Onboarding is a terrible term. Somewhere someone’s CV has ‘I coined the term ‘onboarding” written on it and they should be proud of getting something into such common usage and slightly apologetic that we use such an odd term to mean ‘make welcome and give support’. I often hear people say they are looking forward to
- Joining my new company
- Making a fresh start
- Getting to meet my new team
- Making a start on the work
- Getting their head around what they need to do
I have never, ever, ever, ever heard anyone say that they were looking forward to being ‘onboarded’.
But now I’ve had a rant I wanted to thank Ramaa Ramesh for commenting on one of my older blogs. Ramaa pointed out that we don’t often treat people like OUR success depends upon them. It’s a subtle but important mindset that involves more ownership and thinking.
If your success as an organisation is vested in and dependent on the success of your new starters then how would you do things differently? Would you ‘onboard’ them or would you do your level best to work with and support them to ensure that they make a great and productive start to their new role?
Hat tip once again to Tim Harford’s Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy (onboarding wasn’t one of them).
And yes, I pressed publish on purpose this time. Sorry once again if you are a regular reader.