September 2019 Newsletter – Investing in New Employees: Effective Onboarding Experiences – Creating an Effective Onboarding Schedule

According to a survey conducted by Allied HR IQ, it takes an average of 8 months for a new employee to become fully productive in their new position.

However, a different study discovered that only 37% of companies hold onboarding activities after the first month.

Consider that gap for a moment.  It typically takes 8 months to become productive, but intentional onboarding support stops after one month. Perhaps you can image the level of frustration and lack of support new employees may feel after the first month. This is especially true if the underlying message is, “It’s been a month; you should know what you are doing now.”

To create an effective onboarding schedule, reflect on the topics that you need to cover for your specific program.  Identify the things that new employees need to know about immediately. Determine the information that you need to receive from the employee early on. These are going to become elements of your orientation program. 

Everything else becomes part of the remainder of the onboarding process, which could stretch for the employees first year of employment.  For example, employees need to be familiar with the evacuation procedures on day one; this is part of orientation. Employees do not need to know all of the details of the assessment system that your program uses on the first day. This is a topic to include in your schedule for later in the onboarding process, perhaps during month two or three, after the employee has gotten to know the children and families. 

Create a schedule that lays out when each topic will be introduced, practiced, and reviewed.  Adult learners benefit from hands-on practice and relevance.  They need to be introduced to a topic at a time when the information in relevant to their experience. An obvious example would be introducing family style dining during a meal or snack. After introducing the topic, provide modeling and allow the employee multiple opportunities to practice the skill. 

Observe the employee and provide specific and strength-based feedback so that the employee is clear on the expectations and how their performance compares to those expectations.

It might seem like this will take a lot of time and you would be correct – this is an investment of time and effort into the success of your new employee, but it is worth it!  Utilize the other leaders in your program to help you. Delegate onboarding responsibilities to other staff members. This will empower them and sharpen their skills as well. 

For the main article Investing in New Employees: Effective Onboarding Experiences, CLICK HERE

For the article Statistics about Onboarding, CLICK HERE

For the article Elements of Onboarding, CLICK HERE

For the article Strategies for Effective Onboarding, CLICK HERE