We can all understand the meaning of a "blind spot" — it's something that, despite our best efforts, escapes our view when looking at the big picture.
When it comes to onboarding, "blind spots" are inefficiencies within the program that slip through the cracks.
Every company has different blind spots. They can be small details (does your new hire know the lunch plan on day one?) or gaping holes in your onboarding program (no desk? that's a problem). But regardless of size, they can shape the way your new hire perceives the company during their first days, weeks, or months on the job.
Taking a hard look at onboarding blind spots might be uncomfortable, but it's important. If your company wants happy managers, thriving teams, and high new hire retention, addressing blind spots is essential.
So how do you see your own onboarding blind spots?
Start with the common pain points. What feedback do you hear about from managers during the onboarding process? Are any of those reports of frustrations common from different teams or departments?
For example, we've talked with customers that send anywhere from 10 to 15 emails to managers every time a new employee is hired. The emails include details like when a new hire will arrive for their first day, how to order their equipment, etc.
Yes, this is important information for managers to have.
But 15 emails? That's too many!
Sorting through so many emails can leave managers feeling overwhelmed. They might even stop reading the emails, and crucial information about the new hire's onboarding process.
In this case, the barrage of onboarding emails is a clear sign that onboarding communication has gone unchecked for years, and the managers suffer because of it.
And that's just one example.
If a detail in your onboarding program is causing team members to break the intended onboarding process, it's a blind spot.
The important thing to remember about blind spots is that they can be fixed, and often it doesn't take much of a change to do so.
In the case of our emailing example, directors and department managers can connect with staff to get started. Learn what other communication systems are available (e.g. Slack), and then create a plan to combine onboarding information. Is it possible to combine essential new hire information into one "package", and send that to managers?
With fewer emails to read, managers can still receive all the details about a new hire without feeling overwhelmed. They'll have mental space to prepare for the new hire's arrival, and feel connected to the new onboarding process.
Not all blind spots are as simple as the emailing example, but we've found that more often than not, addressing a blind spot isn't too complicated.
It simply requires honest attention and some creative thinking to find a better solution.
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