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Avoiding Employee Wrongboarding: Onboarding & Offboarding Mistakes
HR Strategies

Avoiding Employee Wrongboarding: Onboarding & Offboarding Mistakes

Sharon Monteiro
August 7, 2023

Employee onboarding and offboarding mark the beginning and end of an employee life cycle within a company. It's a cycle that begins at the moment the offer letter is accepted by the candidate and ends on the last day they work at the organization. We consider the period between the two events as the majority of the employee experience.

However, the employee wrongboarding mistake is undermining the long-term impact of the beginning and end of the entire employee experience. Employee onboarding and offboarding are crucial procedures that, when carried out well, can produce quantifiable value and a favourable return on investment.

Equally damaging to an organization's performance is inefficient employee onboarding and offboarding, which can affect almost all quantifiable metrics. HR should give employee onboarding and offboarding careful consideration, with careful planning, execution, and analysis to make sure they are both done correctly.

Also read : 8 ways to build the best employee onboarding experience

Employee wrongboarding mistakes to avoid while onboarding

1. Misalignment between recruiting and the role itself

The biggest onboarding mistake can occur before the offer is extended. The actual job may not match the expectations set during recruiting, whether it's because a role wasn't properly defined up front, because circumstances have changed, or because the hiring team is trying to convince a candidate to accept a position by telling them what they want to hear.

A new hire who finds that the position is very different from what they anticipated may become disappointed, disengaged, and even begin looking for another job.

2. Not delivering reinforcements to new hires to help them comprehend why and how they add value

The hiring manager's reasoning for making the offer might be clear, but the new employee might not understand how they got the job. The more you leave a new employee in the dark, the more likely it is that imposter syndrome will manifest.

What then should businesses do instead? Describe the qualities that you noticed in a new hire during the interview and assessment that made them the ideal fit. When they exhibit those traits, remind them of this by "catching them in the act" and explaining why you chose them for the position over all the other qualified applicants.

3. Not assisting in the formation of suitable relationships

The ability to collaborate with and leverage others is crucial to success in the modern business world. Making a list of resources in advance and introducing a new hire to the team members they will be collaborating with is crucial.

4. Forgetting that a new hire to a team is still a new hire, even if the organisation is not

It's especially easy to shortchange an employee's onboarding experience when they move from one team or department to another. Even though they may have background and experience with the company, the new sub-team will still need to adapt to a different cultural context, learn a lot about the business environment and stakeholders, and deal with the inherent risk of taking on the role they are worried about.

Employee onboarding I peopleHum

5. Not making room for a new hire in group settings

It may be simpler to move quickly through a meeting or concentrate on the content at hand sometimes without realising that someone is still catching up. Managers must actively provide opportunities for new hires to find their voice and role, particularly in remote settings.

6. Not getting out of the way

Many managers struggle to strike a balance between providing direction and allowing employees to find their own path. While it is important to be on the same page and supportive, it is quite another thing to limit a new employee's ability to shine and make an impression.

7. Assuming that onboarding is completed too soon

Even though a quick start can be fantastic, how effective it is depends greatly on the person and the job. Hiring managers must be aware that a new employee might take some time to establish the necessary relationships or context for success. For 6–12 months after a new hire is hired, actively check in with them, give them context, and aid in building connections.

Why is it critical to have a well-planned employee onboarding process?

The variable of time-to-contribution is your first indication of the significance of onboarding. Your company will take longer to fully recoup its investment if it takes a while for an employee to perform to the level that is expected of them. Similarly, an employee has to live with the feeling of falling short for a longer period of time the longer they work below their potential.

The first has a clear financial impact, while the second has an emotional impact that may result in disappointment, annoyance, and disengagement—emotions that all have the potential to have negative financial and organisational effects like decreased performance and increased turnover.

It doesn't mean, however, that you should rush through the onboarding process; quite the contrary. According to research, longer employee onboarding procedures are, statistically speaking, more successful.

