February 16, 2017

Growing Without Leaving: Integrating “New” Employees with Successful Transboarding

When you spot a co-worker checking out job postings, what’s your reaction? Hopefully, you’re like me and enjoy working with your teammates. If you are, then seeing someone plotting their next career move can be disappointing. ‘Oh no what about our coffee break chats and mutual love of Beyoncé,’ you might think.

Brace yourself, then, because it’s likely to happen more often. The median tenure has dropped from 4.6 years in 2014 to 4.2 in 2016, according to this study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People are switching jobs sooner than they used to. That number is being held up by a contingent of the workforce that shuns job hopping: workers aged 55 to 64 had a median tenure of 10.1 years. This norm is likely on its way out as workers aged 25 to 34 years have a median tenure of only 2.8 years.

You might be thinking, ‘Oh no all my work friends are going to leave me!’

Not necessarily. What if that co-worker you spot checking out job postings was looking at your organization’s internal job board? Suddenly the news isn’t so bad, right? Even if they do decide to move to a new challenge and opportunity, your work-buddy won’t disappear completely. They can grow without leaving.

This is one of many benefits of people moving jobs within the organization, or ‘transboarding’ as we like to call it. Our Chief People Officer, Lisa Sterling, told HRDive.com the impact of transboarding was substantial and offered some tips on how employers can make transboarding a success.

As Lisa pointed out, there are many ways employers can prepare, but I wanted learn what successful transboarding looks like from an employee’s point of view. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with colleagues both past and present about their experiences with transboarding.

While every story I heard was unique, there were a few common elements I think it’s important to highlight:

1. Great teams are welcoming

Everyone I talked to spoke about the importance of feeling welcomed in their new team. From department heads and team leads walking the new team member around the office to make introductions, ensuring they’re included on meeting invites and e-mail distribution lists to how their new colleagues treated them from day one, including them in lunch plans or coffee breaks. I think this comes as second nature to great companies when someone is a new hire, but I learned it’s important not to overlook the transboarded employee. They are not new to the company – maybe they’ve been working out of the office for years – but they’re new to your team, their new role and co-workers, and getting a great welcome is key.

2. Clear duties and job description

Some of the best examples of transboarding I discovered happened when people moved into an open headcount. In these cases, employees applied to open positions advertised on our internal job board rather than had a position created for them. People spoke about the importance of understanding fully their new role and responsibilities prior to making the move and it seems the work put into job requisitions – defining the job description, the reporting, the potential career path and so forth – paid off.

This seems to an important point to highlight. One benefit of transboarding is keeping great people within the organization; allowing people to grow without leaving. To this end, positions can be made or budget found to keep a great person in-house. That’s a great move. My conversations indicate that managers should put the same effort into creating the role and its description as they would for requesting an open headcount where new hires are brought in.

3. Positive Attitude

The business press have put a ‘job hopping’ label on the younger generation. Google ‘job hopping Millennials’ and you’ll see what I mean. An article by Gallup says “Millennials also show less willingness to stay in their current jobs” while over at Entrepreneur, Greg Harris writes: “It’s no secret: millennials are job hoppers … That’s made employee retention a nightmare for employers in recent years.” Then there’s this headline in the first 10 results, from Lifehack: ‘Millennials, Is Job Hopping Killing Your Career?’

With this thinking prevalent, some people can feel moving jobs, even within your company, makes you a ‘job-hopper’ – a label with negative connotations. Of the interviews I conducted, some did mention this concern, at first, about their job-hopping ways. Is it going to look bad? Sure, any manager is going to have a moment of disappointment over losing a valuable team member. But by keeping the bigger picture in mind they can turn the transboarding into a positive experience by congratulating their outgoing colleague for their new opportunity and ensuring they feel welcomed to come back. Remember transboarding is a good thing!

Celine DuPuis

Celine DuPuis is a Product Marketing Manager for Ceridian focusing on product positioning and customer liaising through marketing collateral and special events content.

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