• The HR Architect Tony Wiggins

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Sydney, Onboarding and The HR Architect

Sydney, Onboarding and The HR Architect

It’s Saturday morning and I’m just back from several days in Sydney, attending the Tonkin’s Onboarding Talent Forum 2012.  As the Chairperson for the Conference, it was an amazing three days and I’m still digesting all the great ideas I heard.

Lets begin with my flight experience with Virgin Australia. Boarding a Virgin Australia flight is like joining a new organisation and having a great experience everytime.  It it about first impressions and creating that WOW!! experience.  Virgin Australia airlines prides itself on recruiting the right people into the right roles that deliver a highly professional and polished service.

‘Aha’ Moments

From the conference I pinpointed four key themes to engage and retain new employees –

  1. Leadership – HR needs to drive the positioning of the onboarding rollout; buy-in form the top down, not just HR; HR and line managers need to work together for successful onboarding.
  2. Culture – Cultural antibodies and champions; importance of culture in successful onboarding strategies; organisations still struggle with onboarding in forming and reforming the psychological contract.
  3. Systems and Processes – Tailoring the onboarding strategy in developing innovative solutions and to inspire people waiting to start; ensuring the employee owns their development during onboarding; successful onboarding blueprint that clarifies what success looks like.
  4. Technology – Web based online onboarding solutions will provide opportunities to automate without losing the personal touch; potential for social media strategies; cloud based technology – anything is possible.
Return on Investment

To measure the ROI for onboarding programs, a number of speakers talked about general HR indicators that espoused ROI to Level 3 of the Kirkpatrick’s model. To be really serious about ROI, I took the conversation further about taking measurement/impact to Level 5 of the Phillips and Stone ROI Model.

Based on work completed at the Queensland Building Services Authority (QBSA) between 2002-2007, evaluating learning using the Phillips and Stone model is not a simple procedure.

  1. Evidence showed that there was solid evidence that learning and development expenditure in QBSA has caused behavioural, attitudinal and cultural changes. The evidence satisfied a number of scientific requirements to be credible evidence in that the data must be sufficient quality, techniques must be scientifically valid and the analysis should address the possibility that training may not be the only factor behind change in performance.
  2. Even though the evaluation period can be viewed as short term, there is significant correlation that returns achieved can be linked to positive results obtained and statistical evidence outcomes identified in the University of Queensland designed evaluation surveys.
  3. There is significant correlation that when learning is expertly designed and delivered, when the transfer and acquisition of skills and knowledge is supported and when QBSA has employed the new skills and knowledge productively, staff demonstrate their appreciation and commitment to the quality learning and is reflected in positive business outcomes.
  4. The estimated ROI obtained varies substantially from learning program to learning program, but there is a remarkable consistency in the positive ROI achieved in these programs.  These returns in the medium to long term can be expected to generate significant financial returns that compare quite favourably with the other forms of investments of the QBSA.
Conclusion

The onboarding conference was very thought provoking and provided participants with exposure to current thoughts and ideas from leading Australian companies (private and public) and acted a platform from which HR can become actively engaged.

If you find these updates useful, feel free to forward on to a work colleague or friend.

About the Author

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect Spends 5 Minutes with …. Tony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches. 

Contact Tony at basketa@optusnet.com.au or https://twitter.com/#!/  on Twitter.

Graphics: Virgin Australia

To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect Spends 5 Minutes with …. Tony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at basketa@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

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