Our member HR leaders with TIGERS certification are already a step ahead of the game when it comes to effective onboarding, which results in high retention and employee engagement. Here is more evidence on how using the TIGERS Team Wheel game for new hire orientation gives new employees the confidence and team fit they need to excel.

TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, polled more than 2,100 IT professionals and more than 1,500 IT leaders in May 2012 to explore employer and employee experiences with onboarding programs.

They discovered that Successful Programs are More Comprehensive

Respondents report that onboarding programs typically address HR/administrative information, job/role information, company information and team building. The majority of IT leaders say the most focus is placed on learning about the role (57%) and HR/administrative information (54%). While 61% of IT professionals agree that HR/administrative information receives a heavy focus, only 41% believe learning about the role garners high levels of focus in onboarding programs. Less than 40% of IT leaders say learning about the company (39%) and team building (32%) receive high levels of focus; the percentages for IT professionals are 33% and 38%, respectively.

When it comes to successful onboarding programs, providing detailed information is critical. The majority of IT professionals believe that covering team roles/responsibilities (73%), the team workflows/processes (70%), performance expectations (68%), day-to-day responsibilities (68%) and the job’s workflows (64%) are extremely important to the success of an onboarding process.  At TIGERS we know that understanding the team and its culture is equally important.

Moreover, IT professionals say team building is essential to the onboarding process. Ninety percent of IT professionals report “making an employee feel like a valued member of the team” is important to ensuring onboarding success (65% say extremely important); 91% say “integrating the employee into the team/encouraging relationship building” is important (65% say extremely important).

I certainly agree.

“Onboarding programs and HR orientations are not the same. While it is critical to share important HR and administrative information with new hires, great onboarding programs take it to the next level, including detailed information about the company, clear job expectations and team building activities,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell. “IT professionals need exposure to these more strategic components of the job to efficiently and effectively forge a bond with their new employer and new team.”

Our experienced members with certification know that understanding expected behaviors that support Trust, Interdependence, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk and Success is critical for long term retention and employee engagement.

Successful Programs Require Manager Involvement

Organizations have various approaches to choose from in how they communicate and execute onboarding programs. Forty-one percent of IT leaders report the most utilized approach for onboarding is a formal HR orientation program followed by self-directed learning (14%). The least used method is direct manager 1-on-1 instruction with just 8% of IT leaders saying they utilize this approach.

IT professionals report that manager interaction is a must-have during onboarding programs. Approximately half of IT professionals believe frequent manager interaction should be required for entry-level (49%), mid-level (51%) and high-level (58%) positions for at least a month. For entry-level IT positions, 20% of IT professionals say frequent manager interaction should be required for three months, compared to 13% and 12% for mid-level and high-level positions, respectively.

“IT managers have the most to lose or gain from the onboarding process. Formal HR orientations can help a new hire get more comfortable with the company, but direct manager involvement is critical to clarifying performance expectations and sharing the inner-workings of the team and company,” comments Russell. “It’s also important to note that the only way to really gauge how a new hire is progressing is to be actively involved throughout the process.”

From a TIGERS perspective, people are at the heart of every successful business initiative. When people come together to achieve outcomes that are ethical, quality-focused, cooperative, productive and very successful, understanding team ground rules and company culture takes considerable conflict out of the new hire process. Simple team fit understandings keep good employees from being knocked back by performance and job relationship insecurities.

Roles, goals and relationships are critical to team fit job performance. Good onboarding results in high engagement, commitment and accountability outcomes.

By Dianne Crampton