Working Transitions

Scenario 1 | Onboarding - the most important transition?

Modern Career Transition support is a tailored approach to supporting individuals at many stages throughout their career. 

Part 1 of our blog series focuses on onboarding and how you can reduce risk and hiring expenses.

For more information download our NEW Whitepaper. 

Recruiting is an expensive business – most employers have an idea of the average cost of a new hire. However, this calculation often does not take into account the wider cost implications and impact on customer relationships or team effectiveness when a new employee takes a long time to perform effectively or – even worse - leaves before they start to make a contribution. At some point in their career, most hiring managers have experienced making a key hire that just didn’t work out, so perhaps this issue is more common than may be realised.

Recruitment difficulties remain substantial for organisations – the CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey Report confirms that three-quarters of organisations have experienced recruitment challenges in the last year and a tenth experience difficulties recruiting for more than 50% of their vacancies. The failure of a new hire to ‘stick’ can have very negative consequences across the organisation.

During an employee’s early months, they may feel uncharacteristically vulnerable – they lack the trusted working relationships that they are used to and may feel overwhelmed as they juggle getting to grips with the new organisation, along with the pressures of delivering some early results in their new role. Often too, a new joiner is reluctant to express their concerns as they fear damaging their early credibility with their boss. Particularly in the case of individuals whose new role is a ‘step up’ or outside of their comfort zone, ‘throwing in the towel’ may feel like an easier option than struggling to integrate themselves into a new environment.

 “I left the Military after a 26 year career and was lucky enough to quickly gain a new role within Occupational Health. My new Line Manager was impressed with my skill set and, seeing me as more than capable of performing the role, soon left me to my own devices. I found the lack of support and the absence of a proper set of processes hugely challenging. Also, many of my colleagues were quite cavalier in their attitude to work – everybody did things in a slightly different way and things like time-keeping – critical within the military – were not seen as a priority. Although I raised my concerns with my Manager, I did not want to be seen as negative. I left the role after 10 weeks as I simply could not settle.

My next role was within the education sector – I saw this as a ‘dream role’ and was keen for it to work out. I was lucky enough to be offered onboarding support by my new employer. My coach was superb. Having a mentor external to the organisation meant that I could express my concerns – no matter how small – without feeling that I was damaging my credibility. My coach helped me accept that all organisations operate differently and that I could deviate from my ingrained military values to suit my new environment. I have now been in post for 6 months – the job is going well - this success is definitely partly attributable to the support of my coach. I am so grateful that my employer offered me this support” – Working Transitions Coachee

With it taking on average 28 weeks (source: ACAS)  for a new employee to get up to speed, costs for recruits that don’t work out can soon mount up. Replacing a single member of staff can cost more than £30,000, according to analysis from Oxford Economics. This includes loss of productivity and re-recruiting.

It is important to remember that new joiners will have a history – regardless of whether they joined your organisation as part of a progressive career move or as part of a forced transition, there may be complex underlying issues that are undisclosed. Many interviewees do not have the skills or experience to probe effectively for evidence of previous difficult workplace-related issues such as harassment, bullying, poor relationships, or long-term negative effects on confidence as a result of previous experiences.

Of course, most candidates work hard not to disclose such issues and the recruitment process is frequently focused on ‘selling” their positive attributes – but psychological issues can run deep and their re-surfacing during the early stages of a new role can have a real impact on future performance. Offering tailored transition support during the onboarding process can help individuals come to terms with the past and ensure that they are energised, engaged and focused on delivering the contribution for which they have been hired.

Although still more common in the US, in the UK only the most forward-thinking organisations provide a well-structured onboarding support programme – perhaps surprising when you consider the tangible ROI (return on investment) that is delivered. It helps new hires transition effectively and begin to add value rapidly, enables full understanding and integration into the organisation's culture and sets a strong foundation for the development and retention of a productive workforce. Onboarding support can help establish an environment of co-operation which is more productive and delivers more innovative results.

Want to find out more?  Our Whitepaper ‘A NEW approach to career transition’ is available to download now

 

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Author
Working Transitions
Date
19 March 2019
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