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Let’s explore the tangible impact of onboarding and mentorship on our workforce.

Are Onboarding and Mentorship Really That Important?

We’ve all experienced the ambiguous emotions that the first day on a new job can bring — the excitement, the anxiety, and the uncertainty of working in an intimidating environment with unfamiliar people. There are questions to be asked, tasks to be learned, and good first impressions to be made. As leaders, we should recognize these difficult emotions, and take efforts to ensure that newly-recruited employees are able to feel comfortable and work confidently in their roles.

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We’ve all experienced the ambiguous emotions that the first day on a new job can bring — the excitement, the anxiety, and the uncertainty of working in an intimidating environment with unfamiliar people. There are questions to be asked, tasks to be learned, and good first impressions to be made. As leaders, we should recognize these difficult emotions, and take efforts to ensure that newly-recruited employees are able to feel comfortable and work confidently in their roles. Through effective onboarding and mentorship, we help workers establish strong professional bonds that can provide them with the benefits of time-tested experience and wisdom, encourage self-assurance and pride in their work, and eliminate feelings of reservation, simultaneously maximizing productivity and employee morale. Let’s explore the tangible impact of onboarding and mentorship on our workforce.

Integrating a new employee into an existing work environment is never an easy task. When working co-operatively (or simply interacting with other team members on a regular basis), employees must build and maintain effective lines of communication and mutual support, or risk becoming overwhelmed with responsibilities they are unprepared for. Negative onboarding experiences lead to poor retention, which increases time spent recruiting and training new labour. In contrast, well-implemented onboarding processes that utilize knowledgeable mentors help new hires navigate their workplaces with an informed perspective. Unfortunately, mentorship is an effort-intensive process, and can result in lost productivity when keeping experienced employees occupied for long periods of time. This issue can be addressed through the use of Onboarding and Mentorship Programs — constantly-shifting rosters of willing guides that can offer their insight to new recruits as their schedules allow.

Onboarding and Mentorship Programs also provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the leadership abilities of accomplished employees, and can help strengthen correspondence and collaboration throughout an entire team. Keep in mind that mentorship is a skill like any other, and requires both training and application to ensure it is being employed effectively. Mentors can be selected from a team based on strengths in communication, empathy, responsibility, co-operation, and understanding of the task at hand, and must be willing to foster a comfortable work environment. The onboarding process acts as a company's first impression towards its employees, and should be utilized by mentors to establish corporate values, expectations, and requirements. As such, mentors chosen to realize this limited opportunity need to be both knowledgable and principled to impart the same values on those learning from them. Trustworthiness and engagement are aptitudes recognized across the corporate ladder, and inspire new employees to display a similar level of eagerness in their own performance.

Onboarding and mentorship are two of the most cost-effective ways to educate, motivate, and support newly-recruited employees, and their impact resonates throughout the entirety of a company in the short- and long-term. An effective mentor is just as integral to a team’s productivity as any other leader, and is an essential component in helping new hires develop familiarity with and loyalty to their workplace.

For more on Onboarding and Mentorship’s role in employee retention, contact Lynn Morris, Project Coordinator at EMC. Attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise crucial to leaders in the Canadian manufacturing industry.

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