Onboarding is one of the most important parts of any new employees’ life with a company. It sets the tone for the rest of their experience with the business, effectively a ‘first impression’ for them. Get it right and they’ll think highly of you for years to come, get it wrong and they’ll start to question why they took the job.
It’s well known that the more engaged an employee is with your business, the less likely they are to leave. It’s not only the cost of replacing an employee that needs to be considered either, it’s the knowledge and experience which leaves with them, something you can’t put a price on. A great onboarding process is essential in building this engagement.
I’ve seen some great onboarding experiences, mixing classroom and on the job effectively, and unfortunately, I have seen some awful onboarding which has consisted of a tour of the office and then left with a member of staff who is just as clueless as how to approach this as the new starter was. It goes without saying that the latter had the higher employee turnover.
At TieTa, we focus on getting the basics down and allowing our new starters to practice this before piling on the rest of the knowledge. Classroom training starts the onboarding process, teaching them the basics of the business, product, systems, processes and most importantly, soft skills required to piece it all together. With every piece of new information, new starters are given the chance to practice through exercises to help keep them engaged, which is important because as we know, classroom learning can be exhausting if not done right.
Once the classroom section of the training is completed, which lasts no more than 2 days, new starters are passed to their buddy who is already prepared with a training plan to support both the new starter and buddy hit important milestones through their continued learning. The training plan is just that though, a plan, not a regimented schedule but a guide which is flexible to help support the new starter. There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ plan when it comes to training. People learn at different paces through different means and this needs to be understood and catered for.
When the new starter progresses through their buddying stage and pass their assessment, many contact centres release them into their teams and they are expected to perform to the same standard as someone who has been working there for years, with very little extra support. At TieTa, we believe that just because someone has passed an arbitrary amount of checks doesn’t mean that they should be left to sink or swim. At this stage, new starters join the graduation bank, a one-month process where they still receive direct report from the training team as well as additional support from their Managers. New starters will make mistakes, it’s normal, and by providing this extra support as part of their onboarding creates an environment where a new starter feels more like a person and less like a ‘bum on a seat’.
The whole process takes between 6 and 8 weeks, and the end result is a member of staff who has had a gradual introduction to the company, who has been supported throughout and is more likely to be engaged with your business than someone who is ‘thrown in at the deep end’.