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New employee onboarding–psychological contracts and ethical perspectives



Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the ethical implications of treating new employees with high consideration and respect for their needs and to explain how this expectation honors the psychological contract between employers and their incoming employees. By providing a specific model for improving the onboarding process, this paper also provides helpful information for practitioners in addressing this important task. Design/methodology/approach The process for onboarding and assimilating new employees in the modern organization is often ineffective -- despite the fact that this important task is acknowledged to be vital to the success of those employees and important to their organizations. This conceptual paper addresses the problems of new employee orientation from an ethical and psychological contract perspective and suggests a ten-step model to improve the onboarding process. Findings The paper confirms that onboarding is not done well by organizations, that employees expect that they will be treated with appropriate concern for their interests as part of their assumptions in coming into a new organization, that onboarding new employees is fraught with ethical implications, and that the process can be greatly improved by following the ten-step model provided. Research limitations/implications The paper provides opportunities for practitioners to apply its proposed model and enables scholars to test the impact of incorporating the steps of the ten-step onboarding model. Practical implications Ineffective onboarding has significant ramifications not only for the efficiency of organizations but for the effectiveness of incoming employees. Understanding the implicit ethical issues in the onboarding process enables organizations to improve the employer-employee relationship and honor their responsibilities to incoming employees. Originality/value The topic of onboarding employees has not been fully understood by busy organizations and this paper addresses the ethical and psychological implications of effective onboarding and its contributing value for both the organization and the new employees affected by the onboarding process. The ten-step model provides a useful checklist for Human Resources staff and for the organizational leaders who oversee them.
New Employee Onboarding–
Psychological Contracts and Ethical
Purpose This paper clarifies the importance of Human Resource Professionals (HRPs)
improving the onboarding and assimilation of new employees and explains why this important
task is so essential as part of the psychological contract between employers and those new
organization members.
Design/methodology/approach This paper is a conceptual paper that identifies a problem
based upon findings in the management literature, explains the nature of psychological
contracts and ethical duties, and identifies action steps for improving the new employee
onboarding process.
Findings The paper identifies a ten.-step model for improving employee onboarding and
explains why HRPs and those who oversee them need to reexamine their assimilation of new
organization members.
Originality/value This paper contributes to the management literature by addressing a major
problem that is poorly managed in many organizations. The mismanagement of this important
onboarding process undermines organization effectiveness, decreases trust, and violates the
psychological contract held by new employees about the organization’s duties owed to them.
Key Words: Employee Onboarding, Employee Assimilation, New Employee Orientation,
Psychological Contract, Duties of Human Resource Professionals.
New Employee Onboarding–
Psychological Contracts and Ethical
Assimilating new employees into an organization is an important task of Human
Resource Professionals (HRPs) and an essential element of their responsibilities as
technical experts in their discipline (Huselid, et al., 2009, pp 196-199). Ineffective
onboarding destroys benefits achieved by hiring talented employees and increases the
likelihood that the hard work spent in recruiting and selecting those employees will be
wasted (Smart, 2012). Because many organizations view their onboarding process as
an expense rather than an investment, they adopt a short-sighted approach to the
process. The predictable result from this false economy is that the transition into the
organization for new employees will be painful--leading to potential underperformance,
minimizing the organization’s capability to fully utilize the skills and abilities of these new
The purposes of this paper are 1) to identify why improving this important Human
Resource Management (HRM) function greatly benefits those new employees and the
organization itself, 2) to clarify the ethical obligations implicit in new employee
onboarding, and 3) to provide top managers and HRPs with a model for improving the
new employee onboarding process that meets the ethical expectations and
psychological contracts of incoming employees. The paper begins with a brief
explanation of the onboarding process and the nature of the psychological contract that
exist between an organization and its employees. Building upon a model introduced by
the University of Michigan ethics scholar, Larue Hosmer, it then presents twelve ethical
perspectives that identify how employees perceive the nature of their onboarding
process. The paper then introduces a ten-step model for conducting a top quality
onboarding process, identifying how each of those steps honors the ethical expectations
of the psychological contracts of new employees. The paper concludes with the
contributions of this paper.
