5 Key Steps to Onboarding Success featured image

5 Key Steps to Onboarding Success

By: Mary Clarizio McGuinness

~ 4 minute read

Enhancing Engagement, Performance, and Retention

Getting onboarding right is crucial for setting the stage for an employee’s journey within your organization. A well-structured onboarding program goes beyond team introductions and a “here’s your desk, let me know if you need help logging in”. Instead, proper onboarding immerses new hires into the company culture, aligns them with organizational values, and equips them with the tools necessary for success. This initial experience significantly impacts employee engagement, as it helps build a sense of belonging and purpose from day one. Engaged employees are more likely to perform at higher levels, contributing positively to the organization’s objectives and success.

So how can you build an onboarding process that’s thoughtful and dramatically enhances retention rates? The key is to leverage strengths and build meaningful workplace relationships. When employees feel understood, valued, and supported right from the start, they are more likely to commit to the company long-term, reducing regrettable turnover and building a stable, productive workforce. In essence, effective onboarding is the keystone of talent optimization, creating a ripple effect that boosts overall organizational health and performance.

  1. Decoding Strengths with the PI Behavioral Assessment
  2. Customizing Management Styles
  3. Reinforcing Strong Relationships
  4. Committing to Coaching & Development
  5. Increasing Self-Awareness

Step 1: Decoding Strengths with the PI Behavioral Assessment  

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a goldmine of insight describing an employee’s work style, communication habits, management preferences, and overall strengths they bring to an organization. When you review the Behavioral Assessment results with your new hire, it’s like you’re saying, “I see you, and I value you.” It builds their confidence right from the get-go. Think of it as the ultimate icebreaker, where you get to uncover what makes your new hire tick. Remind your new employee of their strengths and encourage them to show up authentically at work.

Share your own results too–it’s like laying your cards on the table, showing that you’re all in this together. This step is crucial for setting the tone for open communication and trust. Plus, it’s a sneak peek into how you can both play to each other’s strengths and run in the right direction.

Step 2: Customizing Management Styles

The next step is to ensure that, as their manager, you’re providing what the new hire needs in order to be productive. Management should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Ditch the Golden Rule and embrace the Platinum Rule: Treat others how they want to be treated. 

This can be easily accomplished with the PI Management Strategy Guide. This tool is like a roadmap for managing your unique new talent. Use the guide to ask your new hire for input on which management strategy works best for them. Ask for their perspective on the do’s and don’ts of managing them and how you can work together to create a workplace where they’ll thrive. It’s all about reinforcing transparency and expressing a sincere desire to develop a strong working relationship. Remember, you’re not working with a bunch of robots. Every individual is human and has different perspectives and needs–acknowledging that is key to successful leadership.

Step 3: Reinforcing Strong Relationships

According to Harvard Business Review, leaders who prioritize relationships are more successful. Not to mention, positive workplace relationships play an essential role in employee wellbeing, engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. So, how can you build effective working relationships that go beyond the surface of ice-breakers and mundane team builders but get to the heart of the matter?

Enter, the Predictive Index Relationship Guide, your roadmap to navigating the working dynamics between two individuals. It’s like having a GPS to avoid potential bumps in the road. With this guide, your new hire will get insights on how they work with others on the team (management included!) and can focus on getting relationships off on the right foot. Discuss the strengths and, more importantly, the challenges that come from working with someone who may have different strengths and a different communication style. When you have a short, simple guide with practical insights, you can expedite relationship building and increase trust. 

Step 4: Committing to Coaching and Development 

More and more employees are looking for coaching and development opportunities, even within the first 90-days at a new company. While you don’t have to promise a promotion, you can help your new hire leverage their strengths in their current role and ask coaching questions to increase their critical thinking, problem solving, and performance.

The PI Coaching Guide is your personalized playbook for your new hire’s role. This isn’t about generic pep talks; it’s about targeted strategies that align with their job and behavioral strengths. When you use the Coaching Guide, you’ll be supplied with customized coaching questions that will help you target areas like working independently, connecting with others, increasing speed, or deepening technical expertise– all designed to achieve accelerated performance. By focusing on what matters most, you’re investing in your employee and setting the stage for meaningful growth and development.

Step 5: Increasing Self-Awareness

Last but not least, it’s no surprise that self-awareness is essential to successfully integrating with a new team. The PI Personal Development Chart takes an employee’s Behavioral Assessment results and lays out insights with strengths, cautions, and self-coaching tips. It’s like the mirror that reflects both strengths and areas for growth for an individual. 

Engage in open conversations about potential obstacles and how to overcome them. As a leader, you can build an ongoing mentorship, ensuring that your new team member feels supported and empowered to navigate their journey. Help guide them through the chart and identify which areas to focus on that would have the most impact. 

Parting Wisdom: Because You Can’t Onboard on Autopilot (Well, You Can, but It Won’t End Well)

Onboarding isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about building a foundation of trust, understanding, and shared goals. Don’t leave successful team integration to chance–give your new hire more than “welcome to the team” shoutout. By integrating these five steps, you’re not just orienting new hires; you’re inspiring them to leap towards accelerated performance, ensuring robust employee retention, and driving talent optimization. Let’s make every onboarding experience a runway to success!

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Mary Clarizio McGuinness

Excels in workforce analytics, inspired by her math background. Passionate about client success, she's a pickleball addict, salad connoisseur, and DIY enthusiast, thriving on faith, family, and fitness.