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Final Project: Developing a Proposal for a New Employee Onboarding Program It requires you to synthesize what you have learned throughout the term to create a proposal for a new employee onboarding program. This is a major research and writing assignment that addresses all course objectives. THE SCENARIO Adapted from: Jones, F. S. (2008). Organizational entry and socialization (OES) – A case study. Retrieved from http://www.shrm.org/Education/hreducation/Documents/OES_Case%20Study_IM_final.p df Jill has accepted a position as a business consultant in your company. She has an MBA and five years of experience as a business consultant. Jill was happy at her previous job, but was drawn to your company by promises of high visibility consulting assignments, fast-track promotional opportunities, a higher salary, and performancebased bonuses. On Jill’s first day, she is greeted by the department’s administrative assistant, who profusely apologizes that Jill’s manager will be unable to meet with her until 11:00 a.m. The manager is in a meeting that is running longer than expected. The administrative assistant escorts Jill to her new office and gives her a stack of papers to complete. She tells Jill that she will be back in about an hour, and shows Jill the restroom and the break room before she hurries back to her cubicle. Jill looks around her office and notices that she has no supplies. There is a computer on the desk, but she doesn’t have a password and can’t find any instructions for how to log on. Using her own pen, Jill completes the forms in about 15 minutes. As she’s working, a few people pass by her office, but no one stops to greet her and since they all seem rushed, Jill doesn’t introduce herself. After about an hour, Jill’s manager comes into the office. He apologizes for not being available to greet Jill and hands her four large binders, one for each project Jill will be working on. He tells Jill she should spend the remainder of the day reading the content in the binders and preparing for a meeting the next morning, when he will expect to hear her ideas for how to proceed in each of the projects. The manager also gives Jill a list of 10 online orientation courses and tells her that in accordance with human resources policy she must complete all 10 within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, since the IT department is backlogged, it might take a day or two to get Jill access to the system. In the meantime, the manager suggests that Jill keep herself busy by reading the project binders and introducing herself to her colleagues. The manager tells Jill that there is a deli across the street where she can have lunch, and that the human resources department is located on the third floor. Someone from HR will take care of the paperwork Jill completed and make sure she gets her employee ID; HR will also give Jill a tour of the facility. The manager then rushes off to another meeting before Jill can ask any questions. Jill makes her way to the third floor, where she is directed to a classroom filled with rows of computer terminals. Although there are three new hires from other departments present, no one from HR is there to greet her. After about five minutes, an HR representative comes into the room, boots up the computer, introduces himself, and proceeds to read from a series of PowerPoint slides. He answers some questions but is unable to answer all of Jill’s questions, such as the effective date for her benefits. Once he finishes his presentation, he introduces a representative from the IT Department, then leaves the room. The IT representative also uses a PowerPoint presentation and rushes through key information, including how to log into the system and how to connect desktop computers to the shared printer. The IT representative tells the employees that all of the information she has presented is available on the company’s intranet. When she finishes her presentation, she tells the new employees to return to their departments. Jill goes back to her department. Two of her new co-workers stop by her office and invite her to lunch. During lunch they warn Jill that it can take a long time to get access to the different computer systems she will need to do her work and tell her she should make daily phone calls to Tech Support. They also tell her that if she has any questions about her consulting assignments, she should ask one of them, because the manager is fairly new and he still doesn’t really know the company’s processes and systems. After lunch, Jill returns to her office and asks the administrative assistant for a company directory or a departmental contact list. The administrative assistant tells Jill that all contact information is available on the company intranet and that she had called Tech Support to ask them to put a rush on getting access for Jill. She assures Jill that she will have access to the intranet within 24 hours; however, it will take longer to get her access to the project management system and the expense reporting system. Jill goes back to her office and begins reading the project binders so she can prepare for the morning meeting with her boss. Six Months Later Jill is struggling to learn the corporate culture, the consulting methods used by the company, and the performance expectations of her job. Her manager and her peers are all very busy and while they willingly answer any questions she asks, no one volunteers any information, so Jill learns a lot by trial and error, or just watching others. She has decided to start looking for another job. She is not the only one to do so. In fact, turnover of business consultants at your company is at an all-time high. The cost of recruiting, hiring, and developing consultants who resign within six months is negatively affecting the company’s bottom line. In addition, clients are beginning to complain about having to get used to a new consultant every six months or so and several have threatened to take their business to another firm. The president of the company has asked the director of human resources to investigate the high turnover and create a strategy for retaining these highly paid, talented employees. p. 2 Your Role in the Scenario You are the manager of the training department. You report to the director of human resources, who discussed the president’s concerns in a staff meeting with the department heads in the human resources division. You and the other department heads have been asked to provide recommendations to address the turnover issue. Last week, you and the manager of the recruitment and staffing department collaborated to conduct a needs assessment by (1) holding focus group meetings with consultants who have been with the company for less than one year, (2) interviewing the managers of these new consultants, and (3) examining exit interview data from consultants who left the company in the past two years. You discovered a theme in the data: current and former consultants did not feel supported in their first few months of hire. Instead, they spent much of their time trying to learn the company’s policies and procedures and trying to get access to the different systems. As a result, they made mistakes, missed deadlines, and had to rewrite reports that didn’t conform to company guidelines. The managers you interviewed wanted their new consultants to quickly reach high levels of productivity, but they didn’t know how to help the new consultants learn what they needed to know. You believe the company should invest in creating a formal onboarding program for newly hired consultants. The director of human resources is intrigued by your idea but wants to know more. How much will such a program cost? How will the company know if it is effective? YOUR ASSIGNMENT Your assignment is to create a proposal for an onboarding program (also known as an orientation or organizational entry and socialization program) for new consultants in your company. Although you may be tempted to create an onboarding program for all new employees, for purposes of this assignment you should limit your proposal to new consultants only. The term “orientation” is often used to describe both short-term and longer-term socialization processes. For purposes of this assignment, we will use the following definition of onboarding: “a strategic process used to attract and engage new employees, reinforce their job selection, acclimate them to the corporate culture, and help them to get to meaningful contribution levels as efficiently as possible” (Lamb, 2011, p. 58). Your proposal should be 10-15 double spaced pages in length, excluding the cover page, reference list, and any optional appendixes. Please use one inch margins and a font size of at least 11 points. Do not include any spaces between paragraphs. You must include a minimum of 10 references in your proposal. You should cite scholarly sources published within the last ten years. Please note that the websites of consulting firms are not appropriate sources. p. 3 Your proposal must include the following elements (not necessarily in this order; feel free to organize your proposal in a way that makes sense to you): • A cover memo from you (the manager of training) to your boss (the director of human resources) that clearly states the problem and describes why an onboarding program for new consultants will address the problem. • An overview of the program, including the objective(s), length, and location of the program (see the Week 5 materials on writing objectives). • Descriptions of: o the elements of the program, the content to be covered, and the training methods to be used. o the length of time (hours, days, weeks, months) for each segment of the program. o specific methods to ensure transfer of learning (see Week 4 materials). o the person or group responsible for each segment of the program. o your plan for evaluating the program, including the specific outcomes to be measured and methods for measuring them (see Week 6 materials). o estimated costs associated with developing and implementing the program, such costs for materials, guest speakers, facilities, etc. • A properly formatted reference list. Please use APA format for all citations, quotations, and references. You may include a table or chart that provides a visual overview your proposed program. Put such supplemental materials in clearly labeled appendixes following your reference list (tables and charts do not count toward the page length requirement). Support your recommendations about program, including content, length, and methods, with citations from your research about best practices in onboarding programs. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Feel free to give the company a name and to make up details about the composition of the HR function. If you are assuming that the company already has certain elements for an onboarding program in place, make sure you describe those elements. For example, you can decide that the company already has technology in place that you will use in your proposed onboarding program. Your proposal will have more impact if you provide an estimate of how much the turnover of consultants costs the company. Here is a link to a turnover cost calculator you case use to estimate these costs: http://us.drakeintl.com/hr-tools/cost-of-turnover-calculator.aspx#result For purposes of this assignment, you may estimate costs for the program using realistic made up numbers. You can decide how much consultants in the company earn, the cost of buying off-the-shelf training programs, the cost of a new HRIS system, etc. If you want more realistic numbers, training program vendor sites, such as http://www.crmlearning.com/, are a good source of information about off-the-shelf p. 4 training program costs. What is important is that you identify the total cost for developing and implementing your program. Reference: Lamb, J. (2011, May). Onboarding: Your next value-add?. Employee Benefit Advisor, 9(5), 58-59. p. 5
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Proposal for an Employee Onboarding Program




