Offboarding and Reboarding talent can be just as important as onboarding talent
Onboarding talent is tremendously important, but in order to be effective it needs to go beyond a basic “orientation” and become an integral culture development process. The onboarding of talent helps create a positive impression of the organisation in the first 90 days. This helps accelerate the employee’s initial productivity, and helps them make the decision to stay. It is in the first 90 days that employees decide whether they have made the right decision to join your organisation, or whether they will just mark time with you until something better comes along. Onboarding is a key factor that directly contributes to engagement levels within the organisation.
Onboarding talent is most effective when it is a continuous process, not a once off event.
It is often easy to forget about what happens once the onboarding is over. Once we have sold them on our organisation, we need to ensure the experience actually meets expectations and doesn’t sour. Unfortunately too many organisations run a marketing campaign type of onboarding that is dashed within the first two weeks of actual work. When we take a continuous process approach, rather than a once off event view, we can re-energise and re-engage employees rather than only the new hires. This approach ties in to the stay interview and replaces the exit interview. This approach often has a greater impact as it demonstrates caring for those who stay, rather than just for the new people and those who leave.
The cost of keeping employees and customers is far lower than the cost to find new ones.
Onboarding talent normally involves new employees who have not worked in your organisation before.
Reboarding talent can include employees who are moving from one department to another; those new to managing others within your organisation; or newly acquired employees who need to be assimilated into the parent organisation. (Reboarding can include a stay interview – learning why employees stay, rather than just learning why they leave in an exit interview)
Offboarding talent focuses on easing the transition as employees move on; sharing knowledge; adding ex-employees to the organisation’s alumni group; building potential brand ambassadors and talent referrals.
The power of Offboarding talent:
Ex-employees are always brand ambassadors (good or bad)
They know your company very well and can either continue to sing the organisation’s praises or tell everyone they meet it is a terrible place to work. How we treat employees when they decide to leave sets the tone for how they will talk about us.
Former employees can be a terrific source of referrals
When they part on good terms they will often enthusiastically refer customers or candidates. As employees leave they often expand their networks as they embrace new opportunities. Well treated ex-employees have the ability to help you using their new connections, or to hurt you if the relationship soured.
Sometimes they want to come back
Sometimes employees leave to gain new experiences and skills. Leaving the door open for great employees to return can be a wonderful way to develop your talent pool.
Share the knowledge
Departing employees can be a great source of what works, and what doesn’t in an organisation, if we honestly listen. Offboarding can be a great way to make the transition easier and share process, customer and organisational knowledge with the team.
Onboarding talent is important, but it is also important to ensure we re-engage employees during their journey with us. Equally we need to ensure if they leave it is as an ambassador, not a bitter critic. When thinking about the employee life cycle within your organisation, plan to spend just as much time developing an effective reboarding and offboarding experience as you do creating the onboarding process. Your organisation will reap the benefits.