How to Onboard Yourself at a New Job

onboarding yourself

The pandemic has given rise to occasions where one often finds oneself shuffling between work-from-home and being in office. Such ‘hybrid’ working conditions have given rise to many challenges, one of them being the onboarding process. New recruits might often find themselves on their own to a great extent when it comes to getting oneself familiarised with their new job and the expectations, roles that come with it. Remotely hired recruits might often find themselves feeling unfamiliar with the day-to-day company culture. Essentially, new recruits will end up onboarding themselves.

The Normal Situation:

According to a Unito blogpost, onboarding, generally, is a fairly long-term process which involves the new recruit being familiarised on an organisational, technical and social level. At an organisational level, the new employee gets to know how things work, the company culture, mission and processes. At a technical level, job expectations, goals, definitions of success are explained. At a social level, the employee undergoes a process of getting to know the company community, forge interpersonal connections and building trust.

Unlike an orientation, which is of a very short time-frame, usually a few hours or days, the onboarding process may go on for around a year, and it could start as early as the final interview.

It is true that even in the pre-pandemic situation, the responsibility to assimilate with their new workplace would be as much on the new recruit as much as the company. But now more than ever, one could find oneself bearing the greater share of this responsibility.

Fortunately, there are some tips which can go a long way if you find yourself in a situation where you have to do the onboarding yourself, entirely or to a great extent.

Some organisations don’t have a full-fledged, formally chalked out onboarding process. So, whether you are working remotely or not, it is always a good idea to have some tips handy in order to make the best of the new workplace and assimilate yourself in the new company to optimise your potential.

Onboarding on Your Own:

Drawing on from the three major aspects of onboarding mentioned earlier, there are also three major frameworks of technical, cultural and political learning you can keep in mind when it comes to beginning to onboard yourself at your new company as mentioned in this Blueprintgreen blogpost.

The key lies in knowing which questions to seek answers for. You may ask these questions when their need to be answered arrives to the relevant person, or you may keep this as a mental checklist of sorts, to make sure you are making an effort to ‘get to know’ the company.

  • The Basic Expectations: Gain insight into the fundamentals of the organisation like the clients, audience, technologies used and the everyday functions. Aim at getting an answer to questions like: Who all do I report to for various projects? How am I expected to divide my time? What systems and programs do I need access to do my work, do I have the access and knowledge for it, and who do I consult if I want to know more? What targets am I working toward and how do I know if I am doing a good job, whom should I ask? These include the technical learning aspect.

These might look like basic questions, but any kind of learning begins with asking the right questions at this basic level, and isn’t onboarding essentially a step toward learning more about your new company?

  • The Culture: Each organisation has a certain way of functioning and interacting expected out of its employees. Normal working conditions would give the new recruit an opportunity to observe people first hand, but similar opportunities lack in remote working or within those staggered office hours. And this is where asking yourself questions that follow can help you in gauging the overall attitude and character of the company, and thus manage your interactions accordingly: How does my manager want me to communicate my progress with them? How do colleagues interact with each other? Are we expected to make group or autonomous decisions? How is feedback communicated? How are new ideas received? This is the cultural aspect.
  • The Interactions and Mode of Conduct: Organisations have a certain set of structures of hierarchy and decision-making. It is necessary to know dynamics of positional and personal power. Asking questions such as these would help you approach the right individuals or departments for the right task: Who does my work involve directly and indirectly? What does it take to earn the trust of management? How are new ideas driven forward? What approach does one take if one wants to change someone’s mind? What opportunities exist to take on new responsibilities? What are the best ways to communicate with team members and stakeholders, and in what ways do they vary person-to-person? These questions will essentially help one gauge the subtle codes of conduct and interaction within fellow employees.

Starting to work in a new company can feel a little overwhelming at first, especially if you have been hired remotely or you have limited face time with your new colleagues. To add to it, limited, or no onboarding process from the company’s side can make you feel alienated and isolated even if you love your new job. These questions will provide a starting point in getting to know your new company on the various levels, and thus tailor your tasks and interactions accordingly. The important thing is to give yourself the time to acquaint yourself with the new work environment, real or virtual and keep the learning curve rising, that too at multiple levels.

