On Boarding in the Federal Government

Posted by Ric on July 11, 2015 in Management |

Imagine you are offered a one-hour meeting with one your personal Heroes. Would you show up in a stained shirt, torn trousers, and when they offer to shake your hand would you smack them in the face? Strangely that’s about the way most new federal employees are treated in their on boarding experience.

I hear stories in class repeatedly about employees showing up to new assignments in the federal government and their supervisor does not even know where they are going to sit. In the event that they actually have a cubicle assigned there’s often no computer and they haven’t been provided the simplest tools for job, such as a pad of paper and some pens. It’s a shabby display of the way to treat a new employee.

On boarding as a critical experience since it sets the tone for the entire next year of the employee’s relationship with the organization. It’s your chance to make the right first impression on how you treat people; but your actions will speak much louder than your words. It’s unacceptable to say that the “system” is responsible for the fact that an employee has no place to sit or  the equipment that they will need to do their job. You would almost think that new employees sprung up over the night like mushrooms.

Here’s some things you can do to make on boarding a pleasant activity:

  • Maintain a roster of open positions which fill actions of been requested on from HR.  Ask for regular updates.
  • Know the start date well in advance of each new employee
  • Assign a sponsor to each new employee by name, and brief that sponsor on their role in introducing the employee to coworkers, touring the office, and answering questions about operations
  • ensure workspace and the appropriate tools for their position are in place a week before the employee shows up

Taking these simple steps will give your new employee a sense of being valued, rather than ignored.  Top it off with a welcoming function, or a small note on their desk, and you may actually get them excited to be there!


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