The New Onboarding, or: how the right teams overcome the “get on board ca🌵🌵o!” approach
The process of formation or re-formation of a team represents one of the most critical phases for the members of the team itself, not only for the leader and not only for the more seasoned members. Governing the steps necessary to bring a new partner on board with assertiveness and emotional presence is one of the common characteristics of successful organizations.
For this reason, together with Stefano Susani, in our book #ilteamgiusto we dedicate ample space to the onboarding process, which we prefer to translate as “welcome” rather than the more commonly used “insertion”. Words define our reality and, as good engineers, we know for example that even a nail driven into a wall is a form of insertion and we stop here with the metaphors.
Joining a new team should always be an exhilarating experience, for the newcomer as well as existing members.
The onboarding process should therefore not be improvisational. Talya Bauer, professor and researcher specializing in organizational issues, identifies the main phases of onboarding in the so-called “Four Cs”.
☑️ Compliance, meaning the part most linked to practical aspects, but be careful to take it for granted. This is often the first real touch point between the team and the newcomer. As known “you can only make a first impression”
☑️ Understanding, the phase in which key information on mutual expectations is exchanged. MUTUAL, it is also in the team member’s interest to illustrate their requests with maximum clarity!
☑️ Culture, HA! Don’t assume that the values and culture of the team are explicit and therefore everyone is expected to understand them alone. This is a BIG PHASE, both in length and importance. Being within the team means understanding and embracing its explicit and implicit values
☑️ Connection: this is the NIRVANA of onboarding and it concerns facilitating the creation of interpersonal relationships and illustrating essential information networks, without which rapid onboarding of new colleagues is not possible.
Onboarding, as done by The right teams, is a process that goes far beyond compliance, far beyond “That’s the PC, that’s the desk, you can read the values on the wall” but it involves much more personal areas and refers very much to concepts of “reception” and “settlement”.
❓ What actions would you introduce for your team to improve a new member’s experience with regards to the four C’s?