Re: Need Help with Onboarding #knowledge-retention #onboarding

Paul McDowall

Hi Lydia,
I developed a large Strategic Onboarding program for a large government department a few years ago and, while the context is quite different, here are a couple of ideas to consider for the Onboarding program.
1. Put any materials in a form that's readily available and used by them.  This could done a variety of ways (e.g a tech platform or App for office workers, or something like bulletin/info boards for non-office staff,...)    An Informational checklist-type form for new hires (important information they may/will need to know) can be a very good starter and reference doc for them.
2. Assign 'buddies' for the first 30 or 60 days to help with those 'where do I go/How do I' questions. Alternatively assign designated staff members as go-to 'champions' for questions pertaining to certain topic areas (e.g. IT, HR, forms, supplies, security, operational function A, operational function B, etc).  Check in on the new hires periodically throughout the 30 or 60 days to make sure they are getting settled in, and then a little while later (month or two?) to get ideas for improvements.
3. Consult with the managers for the new hires to see what the new hires need to learn in the 'getting up to speed' stage (different orgs can have 30 days - 1 year or more in this stage), and identify common needs and the most effective and efficient method of delivering it.   It can be quite surprising to managers what new hires know and don't know.  Whenever possible use internal 'organizational learning' practices to share knowledge, identify experts, build collaboration, etc.
KEY: Make sure you know exactly what their needs are and how best to satisfy those needs.

1. An Exit checklist form can be a useful way to ensure all necessary steps are taken when a person is going to leave (e.g. security, keys, passwords, equipment, forms, cards, etc). 
2. Departing employees with important knowledge or experiences can be asked to hold information/debrief/learning sessions with remaining staff.  Having someone else (e.g. senior operational person, training analyst or business analyst) to help coach the departing employee prepare a thorough and useful debrief session could be advisable.
3. It may seem obvious but all essential work materials/documentation should be complete and organized properly.  This step is seldom done well.

Hope it helps.

Paul McDowall
Know How Works
Ottawa, Canada
Cell: 613-796-7257

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