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Challenges of Onboarding

Integrating new employees

A new employee in an organization rarely arrives as a ready-made team member, with instant knowledge of the organization’s internal behaviors and norms. Instead, new employees need to be brought on board and socialized, whereby they acquire the skills and habits to participate in the organization.

This is where onboarding comes in. Onboarding is an ongoing process of integrating new employees into the organization. This integration also helps create employee engagement.

Employee engagement means the employee is emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization. An engaged employee identifies meaning and purpose in the assigned role and works to achieve the organization’s goals. It’s the difference between an employee doing an adequate job or performing with commitment, initiative, and excellence.

Challenges of onboarding

Integrating new employees and fostering engagement is a process that requires time, effort, and application. As a manager, you may encounter various challenges during the onboarding process:

  • the need to accelerate time to productivity without overwhelming the new employee — A central aim of onboarding is to achieve the fastest possible time to productivity — the time it takes for a new employee to become productive. However, it’s important to find the right balance between creating a functional employee who reaches the expected level of productivity quickly, and overloading the employee. New employees tend to be nervous, and bombarding them with information makes it unlikely they’ll ask questions, make good decisions, or remember what they’ve been told. Instead, the onboarding program should be spaced out to keep it interesting and digestible.