Professional Lessons to learn from Diwali Festivities

 

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As many of us know, Diwali is not just about a day. The festivities and the rituals begin right from Dhanteras, and go on for days till Bhai Dooj.

Now, here are some professional lessons to be learnt from the five days. Don’t worry, we are not asking you to work during the holiday season, but the following lessons can always be implemented after you come refreshed from a Diwali break.

 Dhanteras:

This day, the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of the month Kartik, is associated with cleansing and purchasing.

The day gives us lessons about the importance of getting rid of chaos and old clutter , and thus make space for order, novelty and freshness.

In the office space, it is similarly necessary to get rid of old, obsolete technology, and be up to date with the emerging trends. Plus, it is a great idea to keep the work station clean, tidy and ordered. There is known to be a positive correlation between work efficiency and a well-lithygienicpeaceful work environment with minimal disturbances.

 

 Chhoti Diwali:

The fourteenth day of the fortnight is associated with preparation of sweets using various ingredients like flour, semolina, dry fruits, milk solids, etc.

Remember how the various sweets are not simply “sweet”, but the taste of the main ingredient always lingers? Be it milk, cashews, almonds, pistachios, there is an instant recognition.

It would do us good if we keep this in mind: it is necessary to retain one’s essence to gain recognition.

For example, an HR manager of any company, would prefer a candidate who is honest  and transparent as opposed to someone who is showy (flamboyant) and ingratiating.

Sooner or later, the inner qualities of that candidate would be recognised, like the main ingredient of the “sweet.”

 

Diwali:

Here comes the festival of lights! There is sound, there is colour, there are feasts, there are Pujas performed, there is celebration everywhere! The young people visit and take blessing from the elders. Oh, and there are diyas, rangolis!

In the professional lingo, this teaches us the importance of good networkingbonding, the importance of mentors. It tells a lot about the power of one small diya. About the power of one single colour to add that missing touch in a rangoli. Sometimes, a rangoli remains incomplete without that one colour. Team work is the Key.

A line of diyas has the capability to light up an entire place. Collaboration, not competition is the way to go.

 

Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj:

Govardhan Puja is celebrated to mark the feat of Shri Krishna when he lifted up a mountain to save cowherds and farmers from incessant rains. Some regions celebrate this day as a New Year, and some as the Annakut, literally mountain of sweets. Some celebrate the bond between husband and wife.

Bhai Dooj celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters, here, the sister acting as a protector of the brother.

Anyhow, the two days teach us a lot about the importance of being supportive to our colleagues, especially in the time of crisis.

Taking responsibility, having empathy, handling interpersonal relationships effectively are some of the lessons we can take with us. It tells us about the importance to have Emotional Intelligence. In short, the importance of taking leadership in little things.

Emotional Intelligence could be used in handling meetings, negative feedback or appraisal, client relations, empowering your colleagues, etc.

Diwali festivities not only give us good times, but good lessons which could be applied in a professional setting.

Delving into meanings of festivals and traditions, could help us a great deal to understand the values and their timelessness.

Happy Diwali!

 

 

(This article has been reposted by us.)

How To Increase Retention With Workplace Aura

One of the most important aspects of employee retention is providing a comfortable work environment and culture. The employees should feel safe and comfortable in their workplace. No one wants to walk into a room and feel uncomfortable every day. This can be accomplished by making the workplace personal and welcoming. It is important that the office is well-lit and properly ventilated. Designing a comfortable work environment is about aesthetics; careful attention to its design can boost the employee happiness. The office culture should match the industry.

workplace-aura

Entrepreneurs recommend that the employees should be offered skill enhancement training. The changes in employment laws, latest technologies and new selling techniques are some of the reasons to keep the permanent employees in the loop. Seminars and classes provide training to the employees about the updated techniques. Computerized training, DVDs, books, articles, audiotapes and pamphlets also help in acquiring the desired knowledge. Reviews or evaluations help in assessing the employee performance and their enthusiasm towards the goals set by the company.

