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Getting New Hires Up to Speed Quickly

How do managers and companies quickly transform new hires into productive employees, a process called "rapid on-boarding"? The authors contend that companies that are more successful at rapid on-boarding tend to use a relational approach, helping newcomers to rapidly establish a broad network of relationships with coworkers that they can tap to obtain the information they need to become productive. Most organizations realize the importance of integrating new employees, but many fail in this regard, often because of five pervasive myths about the process: (1) the best newcomers can fend for themselves, (2) a massive information dump allows newcomers to obtain what they need, (3) cursory introductions are all that's needed, (4) first assignments should be small, compact and quickly achievable, and (5) mentors are best for getting newcomers integrated. Because of those misconceptions, managers will frequently rely on certain taken-for-granted practices that can actually hinder new employees from becoming productive.

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