Moving from one stage of the employee lifecycle to another can be an overwhelming experience.
We call these types of moves "employee transitions", and getting them right can dramatically impact the long-term success of your organization and its employees.
There are five main transitionary phases in the employment lifecycle; Preboarding, Onboarding, Crossboarding, Reboarding and Offboarding.
Today we’ll be exploring each phase, taking a look at how they work, and offering a few tips & tricks to set your human resources up for success.
Preboarding is the first major employee transition, starting the moment a new recruit accepts an offer of employment and continuing until they land in the office (or start remotely) on day 1.
Technically, preboarding is a part of the larger onboarding process - but it does have its own unique challenges.
Good preboarding is designed to alleviate new hires’ first-day fears, give them the tools to be up & running faster, and ultimately drive engagement and retention.
Three things to do TODAY for better preboarding:
→ Send new hires an “ambassador pack” with their business cards and other brand material or company "swag".
→ Set up an informal Zoom breakfast or lunch for the new hire and their team.
→ Deliver all the tedious new hire paperwork pre-start for a more enjoyable first day.
Defined as “the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs”, onboarding is the transitionary phase between recruitment and employment.
Good onboarding is what we call an "umbrella term".
Done right, it should incorporate the pre-start period (preboarding), facilitate early employment activities such as training, icebreakers, and social get-togethers (orientation & induction), and support new hires until they are fully settled into their role whether that’s 3 weeks, 3 months, or even a year (integration).
In a nutshell - onboarding is a comprehensive, 2-way process designed to share knowledge, communicate values, build connections and manage compliance to transform new hires into confident, empowered team members and ambassadors.
Three things to do TODAY for better onboarding:
→ Formalize your buddy program and empower buddies to meaningfully support new hires.
→ Align activities & training with current projects to ensure new hires receive the most relevant information.
→ Have managers and/or HR check in with new hires on a regular basis.
Crossboarding is a relatively new term to describe internal employee movement within an organization. The process is most often utilized when a team member is moving out of their existing team/department into a new role.
Many of the activities within a crossboarding process are lifted from both onboarding and offboarding, which makes sense considering that employees making internal moves are essentially ‘leaving’ one job for another - albeit within the same organization.
A formalized crossboarding process can help ensure your mover ties up all their loose ends in their previous role, ready to hit the ground running in their new one. Done well, crossboarding can minimize the training and development time spent on your mover’s replacement AND vastly improve your mover’s time-to-productivity in their new role.
Three things to do TODAY for better crossboarding:
→ Have your crossboardee put together an in-depth "how-to" guide for their replacement to ensure a seamless transition of duties.
→ Help make your mover feel more comfortable within their new team by holding a small team get together - feel free to throw in a few icebreakers for good measure!
→ Create a ‘first-weeks-on-the-job’ timeline for your mover that includes meetings with key team members and organizational insiders - share this in advance for peace of mind.
Want a crash-course in crossboarding? Learn more in our blog What is crossboarding and why does it matter?
Reboarding is a process most often undertaken by employees who have been absent from your organization for some time (whether for parental leave, burn-out, or other reasons), and are transitioning back into your organization.
Its purpose is to re-familiarize returning staff members with the inner workings of your organization, get them back on top of their projects, welcome them back into your company’s social circle and ultimately get them back up and running faster.
During the pandemic, reboarding was a popular tool for organizations looking to bring their teams back from furlough, or back into the office after a remote absence.
Good reboarding follows the same principles as good onboarding, but the process is often more tailored to cater to the employee’s existing organizational knowledge.
Three things to do TODAY for better reboarding:
→ Drip feed information leading up to an employees return to the office to avoid overwhelming them.
→ Check in often with your returning employees to ensure they are settling in OK.
→ Make information easy to access by centralizing all the resources they need to get up to speed.
The last employee transition is offboarding, otherwise known as exit management.
Taking place right before the formal separation of an employer and their employee (whether voluntarily or otherwise) offboarding is often overlooked, with more than 70% of organizations lacking a formal exit management policy.
Good offboarding should provide support for the 5 key components (or Offboarding ABCs) of effective exit management: Assessment, Brand, Compliance, Dignity, and Expertise.
Done well, offboarding will safeguard business continuity, grow your future processes, and ultimately create loyal brand ambassadors who leave your organization with their heads held high.
Three things to do TODAY for better offboarding:
→ Crowdsource your goodbye message. Have the leaver's colleagues sign a card with a personal message to remind them how much they will be missed.
→ Set a date for a formal handover of responsibilities with your leaver’s replacement (or other relevant parties).
→ Hold a formal exit interview. Ask open-ended questions and consider incentivizing the process to ensure maximum participation.