Webonboarding Tales presents: Failing at the First Hurdle

While helping organisations to improve their handling of new hires, the webonboarding team receives some great insights into the everyday problems faced by hiring teams.

In this series, we take a look at some of these real-world stories and how they help to highlight better ways to tackle employee onboarding:

The Situation:

This is a case that happened recently and it highlights some of the really fundamental problems that people often encounter when they’re joining a new company.

This was a woman who had accepted a new role with a financial services company. After being given a verbal offer, the rest of the onboarding process was handled manually by the employer.

So that meant everything was printed out – her contract, offer letter and all the supporting documents were put into a pack and posted off to her.

The problem, as is often the case, is that this information was never received.

And adding to the confusion, no communication was made by the company to let her known the pack had been sent. There were no emails or calls to let her know what was happening.

So after hearing nothing, she was left to chase things up for herself.

After explaining the situation, she was able to get her start date and because of the delay, was asked to sign her contract on her first day – which she agreed to do.

But this created a pretty stressful experience.

Instead of her first day being about getting to know people and making a good impressions, she found herself having to do important paperwork.

If there had been any contractual issues, it would have been incredibly awkward to raise concerns with people she had only just been introduced to.

The Takeaway:

Despite this stressful start, things eventually worked out fine for her and she’s really enjoying her role at the company.

But this is one of those situations where the outcome could easily have turned out differently. At multiple stages throughout the onboarding process, she was given valid reasons to have changed her mind about joining the organisation.

It provides a real-world example of something we’ve been looking at recently – the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. This is a theory, based on the work of an American psychologist, which helps to understand what people look for when joining an organisation.

Understanding and meeting these needs forms the basis for any effective onboarding operation. And, as this case highlights, the core requirement for any incoming hire is to get their contract signed off.

When there are any kind of problems or delays during the contract phase, the chances of a person dropping out of the onboarding process are vastly increased. 

The onboarding hierarchy of needs:

Pyramid 2

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