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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The 3 Phases of Onboarding

The 3 Phases of Onboarding

The war for talent is particularly brutal right now, so once you find and hire the right person, you might be tempted to pat yourself on the back and relax.

Unfortunately, while you may have won a single battle, the war is still on. It's vital to plan out your strategy and then apply it.

How? By creating a strong onboarding plan that impresses your new hire and sets them on the path to being a top performer. Let’s discuss the 3 phases of our battle plan.

2021 Talent Magazine - Square ButtonPhase 1: Preboarding

Preboarding refers to the time between when your new hire accepts the position and their first day.

Your new hire needs to know they have made the right choice in working with your company and feel an emotional connection to their new team — all before their first day.

Preboarding consists of 4 Key steps:

1. Announce

How you announce a new hire to your existing team and set the stage for their entrance into your company sets the tone for their entrance on your team. Send a group email with your new hire’s name, a few interesting facts, and why they're a valuable addition to your team.

2. Connect

Help your new hire form connections within your company by introducing them to the company or business unit leader, encourage a more in-depth conversation with their immediate leader, and introduce the point person at HR.

3. Communicate

Send an overview of the onboarding process to your new hire, along with timelines and expectations. Send out any paperwork that can be filled out in advance, along with a schedule of their first week.

4. Prepare for Arrival

If you're working in the office, set up their workspace for them and ensue they have the technology and office supplies necessary to hit the ground running. If they're working from home, send out their computer, loaded with the software they need and who to go to with tech issues, along with other equipment and supplies. And company swag always makes a great impression!

Get New Employees Engaged Even Before Their First Day

Phase 2: Orientation

First Day in the Office

With paperwork already completed during pre-boarding, your new hire’s first day can focus on meaningful introductions to their new team, early learning, and feeling welcomed and celebrated.

Think about who will welcome them, show them to their desk, introduce them to the team and take them to lunch. In a virtual environment, plan a “welcome to the team” group meeting, a few check-ins, and an end of day round up. Make them feel as welcomed virtually as they would in person!

First Week on the Job

Plan out how you'll share key information in bite-sized pieces so they can better learn the processes they'll need and better retain that information. This will shorten the overall learning curve.

Create a plan to share your company culture, mission statement, and core values, along with the tools and systems they'll need to use and resources available to them. Think about assigning a “work buddy” to help them through onboarding.

How to Strengthen Your Team With Each New Hire

Phase 3: The Heart of Onboarding

A strong onboarding program typically lasts about 90 days follows the 4 steps below:

1. Learning About Each Other

Schedule some time early on to sit down with your new hire and learn about them. Discuss their strengths as seen on their talent assessment and share their top talent report if you have one. Find out how they like to be managed, rewarded, and their communication style using the Growth Guide. And share your work style and communication style as well.

2. Sharing Expectations

Focus on providing clear expectations to your new hire related to performance and metrics. Be clear on the lead indicators you will be tracking. Your new hire needs to know what success looks like in their role at each stage, short term, and long term.

3. Understanding the Company

Help your new hire understand who the critical stakeholders are in your company as related to their team. And also, who are the informal stakeholders around your team. Schedule appointments for your new hire with key people on other teams who will be able to assist them.

4. Understanding the Customer

To be truly customer-focused, your new hire will need to set-up customer orientation. The basic premise of the customer orientation involves the new seller making appointments with client decision makers to learn the business from the client’s point of view. Why they do business with you and how they do business with you. Learning the customer viewpoint will help your seller to super-serve their clients.

Create a plan for your new hire, share the plan with them, and cheer them on to success!

If you're a client of The Center for Sales Strategy, our new IMPACT Sales Leadership System offers courses on pre-boarding and onboarding!

For more information related onboarding new employees, check out these resources:

employee onboarding study
Topics: onboarding new employee onboarding