Friday, December 14, 2012

Powerful Strategy for Traditional EAP Impact and Relevance: ONBOARDING

Have you heard of the term "onboarding"? If you are not familiar with this term, which is part of the human resources lexicon, chances are you are NOT maximizing your ability to become a more highly integrated, relevant, and indispensable part of your work organization. And, your EAP may be at risk as a result.

Onboarding is a way to socialize employees who are new to the organization. It is a recognized procedure and purposely designed system to help new employees become knowledgeable about the organization and understand the many cultural nuances and important behaviors to practice that will help the new employee be successful. Part of the onboarding process is always to meeting effective and important employees or managers within the organization--the inside players, who can point the way toward the employee's success.

If you think that this post is about making sure you conduct EAP orientations for new employees, it's not. Onboarding is much more. It is about employees meeting YOU--the EAP personally--where you can engage them individually and COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DESTROY myths and misconceptions about the EAP that are certain to permeate the employee's awareness about what you do and who you are. You get first crack at establishing a relationship with the employee and immunize them against counterproductive beliefs concerning the program, particularly, lack of confidentiality.

You can make an impact on this problem without a one-on-one interview with each new employee. To the degree possible, you need to figure out how to make this happen. I am working on a powerpoint video, web course called 25 Ways the EAP Can Help. When it is done, you should get it. And you should make it a part of your "onboarding" requirement for every employee. Then, watch the impact of its use.

I think you need to use this product IF you can't personally meet with every employee. In the future, I will make a web course out of it with 25 questions and a Certificate of Completion. It will powerfully and very simply, drive home the value of EAP in ways employees have not typically considered. It will improve top-of-mind visibility and EAP utilization, probably overnight.

You will be able to directly email the link to this movie to any new employee or hundreds of new employees and the exact same time if you have an email list for your use. 

Okay, enough preaching. Go to this link below on Wikipedia and read about "ONBOARDING". When you do, I want you to keep this thought in your mind: How is this process of onboarding relevant to EAPs and is there a role for the EAP in being closely associated with it? What is the value to the EAP for being included beyond employee orientation sessions, that may or may not be attended by every employee? What might employees learn from the EAP during an "onboarding" meeting that may cause them to return to the EAP in the future. How could onboarding help dispel myths about the EAP that would increase its utilization? How could onboarding keep our EAP from closing down, being farmed out to managed care, or severely cut? How could onboarding make the EAP a more inclusive part of the work organization's culture? OK, now ready all about Onboarding