The Onboarding Process
Onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee into his or her new job;
acquainting that employee with the organization’s goals, values, rules and policies, and
processes; and socializing the employee into an organizational culture (Watkins, 2016).
Wanous and Reichers (2000) explained that the new employee orientation process
occurs while employees are under a tremendous amount of stress. The typical new
employee onboarding process provides employees with a volume of information that is
overwhelming, impractical, and impossible for new employees to incorporate within a
short period of time. In compiling research about the state of the art of employee
onboarding, Srimannarayana (2016) noted that some organizations included too many
complex tasks and information for employees to realistically digest while other
organizations offered too few items that fail to adequately prepare employees.
Bauer (2010) has explained that an effective onboarding process included four
critical building blocks to improve performance, inoculate against turnover, and increase
job satisfaction:
Compliance: This building block is the lowest level of onboarding and includes
reviewing or teaching employees about basic legal and policy-related rules and
regulations associated with working in the new organization.
Clarification: This key function ensures that employees understand their new
jobs and all its related expectations. Frequently, this function is poorly handled
and lacks specificity.
Culture: Providing employees with a sense of formal and informal organizational
norms is often overlooked because members of the organization assume that the
organization’s values, assumptions, and norms are easily understood.
Connection: This key activity refers to creating vital interpersonal relationships
and explaining information networks essential for employees to perform
Unfortunately, Acevedo and Yancey (2010, 349) concluded that most organizations do a
mediocre job of assimilating new employees and, few organizations utilize its full scope
or potential.
Bauer (2010) explained that effective onboarding has short-term and long-term
benefits for both the new employee and the organization, noting that employees
effectively assimilated into an organization have greater job satisfaction and
organizational commitment, higher retention rates, lower time to productivity, and have
greater success in achieving customer satisfaction with their work. In contrast, poor
onboarding leads to lower employee satisfaction, higher turnover, increased costs,
lower productivity, and decreased customer satisfaction. Holton (2001, 73) noted in his
study of factors associated with onboarding that “(t)he most important tactic (for
effective onboarding) was allowing new employees to fully utilize their skills and
abilities.” Unfortunately, most organizations focus on establishing managerial control
systems rather than on building commitment and empowering employees (cf. Pfeffer,
Onboarding and the Psychological Contract
The employment relationship is inherently an interpersonal relationship with
profound ethical implications associated with HRM (Hosmer, 1987). That relationship is
based upon social exchange theory in which the employer pays money to the employee
in exchange for his or her services (Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005). The expectations in
this relationship frame the psychological contract that exists between the two parties – a
contract that is typically unwritten and that rarely perfectly coincides but reflects the
reciprocal obligations of the parties (Rousseau, 1995; Robinson & Rousseau, 1994).
Consistent with expectancy theory, new employees are also concerned about 1) how
they will benefit as an organization member, and 2) whether it is feasible for them to
obtain promised outcomes (Shea-Van Fossen & Vredenburgh, 2014). The implied
psychological contract between employers and employees has evolved over the past
several decades (Pfeffer, 1998), but a growing body of evidence confirms that
employers who create relationships with employees based upon high trust create
organizational cultures in which employees exhibit increased extra-role behavior, are
more creative and innovative, and more profitable than employees in comparable
organizations (cf. Beer, 2009).
Well qualified employees who add the greatest value, or create the most
organizational wealth, for their employers expect to be treated with dignity and
respect; given the opportunity to advance in their organizations; be treated as valued
“owners and partners” in improving the organization; and valued as “Yous,” or as unique
individuals, rather than as “Its,” or fungible commodities with no individual identity
(Buber, 1996; Covey, 2004; Block, 2013). Although some employees are highly
committed and inherently dedicated to giving extra-mile performance, even in the face
of poor treatment and ineffective leadership (Organ, et al., 2005), research evidence
documents that employers who treat employees with high trust, who demonstrate a
personalized approach to employees as valued partners reap the rewards of better
quality, improved employee performance, and increased employee satisfaction (Pfeffer,
1998; Paine, 2003; Smith, et al., 2016).
