AJO Blog

Eight Steps to On-Boarding Successfully


July 15th, 2015
After working in the corporate world for seven years, I found myself craving a more entrepreneurial role. I was so enthralled with the change, I overlooked the most stressful part, on-boarding. Transitioning to a smaller organization and a family business was a drastic change and it came with some anxiety. However, having a strategy helped to ensure that I hit the ground running while maintaining an up tempo attitude and positive energy.

Turning Chaos into Opportunity in Your New Organization

Career transition of any sort can be one of the most humbling and stressful events in life. As you go from master to newbie, it is imperative to have a strategy in order to stay focused and learn efficiently. Here are some tips to make your on-boarding successful and impactful.
  1. Leverage Your Team - Think of a company as your army. Your colleagues are willing to go to battle with you. From the get go, it is important to set aside time to get to know your new colleagues and how you can play as a team. Adopt a mentality of learning everyone’s role, areas of expertise and unique gifts in order to leverage their knowledge and skills.
  2. Listen & Learn - Over the first 90 days, listen carefully and take great notes from those around you. Keep an open-mind and try not to form opinions too quickly, as there is usually a reason behind the way things are. It is normal to want to change or implement your ideas. Through active listening and learning, you will not only instill trust but also ensure your suggestions are based on an understanding of the opportunities and challenges.
  3. Chunk Your Responsibilities - In Jill Konrath’s book Agile Selling she uses the term “chunking” to break down tasks into silos. This is crucial in order to learn about your responsibilities and how they will take up your day.
  4. Prioritize Your Tasks - Each day, you should be learning something new. You may want to take Brian Tracy’s advice and Eat that Frog, which implies taking on the worst or most challenging tasks and activities first.
  5. Create a 30/60/90 Day Plan - In order to manage and track your progression, it is important that you build a 30/60/90 day plan. This should be developed by you and shared with your manager to show early progress. If you need a resource, The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins has great strategies for mastering this step.
  6. Update Your Supervisor - Most supervisors have the best intentions for their new hire. After hiring a new employee, they are usually relieved that they filled the position. The daily tasks may distract a supervisor and many companies do not having a formal training process, resulting in possible gaps in learning areas. It is important to speak up if you run into challenges when this happens.
  7. Consider a Coach - A coach has knowledge and training that will help accelerate the on-boarding process and many organizations are willing to assign an internal or external coach, especially in new leadership roles. Many coaches specialize in assimilation or integration coaching. By asking questions and listening, coaches can develop a customized plan to support your transition.
  8. Kill Idle Time Through Time Management - Most fear and anxiety occurs when there is down time. Make sure to book up your day and move from one activity to the next without giving it a second thought. This will also create more energy and push you to work harder, faster and smarter, accelerating your learning curve.

About Kyle O'Connor
Kyle joined AJO earlier this year in his new role as Director, Client Services. He brings over eight years of experience successfully fostering client relationships in diverse industries such as Medical Devices, Global Logistics and Social Media. Kyle has been recognized for growing market share through consultative solutions and building strong relationships, earning him President’s Club and Rookie of the Year awards in his previous roles. Kyle believes in providing his clients superior service and as such, his responsibilities include creating digital content that allows AJO's HR Community to learn and grow.