Using McQuaig to Build a Winning Onboarding Program

Building a winning onboarding program is a little bit like gardening. You can spend a lot of time (and money) planning what your garden will look like, buying the flowers and plants you need to bring it to life, but if you just plop them into the ground without watering, fertilizing, and checking on them regularly, you won’t have much to show for it after a few weeks.

As a McQuaig customer, though, you can use The McQuaig System to help you build a top-notch onboarding program.

Onboarding is not a one-day, or one-week process. In some companies it can run as long as two years. We recommend mapping out a process for 12 months and I’ll show you how to use McQuaig in each of the key phases to make or improve your program. Research from the Aberdeen Group has shown that building a program that works can:

  • improve new hire productivity by 54 percent;
  • increase revenue by 60 percent;
  • increase retention by 25 percent ; and
  • increase customer satisfaction by 63 percent

You’ll be able to get even more detail on building a winning onboarding program in an upcoming ebook that will be released in late August.

Phase 1 – Pre-hire

Onboarding begins before you even make a hire. Your candidate experience plays a huge role in how a new hire adapts to working life at your company. As does the preparatorysteps you take during this phase.

The McQuaig 3-Step Process recommends creating an ideal candidate profile, using the McQuaig Job Survey, as a benchmark to measure candidates against. In addition to using this to ensure you find the right candidate, it also plays a role in onboarding. By creating this job profile, you can use it to:

Create a job description that describes how a candidate will apply their natural traits to succeed and allow them to better picture themselves in the role and your culture
Customize copy on your career website to speak to the behavioral attributes you’re looking for. Highlighting the things that matter to your ideal candidates and also highlighting what you don’t want so other candidates can self-deselect

In the Interview

Having the level of understanding of the candidate that a McQuaig profile provides allows you to tailor your approach in the interview and communicate the elements of your employer brand or value proposition that are most likely to appeal to that candidate. This goes a long way toward helping the eventual hire connect with the organization at this early stage.

Phase 2 – Post-hire, pre-Day 1

Once your new hire has accepted your offer, you can use the time between acceptance and Day 1 to create a connection and build a customized onboarding program.

We respond better to a process that is personalized for us. Onboarding is no different. You can use the insights you have from your new hire’s profile to customize the onboarding process to suit their personality.

Is your new hire analytical and likely to prefer to consume detailed information, or more social and operate from emotion? Are they likely to embrace change, or will they need help with the change involved in a new job. It’s all in their profile. Use these insights to structure or personalize a program that will best engage them.

Some of the report sections that will help you in this include:

  • Motivating factors– understand how to best engage with them to achieve results
  • Strategies for coaching and development– use the “Dos & Don’ts” report to help prepare the manager with suggestions for best approach for coaching
  • Learning style report– if your onboarding includes training, these are critical insights
  • Team approach– understand how they work in a team and anticipate how they’ll fit in and impact team dynamics

This is also a time when you can share insights from the hiring manager’s profile and the profiles of their team mates, to help them get to know their new colleagues a little better before their first day.

Phase 3 – Day 1

Most employees leave managers, not companies. The manager/employee relationship is critical to retention, engagement and productivity. Get this relationship off on the right foot by ensuring your hiring manager has reviewed the sections on motivation, coaching and development in the new hire’s profile. This will provide boundless insights on how to approach and build rapport with the new hire. It’s also key for ongoing coaching, but we’ll talk more about that later.

On Day 1, provide your new hire with their McQuaig profile and their manager’s profile. An activity for Week 1 should be for your new hire to read both.

Phase 4 – Day 2 to Three Months

According to research, 22 percent of new hires leave in the first 45 days. This period is critical to retention.

The manager/employee relationship: On Day 1 you gave your new hire a copy of their profile and that of their manager’s. Week 1 is the perfect time for a meeting between an employee and their manager to discuss their styles, preferences and how they can most effectively work together using the insights from their profiles.

The team relationship: Use the Team Approach Report to understand how the hire will work in a team and how, specifically, he or she will work with his or her teammates based on their profiles.

Phase 5 – Three Months to One Year

Now is the time to use The McQuaig Self-Development report. Providing employees with a copy of their report, followed by a meeting with their manager to discuss and set goals around key strengths/development areas can help keep engagement high.

The manager should use results from the assessment to drive coaching and development activity.