Moving a skilled existing employee into a new role is a great way to strengthen your organization and empower “one of your own” to grow and develop their skills.
It’s also a great way to sidestep the costly recruitment process, which in 2022 can set an organization back, on average, more than €5000 per hire.
But the process of transitioning an existing employee into a new role within your organization isn’t as simple as signing a new contract and throwing them in the deep end. For your mover to be successful, it’s important to have a formalized process in place to support them throughout the transition period.
This process is known as crossboarding.
What is crossboarding?
Crossboarding is a relatively new term to describe employees making internal moves within an organization. The process is most commonly employed when a team member is moving from their existing team/department into a new role.
Many of the hallmarks of a good crossboarding process are taken from the more established onboarding and offboarding processes.
Like onboarding, crossboarding is designed to alleviate fears, establish expectations, communicate knowledge and set employees up for long-term success. And like offboarding, crossboarding should help the mover tie up loose ends in their existing role, ensuring a smooth start for their replacement.
Why does crossboarding matter?
From a financial perspective, crossboarding makes a lot of business sense as it allows organizations to skip lengthy and expensive recruitment processes. Additionally, crossboarding an existing employee who already possesses intimate knowledge of the organization will ensure a faster return to full role productivity than hiring a fresh recruit.
But it goes far beyond financial implications - good crossboarding impacts how your employees feel.
According to Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute, positive reinforcement is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve employee happiness. Well, what is good crossboarding if not a positive reinforcement of your commitment to your mover? You’ve hand-picked them for a new role and by giving them the tools they need to succeed within that role, you’re telling them “we believe in you and your skills”.
Critical crossboarding tasks:
How to be me
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!
On the horizon
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.
Buddy o pal
Just like in onboarding, a crossboarding buddy is a great way to make a new team welcome. Be sure to pick someone who’s always up for a chat so your mover has someone to ask all those niggly new role questions.
Informal manager catch-ups are a good way to give movers an opportunity to ask questions, gain departmental insights and course correct if necessary.
Be sure to give your mover plenty of opportunities to give feedback on their transitionary experience. These can be digital or in-person, anonymous or otherwise, so long as you do something with the insights you use that feedback for future process improvements!