If you travel often for business, you’re probably familiar with the sheer luxury of “pre-boarding,” or the opportunity to board a flight or other transportation before everyone else. Passengers love being able to get on the plane, put away their carry-on luggage, and get settled before everyone else sits down. Pre-boarding programs keep frequent travelers happy and loyal while offering free advertising to the rest of the passengers.
Pre-boarding makes so much sense in context of transportation leading more organizations to pre-board employees in lieu of the more traditional approach of “on-boarding”.
Pre-boarding enables new employees (their new manager and their new teammates) with the opportunity to get comfortable in their new work environment by getting to know their new boss and colleagues even before the first day.
Offering new employees the opportunity to get comfortable in their new surroundings seems like a no-brainer yet continues to be conspicuously absent from many current HCM technologies. Even the more innovative solutions continue to focus on optimizing the onboarding process, while ignoring the critical people component.
Offering the employee the opportunity to complete their administrative paperwork beforehand (on-boarding) is typically more of an efficiency or tactical advantage for HR. It may even improve the employee’s onboarding experience by saving time on their first day. However, we think it’s time to step back and remind ourselves about the business goal for on-boarding; reduce the disruption of a new employee on business by closing the gap between starting on the job and becoming productive.
Knowing this, streamlining the administrative side of the onboarding process is a very small part of the battle.
After paperwork is complete (mostly benefiting HR), the employee still knows nothing about how to best collaborate with the people they will be working with. They are left to guess how to best approach their boss, colleagues and other members of their team, slowing everyone down. They’ll inadvertently offend someone, provide too much (or not enough data), they’ll spend too much time talking and being personal (or not enough), they’ll step in landmines. With today’s technologies, many of these can be avoided.
Today’s collaboration (trial and error) takes time and has been around since people began working together; without the analytics of collaboration, an on-boarding process is the same as it’s always been.
Does your business have time to take the long route to productivity? Or can it avoid the landmines?
Pre-Boarding with a Team Playbook: The Direct Flight to Productivity
When the business goal is to shorten the time-to-productivity gap, innovative organizations leverage analytics-driven technology — to pre-board their new employees. One example is a highly customized, dynamically generated Team Playbook™. This will give them a better sense of the way their colleagues (boss, direct reports, any set of employees) prefer to collaborate before their first day on the job, yielding a more informed, productive and ready to hit the ground running employee armed to avoid many standard 1st week gaffes. When aggregated this means a happier bottom line.
Talent Analytics’ Team Playbook™ is a Collaboration Guide distributed to a new employee, their manager and their team, pre-first day on the job. It provides 1 page of analytics-driven custom tips per colleague to facilitate better communication and pre-empt issues with their boss, colleagues and anyone else their manager anticipates they’ll be working with. Having this analytics-driven insight before starting provides new employees the unprecedented opportunity to be introduced to their new colleagues before their first day – while reducing the time-to-productivity gap for the business. Just like pre-boarding a flight early, everyone wins!
How to Pre-board with a Team Playbook
After the employee accepts the job offer, send a Team Playbook to get started learning about their new co-workers as part of their pre-boarding preparation. People data about their new team is already in the system as part of the pre-hiring process, a PDF is generated in seconds and downloaded from inside any innovative HCM system* that includes Talent Analytics content. This makes it incredibly easy to access and update when teams inevitably change.
An additional business benefit of analytics-driven talent content is the output is available in both qualitative and quantitative format. Re-use this employee data as numbers in future predictive analytics initiatives.
The next time you need to on-board a new team member, whether it’s a CEO, team of interns, a cross functional team or anyone in between, don’t forget to give them an opportunity to jumpstart collaboration with anyone in the new employee’s work ecosphere before they start. Business results show the value of pre-boarding!
*Ask your HCM solution provider if they integrate Talent Analytics’ analytics-driven talent content.