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If all goes well, as a company you regularly have to deal with new employees. Of course it is important to get these new employees used to the company and the organization as soon as possible. That’s better for everyone, including the company itself. If employees get used to it quickly, they will also feel more involved and productive within the company. This is precisely why it is important to think about onboarding. But what is onboarding exactly and how does it work? It is discussed in detail below.

Onboarding new employees

Onboarding can also be described as the socialisation of new employees. The question is how to get new employees used to a new company as quickly as possible. But it’s a lot more than that. Onboarding is not just about introducing a new workplace, but also about giving new employees the skills, knowledge and behaviour they need as quickly as possible in order to be seen as insiders within the organisation. There are, of course, many different ways of doing this, which we will discuss further below.


Onboarding practical matters

First of all, there are practical matters. This is actually part of the general introduction we talked about earlier. Think, for example, of getting to know the workplace, but also an access pass to enter the building and a computer with a personal account to which you can log in. Other practical matters such as a telephone, e-mail address and, of course, business cards are also part of this section. This is the easiest for most newcomers to get to know, as long as it is well taken care of by the company.


Onboarding goes much further

However, it goes much further than just teaching new employees practical things. It is also about getting to know the vision of the company and making the company culture your own. It is important to introduce new employees as quickly and effectively as possible to what the organisation is exactly like and what is important. Think, for example, of collaboration with colleagues and the way in which talent is managed. Ultimately, it is all about fully integrating new employees into an organisation or company. Incidentally, this does not only involve completely new employees, but also employees who change jobs, for example, as a result of which they move to another department. Sometimes very different agreements apply there and work is done in a different way, for example with e-learning.


Onboarding: the 4 C’s

If we really want to get to the bottom of the concept, it is wise to take a closer look at it from a theoretical point of view. In that case we get to the four C’s. This is where it can be subdivided, although in some cases a fifth C may be added:

Compliance: This is mainly about the basic rules of the organization. In the first instance you can think of the legal rules that have been laid down, but also of the company’s regulations in other areas. Good examples of this are security rules, the way in which sickness notifications should take place and an anti-pest policy. These rules must, of course, be made clear to new employees. Usually these are included as an appendix in the contract that an employee signs.

Culture: Every company and every organization has its own culture. As new colleague it is very important to get to know this culture as soon as possible. That is why it is best for a company to introduce new employees directly to this corporate culture. Part of this are the mission and vision of the organization.

Clarification: This mainly concerns the role that the new employee will play. What are the expectations and what should he or she meet? There are also personal goals to be achieved. And on the other hand: what can the new employee expect from the company or organisation when it comes to a supporting role?

Connection: No matter how big a company is, there are always different groups and subgroups. It is important that this social structure within the company is clear, especially for new employees.

Check back: This is the fifth C, often added by Human Resources. This mainly concerns the reaction of the new employee to the onboarding and the implementation period. There are certain reflection moments that usually take place after one month, two months and three months.

Onboarding: a process

It is important to realise that onboarding is not a one-off action when new employees come to meet for the first time. It is a lengthy process in which new colleagues have to get to know the company as much as possible and identify with the culture and the norms and values within the company. This can be done in many different ways. E-learning can also be used for this purpose. In a digital learning environment, you can easily and effectively introduce employees to the company culture and everything you stand for as an organisation. Several e-learning modules are available for that. If you want to use onboarding as a company, it is wise to use a fixed program that you can use right from day one. However, this does not mean that you immediately give all the information to new employees on the first day.

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