The Importance of Onboarding

Hey, everyone! Pavani here giving my first blog post since working for Strategic Human Insights. I am the marketing person so you may be wondering what kind of insights I actually have for  your talent and organizational headaches. Well…I have very little, but what I can share is something that gave me some knowledge into the importance of onboarding.

Personal experience time!

Going back to my first day of work for a candy store…Mother’s day.

I arrive before they open at 11 am and get about a 5 minute tour of the workspace before I am asked to take the lids off the ice cream and fold towels. Then we opened.

I scooped some ice cream for a mom and her two children. One was a waffle cone and the other, a regular cone. I filled up the waffle one with as much ice cream as it would fit. The mom looked surprised and appalled to have that much ice cream for her 12 year old son.  At the register, I find out from a seasoned coworker that there are weights to be maintained for one scoop or two for each cone or cup. As the day goes on, the store becomes more crowded. I am told to go to the waffle cone maker and make as many cones as I can. I end up staying there until I finally ask to leave some five hours later.

Bottom line: I was stressed and overwhelmed that whole time.

That was my personal horror story of a bad onboarding experience. I worked there for another month before I was asked to be a manager. In that time, I had seen a few more new employees with similar experiences. I believe my understanding and assistance with them is what got me promoted. So here’s what I did as someone who has been there:

I had new hires come in for an hour on a Saturday morning before their first day and I gave them a thorough tour of the store with side notes for what they should know to serve customers. I would run them through how to serve a customer for all likely scenarios. For example, how much ice cream should be served, how to use the register to weigh chocolates, proper handling of food, and the kind of image the store is looking to have portrayed in the employees.

Not everything could be learned in an hour but the productivity and efficiency for every new hire since has been significantly improved. And more importantly, the employees have the good kind of excitement on their first day.

I visited a few times since I stopped working there and I was pleased to find they achieved an award from their franchise for being the most improved store of all locations! I’ve even noticed a decrease in turnover by not seeing very many new employees the times I’ve visited. Overall, I think onboarding played an important role in the store’s growth and achievement.

If you are looking for some ways to ensure your new employees get off to a great start with your company, check out our previous insights regarding onboarding.