Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect. New recruits face a whirlwind of strong emotions, leaving many feeling excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Having made it through the often lengthy and taxing interview process, next comes the onboarding stage.
Now, there are a few things that all incoming workers expect from their new employers at the point of onboarding. A warm welcome, general introductions, and access to all necessary information and resources, just to name a few. One wrong move and businesses can very quickly lose the trust of new recruits.
The interview stages give job applicants a flavour of what to expect from their role and the wider company, but what if the reality doesn’t match their expectations?
Too often, individuals begin and end day one at a new company with very different sentiments. This phenomenon is being labelled as ‘job shock’ or ‘shift shock’.
How can organisations ensure that their onboarding process – and long-term employee support programmes – match the expectations of their new hires, especially when it comes to delivering the relevant resources to help get them up to speed?
What is ‘job shock’?
Kathryn Minshew, Entrepreneur and founder of The Muse, coined the phrase ‘shift shock’ to account for “that feeling when you start a job and realise, with either surprise or regret, that the position or company is very different from what you were led to believe.”
According to The Muse’s research, 72% of employees have experienced ‘shift shock’ at some point in their careers.
Hiring is a two-way street. Employers set out to find the candidate that best suits a particular role; they assess competency throughout the interview stages and then in the ‘probation’ period. But remember, the candidate isn’t the only one under the microscope.
Once a new hire walks through the [metaphorical] office doors, they scrutinise everything. And we mean everything!
The rules are changing
The wider acknowledgement of ‘job shock’ is also joined by a rising trend of quick quitting. The unwritten rule of not leaving a job less than a year in is being overwritten. More employees are therefore inclined to pack up their desk if the company fails to meet their expectations in the first few months.
The Muse’s research also shows that 41% would give their new job two to six months before they look to move again. The stigma associated with short tenures is clearly less of a concern for the workforce today.
The key takeaway so far is that businesses need to nail the onboarding process. As mentioned above, a crucial part of bringing on a new hire is giving them access to relevant resources that will help them quickly get up to speed. For some organisations, this might involve online courses that cover the bases, from health and safety to regulation intelligence. Beyond that, all resources relevant to that individual’s role need to be readily available, critically during those few months but also beyond. That way they can become fully-immersed from the outset.
New roles come with their own challenges without the unnecessary addition of not feeling sufficiently onboarded and being unable to find the basic information they need for day-to-day tasks.
Make onboarding adaptive
Being overwhelmed is a common feeling for new hires, especially when there is the expectation to hit the ground running. The cybersecurity industry knows this pressure all too well, for example: Chief Information Security Officers are expected to gain a clear understanding of their new company’s infrastructure and threat landscape almost immediately.
It’s in an organisation’s best interest to bolster its onboarding process with ways of automatically keeping resources up-to-date and accessible at all times. Each individual brings with them a unique set of skills and experiences that will shape how they approach their new role. Onboarding and subsequent training, therefore, need to be personalised and tailored to each worker in order to maximise effectiveness.
‘Job shock’ will continue to have devastating impacts on businesses across industries as new hires turn tail and flee when the reality of a role doesn’t match their expectations or they feel ill-equipped in their job. Don’t let your business become a source of ‘job shock’: make your onboarding adaptive.
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