Cover Memo
TO: James Hamilton, HR Director
FROM: Nichol Alexander, Training Manager
DATE: April 5th, 2017
SUBJECT: The Need for an Onboarding Program
The absence of effective programs for welcoming new hires in the system has deleterious
implications on organizations (Bradt & Vonnegut, 2009). Our firm is no exception. In the recent
past, employees, mainly consultants, have expressed their disapproval of the existing culture
whereby they have to learn the corporate environment and systems through trial and error. Most
of them spend most of their time without any idea of where to start their daily tasks because they
have not been properly oriented into the company (Chopra, 2015).
Still worse is the fact that the delivery and performance is substantially affected during
the process of learning and unlearning and most resources go to waste because trial and error is
an expensive model of learning. Further, the company ends up losing high-quality employees to
the competitors, and our productivity levels go down. Clients, especially in the consultancy
industry, mostly prefer consistency. Therefore, when the company presents new consultants
every six months, it becomes hard for the clients to get used to them and that might make them
contemplate other options. Obviously, this is not what our firm would wish to see.
Moreover, the high turnover levels increase the underlying cost of recruiting, hiring, and
finally developing the new entrants. High turnover, directly and indirectly, affects the financial
standing of the organization (Ferrazzi & Davis, 2015). Most of the expenses incurred here do not
have any return on investment and therefore cannot be justified by the revenues. The profitability
of the firm is thus at stake. Undeniably, high turnover levels also compromise the workplace



