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How to onboard a new employee and not go crazy in the process

A man welcoming the students during the onboarding of the IT summer internship at Comarch
A dynamic growth of a company means not only obvious economic benefits but also a wide array of challenges. A fast and effective onboarding policy is a huge challenge that must not be neglected. There are a few important steps to keep in mind.

The first days at a new job are rarely easy and pleasant. You have to learn the rules and procedures, struggle with your first tasks and deadlines. All this makes the initial period stressful and difficult. Is there any solution to support new employees during that time? Yes, there is. It’s called: onboarding.

Why is onboarding so important?

Onboarding is a relatively new term, which becomes more and more meaningful in the management process. It refers to all sorts of methods and tools for the introduction of a new employee to his/her position. Onboarding aims not only at making the first few days or weeks a little easier, helping to adjust to the new situation and the corporate culture, but also getting to know your workmates and especially your superiors. The way a company handles the onboarding process and how committed it is to making the transition period as smooth as possible to its new staff members will most probably influence their future decision to stay with that company for a long time.

How to go about the onboarding process?

  • Fitting the candidate to the position and the organization
One of the main reasons why employees quit only a few months after they started is because the reality of their work differs from how they imagined it was going to be. This is why it is so important to make the recruitment process as honest and transparent as possible.  It is especially relevant considering that nowadays it is not only the company that chooses a candidate, but also the candidate picks what company they want to work for. An accurate description of duties and challenges related to a given position as well as answering the candidate’s questions and doubts with patience and care can surely save you a lot of disappointment and stress in the future.2
  • Onboarding supervisor

There are more and more big companies on the market with offices not only around the whole country but all over the world. Teams tend to be spread over different locations both nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, this makes the onboarding process even more challenging. Your superior will not always be there for you and they will not always be able to dedicate you as much time as we would all like. This is why having an onboarding supervisor becomes crucial. Here at Comarch we call them “Buddies”.

Appointing a “Buddy” is an extremely important element of the onboarding process and it is beneficial for both parties. On one hand it gives our rookies a workmate who they can turn to with every, even the slightest, problem or doubt. On the other hand, it represents a kind of gratification for the “Buddy” and a possibility to test their leadership and managerial skills.

  • Onboarding plan
Given the number of new recruitments we have at Comarch it is necessary to standardize the onboarding process and develop monthly plans of how to proceed. Let’s start by answering a simple question: what should a new employee know after the first week, the first month or the first 3 months. Every new employee must undergo a standard set of initial training in order for them to learn about the company’s history, procedures and requirements. Next set of training will depend on the position and the team, but their standardization is also a must, as long as they relate to equivalent positions within the same structure. Of course, it requires a lot of previous work and preparation, but the benefits it will bring are considerable, especially considering the size of our company.
Comarch, similarly to other companies, is introducing pilot projects that consist of moving certain onboarding elements on its e-learning platform. The purpose of this project is to enable further standardization, provide support for the onboarding supervisors and monitor the progress our new staff members have made. This tool will certainly not take over the crucial role of our Buddy, but it will definitely help them not to forget anything. With such a platform our employees gain access to most of the principal training materials, available for them at any time. What’s more, the tests they are required to pass will guarantee that all basic contents are learned and memorized.  
  • Opinion surveys for new employees
The above-mentioned tools and methods require a continuous monitoring to assess their efficacy. Therefore, it is important to ask new employees what they think about our onboarding process. In this way we will find out what they like the most and – more importantly – what aspects should be changed or improved. Comarch is constantly optimizing and testing its onboarding process to make sure it works to its full potential and brings the expected benefits.   

They say „you can get once chance to make a good first impression” and it is true. You can’t repeat or fix it. Things between a company and an employee work in exactly the same way. When you greet your new staff member with chaos, lack of organization, neglect and confusing signals you will make them feel lost and disappointed. Remember, you are not the only company on the market and they might change their minds about working for you. Make them feel welcome and you’ll see the payoff soon enough.

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