Webonboarding Tales Presents: The Cold Shoulder

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: The Cold Shoulder

This was the case of an organisation looking to set-up a new business unit. To make it work, they realised they needed to bring in somebody with a particular skill set. To handle this, they turned to a recruitment agency that, after a few attempts, was able to find an ideal candidate.

The person selected happily accepted the role offered and everything seemed to be falling into place. Unfortunately…that didn’t prove to be the case.

The problems started when the excited but apprehensive new guy arrived for his first day. The person who was supposed to be meeting and greeting him wasn’t available and nobody seemed sure who should take responsibility.

In the meantime, the new starter was left waiting in a reception area, trying to figure out what was going on. It became obvious that no formal plan was in place to handle the process – no schedule or time allocated for company integration.

Eventually, somebody did come to collect him and he was taken through to his new office – the base of this fledgling business unit. But, other than a desk and a chair, there wasn’t much in place – no PC, no active connection, no phone.

Three months later…

While most of these office infrastructure issues were eventually resolved, three months after starting the employee was still having to use his own laptop. And while the first-day frustrations may have soon been forgotten, the sense of disconnection he felt remained.

The new starter never sensed that he was fully a part of the organisation he was working within; he felt distant and disillusioned and made the tough decision to leave. While it was a big call to make, he didn’t feel he could commit himself to the employer.

The consequences for the company were considerable. Along with the recruitment agency costs, there were website and design expenses for a business unit which was now on hold – possibly permanently.

Takeaway: Sweat the small stuff

Taken individually, each of the issues faced by the new hire may seem relatively minor. They’re the kind of everyday problems that occur within every business – missed meetings, planning confusion and administrative mix-ups.

But when these occur during onboarding, it can have a profound effect on the relationship between employer and employee. Instead of channelling the person’s energy and enthusiasm, it’s liable to crush them.

It’s why onboarding inefficiency is so closely related to staff ‘churnover’. A 2017 study, commissioned by webonboarding, found that ten percent of employees admit to having left jobs within the first weeks.

But conversely, an efficient, warm and engaging experience can create a strong bond with a new employer. In this particular example, it could have been the difference between holding onto and losing a talented employee.

Let us take a look at your onboarding process – arrange an onboarding consultancy review here.

Watch the video version here 

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