Onboarding Employees? Make Sure to Advance their Career

What is onboarding? Sometimes confused with orientation, onboarding is an exhaustive process involving management and other employees that can last up to 12 months. It’s part of the lifecycle of transferring talents and the reality of the global mobility world.

Onboarding is important as a Gallup study points to the correlation between engaged employees and a company’s profitability, turnover rate, safety record, absenteeism, product quality, and customer ratings.

An effective onboarding plan offers an ideal opportunity to boost employee engagement, such as fostering a supportive relationship between a new hire and management, reinforcing the company’s commitment to helping employees’ professional growth, or proving that management recognizes the employees’ talent.

Done well, onboarding can clearly serve the jump-off point for long-term success for the employee and the employer. But, when an employee relocates for the position, should the onboarding process support the employee beyond the four walls of the office?

In most of our blog pieces, there are unique challenges that each employee and family face. These challenges can threaten their ability to thrive. Employees are overwhelmingly relocating to advance their careers.

In a survey of 3,078 IMPACT Groups’ customers, 51 percent of transferees indicated the primary reason they accepted the move was for Personal Career Development. They’re eager for career growth, but it’s not always smooth sailing for companies, even with their good intentions. Companies need to evaluate their onboarding programs.

While the employee struggles in the beginning, their engagement, productivity, and satisfaction may wane. In IMPACT’s survey, 75 percent of relocating employees reported being Highly Engaged at work after the relocation. Seventy-three percent reported being more productive at work when their family’s needs are properly supported during the move.

However, a poorly focused onboarding plan can cause both of these numbers to slip rapidly, according to the group. During the ramp-up period in the new role, importance needs to be placed on setting goals, prioritizing projects, getting to know stakeholders, and determining how success will be measured. This sets transferees up to be engaged and show their value.

When done right, structured plans deliver results well past the immediate onboarding period. A 100-day plan can turn into a 6-month plan, which can turn into an annual plan. Think of the domino effect this has for future success. Less than a third of leaders believe they have meaningful support during their transition into a new role.

Effective onboarding requires an action plan to address:

  • Organizational culture and priorities  
  • Purpose of the new role
  • Stakeholders and strategies to build productive relationships
  • Manager expectations, priorities, and style
  • Goals for personal development