B+P Insights: Onboarding – The first 100 days in the new role


B+P Insights: Onboarding – The first 100 days in a new job

By Flemming Maagaard Jensen Executive Consultant Birn + Partners

What is onboarding?

There are likely several variations in interpreting what it is and our definition is simply:

“A structured process, which delivers a clear plan for the first 100 days, ensuring the success of a new colleague”

This is, however, only a small tip of a large iceberg and there are numerous activities beneath the surface, which needs to be addressed before this Nirvana can be reached. The main steps are:

  • Awareness: The Company and the individual must recognize and accept the value such a process gives to both, and be prepared to give it full support
  • The Plan: A clear plan which outlines the goals to be reached, who should be involved and deadlines for when milestones should be reached. It is about creating results
  • The Team: The team will also be tested and evaluated in regard to individual roles to be filled
  • Coaching: Management style, team roles, own preferences
  • Focus: Conflicts, danger points and “must win” battles
  • Priorities: Clear for all and thus also improves communication, understanding and alignment of expectations
  • The Consultant: He is the non-political outside expert who will ensure the process stays on track and provide valuable sparring on business and personal issues. He has no vested interests and only has the client’s effective start in mind
  • Evaluation:  A 360 degree evaluation will be made up, down and across the organisation, to see where it was as successful as expected and to highlight areas which need further work

Why use onboarding?

Simply: Because it works
Other important points:

* It is a great motivator for the new colleague as the Company demonstrates an active  interest in the person.

* No one is in doubt what is being planned and what the goals are. That goes for the
person, the boss and the organisation as a whole.

* Provides a structured process and agreed targets for what needs to be achieved.

* A personal development plan geared towards business targets.

* Establishes a network matrix for both immediate and later use.

* In three months, the person will be 12 months “into” the job and therefore be much more
effective, much quicker – a fact that has value on the bottom line.

* Do a better job and therefore be happier in the job and thus stay longer.

* Develop the organisations ability to onboard others.

Who should use onboarding?

In principle all, however, it is most efficient and value adding when people have leadership roles and/or are heavy specialists.

What else to consider?

* You do not have to spend a lot of time making a plan

* Do you actually have someone who could make it

* Who has the time to make a plan and be an important part of an effective onboarding

* Where else would you get a 33 page report offering advice gathered from 600 managers
across industries

* The strength of having an outside consultant with experience in onboarding and who can
offer valuable sparring.

* Is it critical to ensure a fast entry into the job and the company.

* Are there turbulence in the market place.

* Cultural differences.

There are a number of opinions on the subject of onboarding and some will consider it more a nice to have than a must have. We have seen the effects in organisations having decided to do it and thus beg to differ, as we with confidence can say it delivers even more than it promises. We would be pleased to enter into a dialogue and present the advantages.

All which remains to be said is: it actually works!