Louis (1980) examined the problem of employee dissatisfaction with the new
employee entry process more than thirty-five years ago, yet new employees continue to
be surprised by the inadequacies of many organizations’ onboarding systems (Lawson,
2015, Ch. 5). Although the expectations of incoming employees about the perceived
duties owed to them in the onboarding process may vary, employees feel betrayed
when those duties are breached with an inevitable decrease in organization
commitment (Morrison & Robinson, 1997). A realistic job preview reduces surprises,
clarifies supervisor expectations, provides an opportunity for employees to ask
questions about desired outcomes, and clarifies the psychological contract (Tekleab et
al, 2013).
Hosmer (1995) explained that trust and ethical expectations are closely related
and derived from well-accepted philosophical foundations. Table 1 presents twelve
ethical perspectives, a brief summary of each perspective, and a summary of how new
employees perceive onboarding duties owed to them.
==== Insert Table 1 about Here ===
Each ethical perspective confirms that it is in the best interests of an employer
and their employees for the onboarding process to occur effectively and with high
quality (cf. Hosmer, 1995). New employees typically perceive that they are an excellent
onboarding process as part of the psychological contract owed to them (DeVos, et al.,
2005; Klein & Weaver, 2000). The evidence also confirms that effective onboarding
serves all stakeholders, benefiting organization both long-term and short-term (Bauer,
A Ten-Step Model for Quality Onboarding
HRPs who incorporate highly effective onboarding programs honor the
psychological contract expectations of their new employees and fulfill their strategic role
as ethical stewards (Huselid, et al., 2009;). The following is a ten-step model for quality
onboarding, including steps prior to the actual arrival of a new employee.
1. Establish the Relationship Online Immediately after Hiring. Typically, the
decision to hire an employee occurs well before the employee actually begins
work. Initiating an online relationship enables an organization to create an
immediate personalized relationship with a new employee--a well-recognized
element of effective leadership (Kouzes & Posner, 2012, Ch. 1) and an
opportunity for an employee to learn a great deal about the organization.
2. Appoint a Trained Mentor-Coach for Each New Employee The evidence
indicates the quality of mentoring for new employees can make a significant
contribution to employee socialization and learning (Ragins, et al., 2000).
Mentoring can be highly effective at helping employees to improve employee
work attitudes, engagement, and extra-role behavior (Van Dyne & Pierce, 2004).
3. Focus the Onboarding on Relationships and Networks Assisting new
employees to create relationships with key organization personnel can shorten
the socialization and assimilation process. Sharing information with key
organization personnel about the employee’s qualifications and assisting the
employee to become familiar with the organization’s values communicates to the
incoming employee that (s)he is an important contributor to the organization’s
success (Brown, 2007; Rousseau, 1990). The relationship with the supervisor
and the natural work group are both essential elements in this transition (Parker,
et al., 2013).
4. Prepare a Well-Developed and Complete New Employee Orientation
Booklet – Integrating the many diverse pieces of information that new
employees needs in relocating; acquainting the employee with the community
and organization culture; identifying the organization’s values, mission, and
history; explaining employee benefits and policies; completing required paper
work and documentation; and identifying key job tasks in contributing to the
organization’s ability to create value enables a new employee to obtain this
critical information and is consistent with employee psychological contract
expectations (Sutton & Griffin, 2004). Providing that information in one location
also facilitates an employee’s ability to share that information with a significant
5. Prepare Physical Location, Office, and Staffing Support Prior to
Onboarding – A properly equipped office and appropriate staffing support
enable an employee to get off to the best possible start. Initiating those actions
prior to a new employee’s arrival demonstrates that the organization has carefully
thought through the new employee’s assimilation (cf. Marks, 2007).
6. Assist in Transitional Logistics – Recognizing that a new hire may have had to
relocate, sell or buy a home, arrange for schooling for children, and/or make
other stressful transitions of significant proportion, reaching out to new
employees to assist them in those time consuming tasks communicates that an
employer is aware of the need for work-family balance and is committed to the
employee’s welfare (Dewe, et al., 2010).
