Posted: 2nd March 2021

Employee Onboarding, sort of…

Article by: Nigel Tyler
Course Contributor

Recently I was speaking with a senior design engineer who is working for Honda in Tokyo, he was telling me that he has been working from home since early 2020 and had now been informed other than one half-day a week, he will not be returning to an office environment at all.

Now we could make an assumption that as it was Japan who led the world in productivity and manufacturing innovations over recent times (Lean Manufacture for example) then it may be safe to assume that the rest of the World is likely to adopt permanent home working where ever practicable!

Following on from the above then it appears that it will become the norm to onboard new starters remotely, this assumably also follows on from remote interviews, so the potential for employing an unsuitable worker is increased because no matter how good the current suite of remote working applications is, they are not a substitute for face to face (mask to mask) interactions.

Maybe the goal of on-boarding is not only to help new hires acclimatise to the social and professional expectations of their new work environment so that they can proceed comfortably and effectively in their roles but also help confirm that the employee is a good fit with your business.

So how effective are the current methods of remote training and are they suitable for use with the On-boarding process?  I have seen and experienced a myriad of E-Learning rollouts within more than one Blue-Chip company, that are clearly there as a “box-ticking” exercise for the training department rather than as a benefit to employees’ learning. Some examples of these training courses were a Driver Awareness course that allows you to drive a vehicle on company business, to the full training on how to use a SAP system, which is quite a key element to running a complex business.

My question is, should there be a difference in the delivery method of these two diverse training requirements and where does On-boarding sit in this scenario? Ok, so maybe Driver Awareness E-Learning with a decent interactive element just about cuts the mustard but the SAP training fell way short of the mark. As a famous character from the original Star Trek series once stated “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. This statement particularly applied to the SAP training, if you did not already have a decent awareness of SAP or a similar ERP system then the E-Training offered was woefully inadequate even though you were able to tick all the relevant boxes.

This also applies to all remote training, not just On-boarding, however, the key to the start of a new role is the initial introduction received post job acceptance. If this is a bad experience or perhaps the learning style of the employee is not adequately covered within the on-boarding program, then you have potentially created a situation where a new employee doesn’t enjoy their first few days within your business and this may have a detrimental effect for the remainder of their time spent with the company.

The solution is not to train for training sake, just to complete your annual review checklist but to train to fill an identified need, delivering effective training, including remote on-boarding.

Now, I am not trying to tell anyone how to on-board a new employee, there are plenty of guides available on LinkedIn and Google that confuse and contradict, I am however suggesting that the people who are going to provide on-boarding, are suitably trained and experienced and more importantly understand and care about what happens once the box has been ticked!  And that’s where we come in; contact Crescente today for advice and support with onboarding and developing your people: 01225 344 981  |  hello@crescente.co.uk