Taking Advantage of Onboarding
By Nancy Thompson, Executive Director, AWENS – Association of Workplace Educators of Nova Scotia @nthompsonED
In today’s workplace, education and learning takes place daily. This does not mean education and learning takes place in a structured classroom or virtual online environment. Education and learning can start with a new employees’ onboarding process — this being when new employees are provided with information on Job Duties, Work Culture, Policies and Procedures.
Onboarding is an opportunity for new employees to gain knowledge and insight into the work life they are intended to strive and grow in. ‘Onboarding’ being used as an informational and assessment tool kit. It is not expected to be a means to increase the professional skills of new employees.
The onboarding process that includes assessments and evaluations, workshops and coaching (formal or informal) can identify the professional development, a new employee needs, to become a valued contributor of an organization.
According to industry education and training experts, to identify knowledge and skills gaps of an employee, and to aid in their ability to contribute and deliver on organizational goals, the onboarding process requires a continuum of leadership provided to employees and implementation of coaching programs or mentor networks for new or transitioning employees; continuous review and evaluation, including education and training programs that make sure they are relevant and align with organizational goals, and; an evaluation of the employee’s performance following the onboarding to ensure engagement and transfer takes place.
To have a successful onboarding program, organizations need to ensure a continuance of reviews take place to adjust the onboarding programs design, development and delivery. The design and development of an onboarding process needs to be created in partnership with adult education experts who can integrate assessment tools that will bring forward gaps in new employees’ knowledge and skills.
Knowing that education and learning starts with onboarding, I want to suggest to organizational leaders, be sure to create an onboarding process that will take advantage of the onboard process and implement Professional Development tools.
Nancy holds an MBA in Global Leadership and a Diploma in Adult Education. Working in the field of Adult Education for over 25 years, she is dedicated to helping organizations build capacity from within, and insure adult educators receive the professional development they need to be innovative and build success in others. Nancy believes, by investing in workplace education, everyone wins – the company, the people and the communities in which we live.