Inboarding vs. Onboarding: A Guide for Employers

October 21, 201910:00 am
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While hiring managers are often busy recruiting new staff and introducing the new workspace to them, it is equally crucial to focus on retaining the best talent on board, too. Only by doing so, the company can ensure the creation of an engaged and high-performing team. In other words, both inboarding and onboarding is essential.

What is inboarding and onboarding?

We often hear the term onboarding but rarely mentions its brother, inboarding.

Inboarding and onboarding share the same definition as an ongoing process that helps employees (both new and established ones) acquire knowledge, skills, processes, and training needed for success within an industry. However, both terms serve different entity within the workforce.

See also: Seven Smart Strategies for REMOTE Team Onboarding

· Onboarding

Onboarding, also known as organisational socialisation, is a comprehensive process that involves helping new hires understand their role and their place in an organisation. Onboarding is different from an orientation program that is only discussing the outer skin of business operation. Onboarding is much like diving deeply from surface to inner organisation operation, so ever since new hires step his foot in the office, they will have a picture of what to do and what is expected from them.

· Inboarding

On the other hand, inboarding is a continuous process of onboarding. If onboarding focuses on new hires, inboarding focuses on present employees. Inboarding is aimed to support current employees who change positions, get promoted or move to a different location. In other words, inboarding is an ongoing process to establish and help employees acquire knowledge, skills, processes, and training needed to succeed in their new role or position.

Why should employers care about inboarding and onboarding?

“What should I do? Where do I turn to when I have a problem? Why does everything seem so confusing?”

Those questions would typically come from an employee who never experiences onboarding or new manager without inboarding program. In fact, every company that does not have such programs or is unsuccessful in conducting them will suffer from declining productivity and decreased performance from new hires. Employees without a successful onboarding program will also feel stressed and feel disconnected from the rest of the team due to a lack of knowledge about the job.

That said, onboarding is an important thing to do. Research published at MIT Sloan revealed that onboarding is the most critical time in an employee’s experience at a company. It has a long-lasting impact on engagement, performance, and retention for the long run.

Same as onboarding, inboarding is also beneficial in terms to retain top performers. Inboarding, Harver said, gives permanent impact on employees’ wellbeing, happiness, motivation, as well as engagement. Inboarding is also considered critical when promoting a new manager or leader position to employees. By assisting inboarding program to newly manager, there will be likely lower stress and turnover rate.

On the way to in- and onboard employee

Employer should carefully develop and promote both onboarding and inboarding program on its own terms. To do that, here are the steps involved in making organisational change through inboarding and onboarding.

Onboarding steps:
  • Build Four C’s (connection, culture, clarification, and compliance) framework plan to help new hires get everything they need to get started. This four c’s is a fast start to introduce the outer skin of your organisation.
  • Build a relationship by having open communication so new hires will not be confused every time a problem occurs.
  • Find your new hire a buddy or develop a buddy program for them. This program helps them feel welcomed. New hires can also turn to “the buddy” for every small problem occur during their first month. Remember, as best as possible, the buddy program should be individuals who have the ability as a mentor, connector, and friend.
  • Give them their work kit on day one such as uniform, laptop, a mug, tools and everything they need, thus, they will feel ready and belong to your company family since day 1.
Inboarding steps:
  • Always reflect internally before bringing external talents, meaning that managers should be educated to think of potential employee within an organisation before turning to recruitment agency when managers want to strengthen the team.
  • Provide personal and professional development regularly
  • Enable training program regularly for the internal team because there will always be new challenges in every department, every position.
  • Improve team cohesion to improve loyalty and engagement. Things like get-together night time, birthday celebration, or after-hour drinks will be fun to have.
  • Remove organisational barriers by giving a project to the interested team only. This will allow for more connection and internal job switches. It can also be a good professional development strategy.
  • Never forget feedback and recognition even for former employees. 

Read also: What is Greenhouse HR Onboarding?

This article first appeared on Talentvis