Building trust through onboarding in a new role

Building trust through onboarding in a new role

Moving into a new role can be a daunting time. The recruitment process can be full of hoops to jump through and the onboarding process can be information overload. Organisations want to know that they’ve made the right decision in hiring you and it’s in their best interest to ensure you have success in your new position – the wrong hire can do more damage to an organisation than you might realise, and it’s expensive to replace you.

Recently, the impact of a bad hiring decision has been front and centre of global news, with the rise and fall of Liz Truss as the UK Prime Minister.

Search her online and you’ll find plenty of commentators calling her ‘the wrong person for the job’, claiming she was ‘out of her depth’ and a ‘profile for failure’.

The impact of bad recruitment 

The defining features of her leadership is a nightmarish montage, one that most employees would never want their name attached to. She lasted only 45 days in office – the shortest time served by any UK Prime Minister and, unfortunately, not an uncommon story. Astonishingly, about 20% of people fail their probation periods and 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days.

Like many employees new to a role, Liz Truss made mistakes – but in her case, it went further. She wasn’t able to unify her team, she set an agenda that was her own, rather than her Party’s, and she didn’t deal with stakeholders.

She had trouble fitting into the culture and she was unable – or unwilling – to use the hidden networks to establish herself as a trusted leader, beyond the title. So, how can you settle into your new role and avoid making the same mistakes that Liz Truss – and so many employees before her – made? Interviews

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The seven steps of successful onboarding 

Every role is different, but there are a few things you can look for to ensure you’re aligned with your new role and headed toward success during the onboarding process.

If you’d like to read more about this model and how you can thrive in your new role with these foundations, make sure to download my book ‘Career Success’.

  1. Shared values – it might surprise you to learn that values hold more weight than skills. They provide purpose and motivation. Strong values alignment results in positive work attitudes, increased job satisfaction and improved organisational citizenship behaviours. Know your own values, that of your employers, and how the two overlap.
  2. Structure – organisations consist of obvious structures, like formal reporting lines, but also hidden networks of informal structures that control the flow of information and influence. Knowing these networks and adapting to the culture helps you to cultivate relationships with whomever you choose.
  3. Style – know your personal brand and establish it in your new setting. First impressions matter and they’re formed incredibly fast. Once you’ve established those positive first impressions, manage your reputation by building reputational credits through how you work and communicate with others.
  4. Skills – your skills are your strengths, helping you to actually get the job done. This will be what sees you through the probation period, where output matters. Know the best ways to apply your skills to your role and look to expand your skill set regularly.
  5. Strategy – when you know the business strategy, you can make individual choices that align with it, and then use it to work on one or two winning projects that show your employer you can deliver, show your colleagues you can be trusted, and start to build invaluable credibility.
  6. Staff – understand the team formation and dynamics during onboarding, so that you can intentionally cause less disruption. Learning how to fit in with the team will help you build trust and confidence so you can get on with doing your best work.
  7. Systems – the systems used in the organisation you’ve just joined, might not be the ones you personally prefer, but it’s time to look past it. You need to function and perform well, and quickly, using those systems. Get up to speed!

Build trust through recruitment and onboarding 

In the early days of your new role, through recruitment and onboarding, trust matters above almost everything else. Your employers need to be able to trust you to get the job done and fit in, and your team members need to trust you as a reliable member of the team that isn’t going to rock the boat.

At the end of the day, this is where Liz Truss went wrong, choosing to power forward with her own agenda, losing long-time voters, the confidence of her own Party, and, ultimately, the whole United Kingdom.

The stakes might not be so high for you in your new role, but it’s worth getting it right the first time, rather than finding yourself needing to go through exit interviews and starting the job search all over again.

Do you need help with supporting your employees?

Want to support your employees through restructures and redundancy with effective onboarding, stay interviews, offboarding, and outplacement programs? Get in touch with me today to organise a 1-1 call to see how Career365 can support you and your team. Click here for more information.


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Greg Weiss

Greg Weiss is the founder and director of Career365 and Australia’s leading career coach. Greg has coached well over a thousand people from recent graduates to CEOs as they pivot, re-launch and accelerate their careers. He is the author of three practical books and the creator of three online courses: “Career Clarity. How to find career fulfillment”; “Career Networking. How to unlock the hidden job market”; and “Career Success. How to succeed in your new job”.

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