A lot about the employees can be known only by listening to them. They may have interesting ideas or business plans that can be implemented which will make them feel like they are also a part of the entire business process. Anyone can spare a few minutes from their busy schedules to find out what is going on with the employees professional and personal lives. Recognizing the accomplishments of the employees is most important. Awarding a prize or praising employees for their performance is one of the most effective ways to make them feel appreciated, which will make them want to stay in the company for a longer time.

Offering a competitive salary package helps in keeping the employees happy and satisfied. The salaries are based on employee skill, experience, work seniority and demand. However, high salary is not always the only deciding factor about employees seeking employment elsewhere. There are other benefits that they often look for like health insurance, life insurance or a retirement-savings plan and these are essential in retaining employees.

Constructive fun like innovative workshops, quiz/other contests and party games in an inclusive environment removes pressure from a hierarchal workplace. Everyone is able to decompress, have fun, share their stories, and work together while becoming closer as a unit. Most of the skills that are needed in the employees cannot be effectively retained and implemented without repetition and practice.  Retaining employees is as important as maintaining the bottom line or increasing scope of influence because workforce represents the essence of a business regardless of the specific niche, or industry.

Hence do take good care of your Most Important M (men).

Being Well Ensures Being Successful: A Workplace Initiative

Maintaining a positive vibe and enthusiastic ambience at workplace is the key for successful business proceedings. Many times it is seen that the physical and mental illness of the staffs affects the growth of the company. The most common cause that damages a firm’s proceedings is non attendance. This is mainly caused by physical weakness, mood disorder, depression or some other illness resulting in drop in performance meter of the employee and degrading of moral at the workplace.

Now, what begs the question is how exactly well being of employee effect the company’s prosperity. It is statistically approved through different office surveys that the employees working under poor conditions and provisions are more susceptible to non attendance and lack of aspiration while in case of well-conditioned employees this disorder is quite low. The former situation likely to deteriorate the turnover of the company while the latter situation will no way degrade the turnover but may also improve the stakes for the firm.

With the business boom happening all over the globe, more and more offices are coming into play meaning more workforce environments are being formed. Under these situations, it is of utmost importance to keep the physical and mental condition of the employees afresh. If the employees are deprived in either of the conditions the drive for accomplishment for the company will slow down. For this very reason, today’s firms are always encouraging their work place employees to keep themselves fit and fine which will ultimately beneficial for creating positive vibe for the firm and in its path of progress. The organizations nowadays are providing their staffs with health check gadgets for their fitness regime, exercise and spa outings, recreational activities and other stuff for the employees’ well being.

employee-wellness

Some of the methods for employee well-being initiative are discussed below

  1. It is important to lookout for employee’s fitness regime

The company can keep track of employees’ fitness through mobile apps and also pass awareness messages and alerts to them during slack.

  1. Keep the employees busy in extracurricular activities

By arranging periodical recreational activities like sports and others in the veil of competition will ignite workplace rivalry and keep them tracked on fitness regime.

  1. 3. Encourage healthy living among the staff

Companies are aware today that the health care costs are increasing day by day and healthy employees will bring in higher efficiency and hence healthy production. It is imperative to take proper care in order to maintain wellness of the employees. The following steps could be taken to encourage good health among the staff:

  • Blood tests can be regularly organised by the companies for the employees.
  • A doctor can be called upon to talk on issues related to health care.
  • Yoga classes/camps can be conducted.

 

  1. It is important to give employees a vitality boost every now and then

The firm needs to do all to keep the moral high in the work place to spread the business further. Occasional remodelling of the work place will light up the employees’ moods and inspire them to work more efficiently; let’s face it everyone wants something new in the daily grind.

  1. The all purpose office will realise dream

The people nowadays are fitness aware but restrict themselves to equipment exercise like gymming, swimming, aerobics, cycling etc. The offices providing these facilities along with recreation centres and nutritional yet good meals as amenities will definitely get cent percent dedication and efforts from their employees, catapulting the firm to the next level.