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Onboarding

First Days: Expectation Vs. Reality...

Your Team's First Day: Expectations vs. Reality

When you’re about to join a new company and a new team, there can be a pretty wide disparity between what you expect and the actual circumstances at the new job. This isn’t always the case of course, but it happens often enough that it’s a fairly serious issue which plagues new employees, and which creates a major challenge to becoming productive. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about workplace readiness.

Expectations vs Reality of the employee

A company which is fundamentally unprepared to welcome a new company, also probably has an unrealistic expectation about how productive a new hire can be, and how quickly the new employee can achieve a desirable level of productivity. When you don’t put much thought into the onboarding process, you tend to think that a new employee will join your company and hit the ground running on the very first day.

This expectation is almost always misguided and inaccurate, since the first few days at any new company tend to bury a new hire with a mountain of information, some of which will be forgotten just because there’s so much to absorb. Particularly in companies which have no formal Human Resources department, the expectations for a new employee can be way too high, and that means they will fall far short of the reality.

In cases like these, expectations for a new hire amount to a kind of wishful thinking – you want the new person to be instantly informed and productive, so you come to expect that when you’ve actually hired someone new. Any HR department would know that this kind of thinking is simply not based in reality, and that a new hire will require a period of onboarding before achieving anything which resembles real productivity!

Expectations vs Reality of the business

When you arrive at a new place of employment, you’re probably expecting that they have a well-organised onboarding procedure, and that you’ll be gradually taken through each step so that you thoroughly understand your new responsibilities, and that you have a chance to absorb the company culture. The reality of the situation may be far from that rosy outlook, however.

In truth, a great many companies are simply unprepared for a new arrival. In many cases, this is because they haven’t designated any single person or any department to guide the new hire through onboarding, because there is a feeling that everyone is doing important work and can’t be spared for several days devoted to an indoctrination process.

While onboarding should be a process which falls to the Human Resources department, some organisations are not large enough to have their own HR sections, and would therefore need to assign the process to an individual. In small businesses like these, it happens quite often that all company employees are too involved with their own duties to take time off to mentor a new hire, and bring them up to speed on all aspects of the workplace.

Even larger companies can be unprepared though. In businesses where onboarding is not considered to be a value-added process, it might well happen that it’s basically overlooked right up to the day when a new hire walks through the doors, and has to be dealt with in impromptu fashion. At that time, someone in the company is surprised to learn that they have been chosen to assist a new employee, and an improvised program is thrown together at the last minute.

Avoiding the mismatch between expectations and reality

There is one very simple way of avoiding the mismatch between expectations and reality when hiring a new employee, and that’s to implement and make use of a full-blown onboarding process, available from Flare. With all the administrative work handled for you by Flare interfaces and software, you’ll be free to impart all the necessary information required by a new hire to learn about your company culture, and about their new duties and responsibilities.

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