When veterans in any industry start with a company, the onboarding process should be slightly different from a fresh hire. Someone that already has experience in a certain type of work should have different goals, especially since they’ve got a head start as far as knowledge and skill goes.

What should be different about the onboarding process? There are specific changes that should be made to accommodate veterans and make them feel like they have a better chance of advancing.

Creating a Development Plan

Advancement Plan

Many companies don’t have a development plan in place for new hires with experience. This is often overlooked because the new hire doesn’t have experience with the company. However, this doesn’t mean their skill sets aren’t just as advanced as those who already work for you.

Not setting a development plan can be a huge mistake for any organization when you hire talent within the industry. Most companies think, “well, they’re just starting; they’re probably not thinking about any type of development at this point.”

You have to think of it from their point of view. You’re looking at it as day one in the industry for them. However, suppose they’ve been in the industry for five years. In that case, they’re looking at their time with your organization as their sixth year in the industry. They’re hungry to learn and move up the ladder, regardless of whether their initial years were with your company or elsewhere.

Honestly, forming some type of development plan with a new team member should be mandatory within every organization. It helps the company by demonstrating to the new hire that you’re interested in helping them advance. It helps them establish certain goals.

Why a Development Plan?

Why should you be putting a development plan in place? Well, for starters, many new employees quit within six months of starting at a new organization because they don’t agree with the onboarding experience.

They feel like they’re being treated like a brand new, entry-level employee, which doesn’t give them the opportunity for growth and advancement. This ends up being counterproductive to the companies that go through this high turnover rate.

Replacing employees is an expensive process. Why wouldn’t you optimize the process from the beginning and make a better first impression that drives them to want to stay at your company?

Get Your Managers Onboard

The start of the process entails getting your manager on board with developing a simple plan for veterans starting within your organization. It should engage the new employees when it comes to thinking about where they’d like to go with their career at your company.

This helps them picture their role with your organization as a bigger picture or a roadmap for their entire career and not just another gig or job. The new hire is already invested mentally in your company by implementing this strategy. This gives them the drive they need to give you 100% effort, and it also boosts your company culture and makes them a permanent fixture.

This instills in them the mindset that if they put their best foot forward and prove their value, it will end up paying off for them. The payoff to them depends on their long-term goals – a management position, more income, or whatever they see for themselves in the long run.

Understanding What They Bring to the Table

This also pays off in another huge way for your company. It gives your managers somewhat of a head start on performance management before things even really get into full swing with your new employee.

It helps management understand this individual’s existing skill sets and strengths and weaknesses from the beginning. This gives you a real glimpse into the long-term goals mentioned above.

Do they want to form their own specialized role within the company? Do they see themselves as a full-fledged manager? Maybe they want to be another form of team leader within the department you placed them with.

Management and these new hires should have a face-to-face discussion about where they want to end up separately and together as a team. This conversation should take place before inputting all of this data into your PMS software in the form of goal tracking.

When this conversation takes place, they can start mapping out the first steps it will take to get to where they’d like to be. This might mean shouldering more responsibility to give them additional leadership experience.

Maybe they would benefit from shadowing a leader that’s currently within their department or already assumes the role they’d like to fall into eventually. They can also pursue training courses you have available on your PMS portal that they’d like to complete to expand their knowledge.

This ends up accomplishing several things for your organization. This new team member levels their skills up much quicker than if you didn’t have this conversation until after, let’s say, six months into their new role – at about the time, they’d be ready to quit. This produces a much higher amount of skilled and talented staff after just a few months with your company.

This gives this new talent a much better impression of the new company they’re with. When they have the distinct feeling that the people around them support their goals and development, it gives them higher levels of security.

A good first impression like this ends up leading to much lower levels of turnover, so it also ends up saving you a ton of money from additional recruiting and onboarding. Having a lower turnover rate looks much better for your organization from the outside as well.

As we said earlier, you can set up these plans by using your performance management portal. This allows you to set and track the goals you discuss with these employees, allowing you to return in six months and review your progress.

This very basic strategy can end up paying huge in the end – for you and the new hire. Everyone gets rewarded and both parties win. This is the best possible outcome you could hope for any new employee, for their benefit and yours. If you would like to improve your employee engagement and retain top talent, contact us today for a free consultation! The eLeaP continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high caliber team members.