In the 1994 holiday classic movie The Santa Clause, an unlucky dad hears Santa fall from his roof.

Rushing outside with his son, Scott discovers a lifeless Santa and a note in the pocket of his suit. In very fine print it reads, “If something should happen to me, put on my suit, the Reindeer will know what to do.” Scott slips on the suit and is whisked away to the magical realm of the north pole, filled with elves, toymaking, and all the wonder of Christmas. As the rest of the story unfolds, Scott bumbles through his newfound Santahood.

If only the elves had a great onboarding program for new Santa’s, Scott could have had a smooth transition into becoming the jolly man in a red suit.

Let’s review the onboarding lessons learned from the elves’ biggest onboarding missteps:

Lesson 1: Encourage questions

Unsurprisingly, after arriving in the North Pole Scott has some questions! Unconcerned, the elves in charge just hurry Scott along, not really answering any of his questions and certainly not proactively asking him if he has any. He ends up back home after his first foray in the North Pole certain it was all just a very strange dream.

All new employees have questions. Some feel comfortable to ask. Some keep quiet. Establish open lines of communication from the start and show new hires that questions are encouraged. It’s also a good practice to actively ask if anyone has questions about x, y, or z to get the questions flowing.

Lesson 2: Set clear expectations

Scott was alarmed when he started unexpectedly putting on weight and growing a long white bushy beard. He tried to combat it with the gym and razors, but this new Santa appearance was there to stay.

The elves could have saved Scott considerable consternation by simply telling him what to expect. Instead, he floundered, anxious and nervous about these surprising changes and expectations.

Help your new employees feel confident in their new role by setting clear expectations. Milestones, especially marking 30, 60, and 90 days, are great ways to establish reasonable targets and keep new employees on track.

Lesson 3: Prioritize learning and development

Scott received no training to become Santa. He was simply expected to know what to do when, where, and how. Fortunately, he had a bit of magic to help him but in the real world your new hires have no such luck.

Great onboarding ensures your new employees have all the knowledge, tools, and training to be successful in their new role. Furthermore, learning and development is one of the best ways to engage and retain your employees. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report showed that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if the company invested in their career. Displaying your commitment to their long-term development through education is one of the best ways to demonstrate your investment in them and their career.

If you would like to learn more about enhancing or automating your onboarding program, we’d love to chat.

Our platform simplifies onboarding with the mobile-first experience your candidates expect. At Click Boarding, we work together to set up personalized workflows configured to your needs, so you can delight your new employees with a personalized onboarding experience.

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