7. Clarify and Affirm Priorities and Expectations Immediately upon the new
employee’s arrival to the organization, the employee’s supervisor should meet
with the new employee to clarify job responsibilities, key outcomes, and the
employee role with the entire work group; identify key resources and the role of
the supervisor; and listen carefully to the employee’s personal goals and job-
related concerns. Creating a high trust relationship with the new employee is
facilitated by such a meeting in addition to building employee commitment
(Leana & Van Buren, 1999).
8. Engage, Empower, and Appreciate the Employee Employees actively
engaged as owners and partners in an organization are more likely to contribute
creative ideas, add organizational value, and improve organization productivity
(Adkins, 2016; Smith, et al., 2016; Beer, 2009; Saks, 2006;). Building employee
self-efficacy and confidence reduces employee stress, facilitates assimilation into
the organization, and enhances employee performance (Peterson, et al., 2011).
9. Involve Upline in Onboarding Training and Orientation – Actively involving
Top Management Team members and supervisors in the new employee
orientation process–particularly in explaining organizational values and cultural
factors–communicates to employees that organizational leaders are committed to
those values and that they are prepared to perform according to the values that
they espouse (Schein, 2010; Kouzes & Posner, 2012).
10. Create an Ongoing Coaching Process As part of the new employee
orientation, both the mentor and supervisor should identify the resources
available to assist the employee to become a highly productive contributor and
the checkpoints that will be used to help the new employee to be assimilated into
the organization to achieve time-targeted performance results (Bachkirova, et al.,
Each of these ten steps communicates to the new employee that (s)he is a priority of the
organization. This ten-step process communicates, “We value you and want you to succeed.
We care about your success, and we have carefully thought through our responsibility to
bringing you on board successfully so that you can have a great experience in our
company.” In the words of DePree (2004, Ch. 1), this approach to the onboarding process and
to helping the employee to succeed honors the “covenantal” obligation of leaders to be “a
servant and a debtor” committed to each employee’s well-being and success. That
psychological contract expectation of being valued as a person is the desired hope of new
employees as they transition into organizations. Although all ten of these recommended steps
might not always be practical in every situation, this model provides a guideline which has
applicability for many organizations in a variety of disciplines.
Caldwell and colleagues (2015) have provided a Virtuous Continuum of ethical conduct
for leaders and organizations for evaluating performance outcomes and ethical duties. That
continuum, indicated as Diagram 1, suggests that the responsibility of organizations and leaders
is to optimize value creation and organizational wealth by pursuing the best intetests of all
==== Insert Diagram One about here ====
Similarly, Cameron (2011) has explained that virtuous leadership is also “responsible
leadership” and the obligation of leaders to those whom they serve. A growing body of evidence
confirms that honoring this virtuous responsibility creates organizational wealth, greater
commitment, improved customer service, and better quality (Cameron & Spreitzer, 2012; Beer,
2009; Pfeffer, 1998).
Contributions of the Paper
Like many practical HRM issues, onboarding of employees is a profoundly ethical
process with implications for the psychological contract between the employer and employee
(Hosmer, 1987). This paper makes five significant contributions.
1) It identifies the nature of onboarding new employees as an ethical and practical
opportunity to improve the relationship between new employees and their
organizations. The responsibilities of HRPs and immediate supervisors in assimilating
new employees honors “covenantal” obligations that benefit organizations and the
individuals working for them
2) It identifies the ethical nature of onboarding in comparison with twelve highly
regarded ethical perspectives and as a key element of psychological contracts. By
elaborating on the ethical nature of the onboarding process, this paper integrates those
ethical perspectives with the expectations of employees directly impacts their trust,
commitment, and willingness to engage in value-creating behaviors.
3) It confirms the value of a Virtuous Continuum approach to examining the current
practices of onboarding for HRPs. Honoring duties owed to stakeholders and
optimizing value creation are responsibilities of HRPs and supervisors and the Virtuous
Continuum is a useful criterion for evaluating an organization’s onboarding process
(Caldwell, et al., 2014).
4) It identifies a ten-step model for onboarding with each step identifying how each
onboarding activity strengthens the ability of an organization to honor ethical and
psychological contract expectations of employees. The specifics of this proposed
model comply with best practices for onboarding in HRM (Bauer, 2010) while meshing
with ethically-related assumptions about the psychological contract (Rousseau, 1990).
