Everboarding is the Key to Talent Retention
The Association of Talent Development (ATD) reports that the amount of information new hires learn in the first few days and weeks can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, many organizations consider onboarding a one-and-done process with tutorial videos and copious digital resources to comb through on your own. It’s a victory if you can find the bathroom and operate the copy machine in your first few days let alone retain all the information being thrown at you. Remote workers have additional challenges like developing rapport with new colleagues in a virtual environment.
A former boss shared that it would take a year to fully acclimate to the organization and understand the cycle of work, the stakeholders, and the processes in place. He was right! While the responsibility and the accountability for deliverables was immediate, it did take a year to understand the seasons of the business and the nuances of the role, the organization, and the players.
Savvy companies are starting to implement everboarding, a new concept that takes the one-time onboarding experience to a new level with a continuous journey. The learning doesn’t stop after the first 90 days in a new role and doesn’t focus only on your quiz results after you watch the IT security and DEI videos. Everboarding concentrates on long term knowledge retention. It’s a customized approach designed for each individual and their role.
According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if their employer invested more in their learning and professional development.
Everboarding can be part of an employee’s continuous professional development and have a positive impact on retaining top talent. A revolving door of talent is costly and a clear morale killer, so rethinking how you welcome people into your organization and retain them for the long run is worth the effort.
Next Gen Onboarding
HR Morning reports in a piece by Allison Roller that everboarding can be especially helpful for remote workers who may not be fully immersed in the company culture when they work from home. “Many companies are still struggling to establish their remote onboarding processes,” says Amy Cohn, Chief People Officer of Allego. To attract, train and retain the best talent and keep up with the challenges and demands of hybrid work environments, companies must shift to ‘everboarding.’”
Everboarding can also provide a better, more individualized process to help them adjust to their new work environment. “Employees crave this kind of personalized approach. Companies that shift to everboarding will thrive as workplace dynamics shift – and attract the next generation of workers,” says Cohn.
A Humanistic Approach
Continuous learning positively impacts existing employees as well as new hires. Roller shares these best practices:
Shift your mindset. The shift to everboarding takes an entire company to help evolve the culture into one that values continuous learning and support for employees. Utilize policies and practices that put learning and development at the forefront of company culture.
Prioritize learning during work. Continuous learning doesn’t just mean once or twice monthly training courses. Incorporate learning and development into the regular workflow to help employees continue learning and development daily. One-on-one meetings between managers and employees can also be a great opportunity to help employees with their learning and development with added support from managers.
Utilize training playbooks. Playbooks are a great learning and development tool because employees can look back at them whenever needed. They can help employees adapt to new processes and give them a visual guideline for what to do.
Connect Strategy and Purpose to Culture
In my book, Your Career Advantage: Overcome Challenges to Achieve a Rewarding Work Life, I wrote a section on why company culture matters.
It’s time to put company values into practice and create workplace environments where values are experienced throughout the lifecycle of an employee. At every stage, company culture needs to be communicated.
Hiring – Help prospective talent understand company values, behaviors, and culture during the interview process.
Everboarding – Create a sense of belonging that lasts by providing new employees with a thorough orientation process and longer-term training programs that immerse them into the behaviors of the company’s culture.
Talent management and development – Create a learning lab environment where individuals can achieve mastery in key areas and have opportunities for ongoing professional development. This develops the company culture and builds a strong internal bench for succession planning and advancement opportunities.
Offboarding – Align employee departures with company values. You may not have considered how important culture, behaviors, and values are when offboarding an employee who is leaving your company. Savvy leaders know that employees who leave can continue to be positive brand ambassadors — or not. Stewarding relationships with alumni employees can lead to knowledge transfer, business development, and boomerang talent that returns with new and valuable experiences down the road. The way an employee exits your organization matters.
Design a Culture to Empower People to Do Their Best Work
With the job market ripe with opportunities, people have options to work in organizations that practice a culture where they can thrive. Smart leaders will look at culture as an evolution and not a checklist item to finish. Continuous improvement is at the heart of a living culture, and leaders must be willing to listen regularly to what employees need and want to do their best work.
The world of work changed dramatically. To attract and retain top talent, culture is a must-have experience. Companies need to demonstrate actions and behaviors that are practiced and not just visible on the company website. Company culture will be a defining factor in the future of work and will distinguish successful companies over the long haul. If companies become learning organizations and commit to understanding what’s working and where they need to develop, the results will be emotional agility and a company culture where people can thrive.