“Welcome Aboard!” The Importance of Onboarding - Nexstar Network

I have spent a large part of my life serving in the U.S. Navy, with most of that time being spent onboard ships. One tragedy I witnessed all too many times was the sight of a young sailor being taken under the wings of the wrong people while he or she was being onboarded. It usually didn’t end well for the sailor when this unfortunate event occurred.

So long as you’re hiring, there is always going to be an onboarding process in your company. It is an ever-present component of your company culture. The question is, is your onboarding process as good as it can be? If your idea of onboarding is tossing your new hire the keys to their truck and giving them a tablet or handful of invoices, and then sending them on their merry way, you likely have an opportunity for improvement in this area.

For a new employee, the first day at your company can be a scary experience. Many people will continue to work at companies where they are miserable because their fear of change is too great. Finally making that change and coming to work with you is a big step for many of your new team members. Knowing that, setting them up for success should be seen as a high-return activity, and you should begin doing so as soon as they arrive.

The first month with your company is a critical time for a new employee. This period will form their opinions about whether or not your work environment is going to be a good fit for them. If an employee leaves within their first month of employment, that’s a fairly good indicator that there is a flaw in either your hiring or onboarding process.

Don’t expect your new employee to know how things are done at your business. How could they possibly know? Each company is a unique entity, after all. Spend time sharing your company’s history, mission, and vision with them. Take the time to teach them the Service System. Teach them how to create options, set the agenda, and present SPP’s (Nexstar’s service partner plan). It’s a lot easier to start someone off with the right habits than it is to change the bad ones later.

I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t afford to spend two weeks onboarding. I need them in a truck yesterday!” I get it. But that expense pales in comparison to what you could end up spending on correcting poor performance and recruiting new employees.

We have some fantastic onboarding tools on Nexstar’s member website. Your specific processes may be a little different, but these tools offer great templates for defining what your onboarding process should look like. If you would like some help building or improving your onboarding process, feel free to reach out to your Nexstar business coach or training accountability coach.

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Jodie Deegan is a Training Accountability Coach with Nexstar Network. His years of experience creating effective training processes in the United States Navy, as well as several highly profitable businesses, helps Nexstar Network members achieve uncommon levels of success from their training. To see all of Jodie's publications, click here. He can be reached at 651-789-8614 or jodied@nexstarnetwork.com.