Many studies suggest that employees who are exposed to a highly effective onboarding process outperform those who receive poor or even adequate onboarding. This is because better onboarding results in lower turnover, higher engagement, and higher job satisfaction, even more so than simply training new employees to meet a baseline performance level.

Employee wrongboarding mistakes to avoid while offboarding

1. Making employees feel neglected

During their notice period, managers may exclude employees from project meetings. The departing employee, for instance, no longer receives invitation card to business events.

However, it is crucial to keep in touch with your staff members even as they go through the offboarding process. Considering that eventually they will be the ones who provide information about your company.

Always include your employee in the process, communicate with them, learn about their needs, and consider how you can help the transition go smoothly.

2. Closing the door to employees

You never know when a departing employee might present your company with a fresh opportunity or investment. However, behaviours like blaming others for being unfaithful, failing to recognise their contributions, and quitting on bad terms have a significant negative impact on how other employees view your company.

Allow the employee to know that your organization's door is always open if they decide to work for you again.

3. Management that is uncooperative

How management handles the departing employee says a lot about the standards of your company. Unfortunately, they are frequently subjected to hostility and disrespect. Things like disparaging your employees in front of their peers and failing to acknowledge their presence drive employees to vent their rage on social media platforms.

4. Delegating last-minute tasks

Leaving a company can be difficult, especially for employees who have spent the majority of their careers there. The last thing you want to do is make them responsible for work that needs to be done "urgently."

By adding more work, you create a bad experience for your employee and they leave with a bad impression. It's best to assign this work to their coworkers until a replacement is found.

5. Giving a poor performance review

It can be difficult to say goodbye to an employee. Do not point out flaws during their departure, even if they have only worked for 6 months or were not performing well. When writing a recommendation letter or a LinkedIn review, draw up a positive review and leave with kind words.

6. Avoiding the need for an exit interview

A confrontation between management/people operations and the employee occurs during an exit interview. Depending on the nature of your relationship, this is your opportunity to settle any disputes, express gratitude, and give candid feedback.

An exit interview might also provide much-needed resolution. It can be challenging for both you and the employee to come to a positive conclusion if you rush through this process or try to avoid it.

Also read : How to make exit interviews count

7. Missed opportunities not inquiring of the employee

You may want to ask for advice rather than feedback when conducting an exit interview. It could be stressful for an employee to be asked for feedback. Listening to the exit interview advice will help shape your organization's development roadmap. You receive a perspective from the inside that you might not have otherwise gotten. Because of their experience, employees will be able to offer suggestions that you might not have previously considered. Understanding the true reasons for the employee's departure will allow the company to improve in unexpected ways.

Why is it critical to have a well-planned employee offboarding process?

Many of the same factors that make onboarding important also make offboarding crucial:

  • Everyone in the company is significantly impacted by it, from HR to specific teams and departments.
  • It involves both immediate and long-term effects that may have an impact on the productivity and health of the organisation.
  • It is an opportunity to enhance your employer brand and learn more about your business.

Due to the fact that offboarding is more psychologically significant than daily operations, it also has a greater effect on both the employee and the employer. It is the other end of the employee life cycle, and it is significant.

When an employee is otherwise happy and engaged, a bad offboarding experience can leave them with a negative impression of the company and make them reluctant to recommend it to others. On the other hand, a satisfying offboarding procedure can make a disgruntled worker—even one who was unjustly let go—feel less miserable, more hopeful about the future, and more inclined to remember their time at your company with nostalgia.

Employee offboarding affects employers in a number of ways, including how the procedure and the experience impact HR staff, remaining employees, and their employer brand. A good process can increase the likelihood of a favourable review or word-of-mouth recommendation, provide insightful feedback from the departing employee, and reduce the disruption for the remaining staff.

On the other hand, a poorly planned offboarding process increases the likelihood of errors and adds more stress to an already stressful situation. As a result, everything from lost productivity to difficulty hiring will be negatively impacted.

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