The process of bringing new talent on board is critical for an organization's success. It's the phase where first impressions are formed, expectations are set, and often where the foundation for future performance is laid. However, if new hires aren’t onboarded successfully, they risk entering what we at Infor refer to as the “trough of uncertainty.” This is a time when new hires worry that this isn’t what they signed up for, or maybe they aren’t cut out for it, a time when things feel overwhelming instead of exciting, and ultimately when they disengage and are at risk of turning over. According to Gallup, only 29% of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their role after their onboarding experience. Given the importance of successful onboarding for laying a strong foundation for success and keeping new hires out of the “trough of uncertainty,” using tools and guidance about how to enhance the new hire experience is critical. Understanding new hires’ Behavioral DNA can lay the foundation to do just that. The same data and insights gained from a talent assessment tool
during the selection process can also be used to onboard and develop that person once they are in role. Because personality is relatively stable, the assessment data is relevant for more than just a short-term or one-time decision
. In this blog, we'll dive into how Behavioral DNA can be leveraged by both new employees and their managers to facilitate a successful onboarding experience.
Starting with the right hire and tailoring the approach
First and foremost, Behavioral DNA contributes to successful onboarding by helping organizations identify candidates who are the right fit for a given role. Talent assessment tools, which often measure personality characteristics, cognitive aptitudes, and/or culture fit, aid in selecting individuals whose behavioral preferences align with the company and specific job role. In other words, well-aligned hires start out on the right foot, and are more likely to adapt quickly during the onboarding process. Additionally, hires who align closely with organizational culture and values are more likely to feel a greater sense of belonging, a crucial factor in new hire retention. Moreover, fostering a collaborative onboarding experience that integrates new hires into their team can enhance the overall success of the process. Team-oriented onboarding allows employees to build strong connections with their peers, promoting a supportive work environment and accelerating their integration into the team dynamic
. Finally, offering an onboarding experience uniquely tailored to the individual can help managers foster strong relationships with new hires, right from the start.
Fostering a strong relationship with the new hire
Building strong manager-new hire relationships should be at the top of any organization's priority list. Talent assessment insights can assist managers in forming those new relationships as they will be clued in on important behavioral preferences of their new hire, such as how they interact with others, how they communicate, and how they prefer to work. For example, a manager might learn through talent assessment insights that a new hire has a preference for working in environments that are more stable and consistent, and, at the same time, know that the new job sometimes requires greater flexibility and comfort with changing priorities. Good practice would be for the manager to ask the new hire to talk about how this has played out in the past, and whether the new hire has developed any strategies for managing work when things are more ambiguous (such as asking clarifying questions, setting and sharing milestones and timelines, and having regular check-ins). If the new hire doesn’t have strategies, the manager should suggest a few, and make it clear that they know it’s something they can help the new hire navigate.
The right tools and guidance can help organizations enable their managers to offer the touchpoints needed to help keep employees out of the trough of uncertainty. Organizations can leverage Behavioral DNA to set managers, and their new hires, up for success by helping to identify what conversations might be needed, and when, based on the specific role and the behavioral preferences of the new hires. Conversations should be regularly scheduled but can also happen during day-to-day interactions, they can be structured around specific topics, or the result of a new learning or question from the new hire. Regardless, it should be the goal of the manager to make new hires feel like they matter, to understand what motivates them, and to figure out how best to manage their working relationships. This type of onboarding experience sets employees on the right path and helps them align with the organization's values while also fostering a positive new hire - manager relationship and overall sense of belonging.