The onboarding process of a new planner

Inspired-Group | 2 March 2017

Written by Jan Lugtig, Trainee at Inspired-Talent

Over a year ago I started my first assignment as planner of Inspired-Talent, and recently I have started my second assignment. It’s interesting to reflect about the experience of starting in a new organization, and what makes the difference between a kick-start and a slow-start. Sure a proactive attitude as a temporary planner is important to make a good start, but proactivity of the new organization where you will start is even more crucial. For maximizing the job satisfaction and the productivity a decent onboarding process is required. I’m astonished about the little time and effort spend on the onboarding process, in comparison with the extensive hiring process. Dissatisfaction, productivity losses and even loss of engagement are around the corner if the onboarding process is not well organized.

In this blog I like to share what I did for my successor to have a, as smooth as possible, onboarding.

Get your act together

I started to gather information about basic topics like organization charts, contact persons, process descriptions, instructions and an introduction program for my successor. I discussed this with my manager to get a shared view on the gaps that he should address. Then I started to reflect on my tasks and activities, and how I should hand these over.

Handover of planning activities

My first step was to describe what I was doing exactly. For two weeks I have documented what I did and when I did that. This gave a great overview of the total basket of activities that keeps me busy. So it was good to categorize the activities in three groups: ‘key’, ‘important’ and ‘less important’. For the key tasks I have drafted a document which describes in detail how I do these tasks and why this is important. So these tasks can be taken over by anyone while at the same time, the chance of missing information or making mistakes, is minimized.

Then I have checked the important tasks, which were the majority of the activities. To hand over these activities, you need a lot of background knowledge and information. Since the ongoing changes of the setting where I worked, it didn’t make a lot sense to describe these activities in detail. Therefore I made a summary of the activities and discussed this with my successors. As I was still around, they could approach me in the days after to ask for clarification. This worked out very well.

For the remaining less important activities I had to challenge myself if they should be continued. I have discussed this list with my colleagues and the activities that survived this discussion are grouped in a document with a brief explanation. It can be used by my successor when there is some spare time.

In my final week before leaving, I have sent an email to all my contacts about my succession. I have hand over the activities to my successors so they could take the lead in their new activities, while I was still available as backup. Simultaneously I have approach many colleagues for my 360 degree feedback. This was very useful for my personal development. It gave me good input for coaching needs and eventually a training.

New challenge

Now that I have started my new assignment it’s nice to experience from the other side how a good onboarding process contributes to job satisfaction and getting productive on short notice. I have been talking with several temporary planners about the start and closure of assignments. My conclusion is that many organizations underperform with their onboarding process. But anyway, as long as they do, it’s very satisfying to be proactive and do what you can do yourself. For both myself and my successor!