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Effective on boarding – how to get it right.

16th Jan 2015

A study by the corporate executive board posed the following question to more than 7000 business leaders, managers and HR executives globally.

What improvement in employee performance do you need to achieve your business goals across the next 12 months?

The average response was an uplift of 20% by executives, 22% by managers and 25% by HR.


But with an average of 22% of staff turnover happening in the first six weeks, now more than ever we need to ensure that the talent you spend time and money in recruiting stays, in order to achieve that uplift in employee performance to achieve business success.


So where does the answer lie?


Effective on boarding can make all the difference but before that it’s about changing mind-sets first and changing practices after. Learning should not be viewed as a series of one off events but should be built into the workflow of the business. Well-designed classroom training is perfect to help new employees quickly get to grips with what is expected in their roles and what help is available to them. It also encourages joint problem solving and community building. Further learning follows from practice in context and more practice whilst supported by colleagues. Something that comes from appreciating that learning and performance improvement is a lifetime journey that everyone, no matter what their role or position benefits from adopting a mind-set of continuous learning in the workflow and it should all start from day 1.



Wendy Anderson, Head of HR at Ledingham Chalmers


One company who are working on this are Ledingham Chalmers LLP and we share insights from Wendy Anderson Head of HR at Ledingham Chalmers on how on boarding and a model of continuous learning has worked for them.


1. How do Ledingham Chalmers make their new interns feel welcome?

It is very important to us that the new start is aware of the inclusive working environment we strive for as well as the culture and where it came from. Our Legal Trainees have a 3 part programme that is part of the Law Soc requirements, and that includes an induction week; the generic part also being for Support Staff. This is supported by quality branded documents and products and an induction checklist to ensure all activities are allocated, resourced and signed off.


Pace and content are crucial to a positive experience. We try not to cover too much in actual induction and support this with ongoing development post induction through the programme of learning opportunities that are tailored to the person; the role and the department.


2. What do you think makes good on-boarding?

On boarding is very much about identity and identification. We want the new person to identify with Ledingham Chalmers and what it represents, and also to have a sense of their identity and contribution within that. Attitude is of the greatest importance to us. Skills and competence can be coached, taught and learned.


3. What is the framework for your on boarding experience?

  • Build habits
  • Pace and space
  • Offer a helping hand (super users on hand)
  • Collate feedback


Pace and content is crucial to a positive experience. Beyond the generic induction for all staff there is a programme of learning opportunities that are tailored to the person; the role and the department.


4. What return on investment (ROI) has been measured and reported?

Working with Appetite for Business has enabled us to provide a strong general IT induction for our interns and trainees. It is not always fair to assume that young people coming from University are well versed in the basics of Microsoft! It has also allowed us to provide excellent User Guides which are a “fall back” for all staff.


If you would like to chat to us about on boarding and how Appetite can help you we’d love to hear from you.


Let’s chat, Now that you know who we are, we’d like to get to know you.

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