morale because people perceive departure from the firm negatively. Nobody feels happy when
their colleagues are leaving. Furthermore, the remaining employees may be overworked due to
the gap left before the replacement, exposing them to fatigue and stress, which might, in turn,
force them to contemplate resignation. When a general impression of a bad employer is created,
the ramifications could go far beyond the internal horizon of the organization into the public,
where every person looking for a job will be cautious when considering our recruitment
offerings. Apparently, there are all reasons to believe that change is needed. The current turnover
costs for Opium Hills Consultancy is around $11000.
A comprehensive onboarding program for all new consultants in Opium Hills
Consultancy will cure the deleterious problems facing new employees. First, the onboarding
program will ensure that every new consultant gets to understand the expectations of the firm
regarding daily tasks, routines, culture, and performance. The learning curve for the consultants
will be shortened, implying that productivity will be enhanced. Further, the consistent strategic
plan will get everyone on the same professional page because the learning is streamlined and
incorporated into the system so that any hire goes through the same exact pattern of orientation
(Klein & Polin, 2012). Every consultant will at least have the critical information needed for the
execution of the core tasks.
Trust between the employers and employees of Opium Hills Consultancy will also be
elevated. When information is shared among different stakeholders in an organization, trust
grows. The onboarding program will ensure that the employees and employers feel free to share
any useful information across the board to ensure that everyone is motivated to improve their
performance. Employees will be more engaged to the understanding of the working of the
organizational systems since there will be open communication. Since the new hires will



understand almost every aspect of their expected behavior and tasks, their energies and
excitement toward meet their targets will ultimately reduce the turnover levels.
Program Overview
The new onboarding program is proposed with the full understanding of the fact that the
organization does not have sufficient programs to cater for the acculturation of new employees
into the Opium Hills Consultancy system. It will stretch beyond the basic orientation scope,
which normally involves the first-day welcoming session or one-week introduction. It will also
go past the general introduction to the structure, mission, goals, and policies of the firm to a
broader understanding of almost all important components of the entire business. Evidently, the
program will start even before the onset of the orientation program, which is technically a subset
of the onboarding program and will extend for a few weeks up to almost a year after an
employee joins the firm. The onboarding program will be designed in phases like pre-hire,
hiring, the first day, first week, and others.
The core objectives of an onboarding program are establishing the learning schedule, job
duties, expectations, fostering socialization, training on work environment, training on
technology access and IT related issues, and the general training and development program
(Bauer & Erdogan, 2011). The program will be conducted at various locations based on the
element being covered. The pre-hire segment will take place in the job marketplace, which might
be through the word of mouth, print media, and the internet. The hiring section will be held in
the human resource recruitment offices where interviewees will receive firsthand information
about the job expectations and any other relevant information. All the other sessions of the
onboarding program will take place in different locations of the workplace environment,
depending on the learning, resource, and technical requirements.



Description of the Program
The program is multifaceted an...

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