they start, to make their onboarding more effective.

If a new employee starts with the right trajectory, there is a direct impact on motivation, productivity, and ultimately, retention. Recognizing that this starts during the recruitment process, and continues through preboarding can make this happen.

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Randall Craig

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