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Do Your “Boarding” Processes Pass Muster?

Almost every company lists their human resources as their #1 asset.  They place high priorities on their talent and invest significant dollars in compensation, benefits, training, and other development time and expenses.  At CSR, we have discovered time and again that there’s a very specific way to gauge how much an organization really values their people:  do they consistently apply quality onboarding and offboarding processes?

Here are some tips to increase the quality of your company’s onboarding and offboarding processes starting with the process of bringing a new employee fully on board:

  1. Make sure the right folks are involved in onboarding new employees and that each person has a well-defined role. For example, the immediate/hiring manager should always be at the forefront along with administrative/HR support and IT or facilities personnel to smooth the way.  Having the company principal welcome the new hire along with assigning a peer ambassador are other key ways to onboard well.

  2. Before, during and after! Take care of important tasks BEFORE the new employee walks in the door to ensure productivity and a warm welcome.  The first full week is considered the DURING stage and is chock full of activities to make sure the new employee is acclimating.  And the AFTER stage should involve regularly checking in with the new employee to see if he or she has all the tools necessary to thrive.  Sink or swim is not the recommended onboarding approach unless you have money and time to burn.

Offboarding employees well is just as important as onboarding.  No matter what the circumstances are, depending on how a departing employee is treated can make a big difference.  If an employee is being terminated for performance, the matter should be treated confidentially and with respect.  If an employee is resigning, make sure a good exit interview takes place and that best wishes are given to maintain goodwill and reputations.  And if an employee is retiring, celebrate their accomplishments and extend proper thanks for their service.  There are a few common elements in offboarding activities under each scenario:

  1. Protect company property – real and intellectual. Checklists are wonderful for covering those bases.

  2. Determine internal and external communication plans. What needs to be communicated within your company about the departing employee?  And what should be shared with customers and vendors?

  3. Continue to refine your offboarding process. Each employee departure can be slightly different, and there are always lessons learned that can improve the next one.

CSR understands that each company requires customized onboarding and offboarding processes.  Because of different roles, sizes, and complexities, these are not one-size-fits-all.  Contact us to ensure yours are in the best strategic shape, and we’ll deliver.


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