5) It provides an opportunity for practitioners and scholars to increase their dialogue
in promoting the discussion of ethics in practice. The link between academicians
and practitioners is often weak and scholars are frequently criticized for being impractical
(Van Buren & Greenwood, 2013; Caldwell, 2014). This paper bridges that gap and
provides an opportunity for scholars and HRPs to work together to improve the
onboarding process.
Although organizations depend greatly upon the ability of their employees to add value
and improve organizational creativity (Christensen, 2011; Beer, 2009), they often overlook the
importance of helping employees to succeed (Pfeffer, 1998). Van Buren and Greenwood (2013,
716) have noted the importance of “involvement of business ethics scholarship in debates about
important ethical issues in employment practices.” By addressing the ethical implications of
onboarding and assimilation in the psychological contract that exists between new employees
and their organizations, this paper furthers that purpose while providing specific suggestions for
improving a key HRM process.
As HRPs improve the onboarding and assimilation process for new employees, they
enhance each employee’s reason for wanting to connect as invested partners in the success of
the organization, the work group, and the supervisor with whom they work (Yamkovenko &
Hatala, 2015). By improving onboarding and new employee assimilation, HRPs and
organization leaders honor the psychological contracts and ethical assumptions of employees’
and create an organizational culture that generates greater long-term wealth while serving the
needs of their work force (Caldwell, et al., 2011).
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Table 1: Twelve Ethical Perspectives and Their Ethical Implications for Onboarding
Basic Summary Organizationa
l Impacts
Employee Perceptions and
Ethical Implications
Society benefits when we
pursue self-interest
without encroaching on
others’ rights.
Seeks to optimize
long-term wealth
Excellent onboarding and quality training
enable new employees to quickly become
contributors in creating organizational
wealth or value (cf. Caldwell & Hansen,
Utilitarian Benefit
(Bentham & Mills)
A law or act is “right” if it
leads to more net social
benefits than harms.
Recognizes the
need to identify
costs, benefits, and
impacts of choices.
The Return on Investment of onboarding
saves an organization money in the long-
run and increases commitment (Pfeffer,
Personal Virtues
(Plato & Aristotle)
Standards must be
adopted to govern
relationships and
articulate virtuous
Organizations must
govern according
to correct
principles and
Creating an excellent onboarding process
is congruent with the virtuous obligations
that leaders owe to others (DePree, 2004)
Injunction (St.
Compassion and kindness
must accompany honesty,
truthfulness, and
equates with
respect and
Treating employees as valued “Yous”
rather than as “Its” honors the obligations
of Religious Injunction (Buber, 1996).
Ethic of
(Hobbes & Locke)
“Live by both the letter
and the spirit of the law in
honoring duties owed to
others, but remember that
the law by itself is a
minimal moral standard.”
Complying with the
letter and spirt of
the law builds trust
and increases
Treating new hires as valued partners and
with a concern for their best interests is
not a legal obligation but complies with the
spirit of the implied contract between the
parties and is an important means of
building trust (cf. Caldwell & Clapham,
Universal Rules
Inspired rules govern
action, resulting in the
greater good for society.
Universal rules and
values impact
organizations and
Kantian rules mandate that individuals are
treated as valued ends rather than as
means to ends (Kant & Wood, 2001).
Individual Rights
(Rousseau and
An articulated list of
protected rights ensures
individual freedom and
protects individuals.
Organizations are
obligated to honor
duties owed to
Employees are likely to view organizations
as owing them a complex series of
“covenantal” duties and rights (Covey,
Efficiency (Adam
Seek the maximum output
of needed goods and the
maximization of profits.
Acknowledges the
importance of
wealth creation and
Onboarding is win-win benefit that
maximizes value creation (cf. Bauer, 2010).
Justice (Rawls)
Avoid taking any actions
that harms the least of us
in any way.
Organizations owe
individuals fair
treatment at all
Ineffective onboarding actually harms
employees who are under great stress and
impedes their ability to succeed (Acevedo
& Yancey, 2010).
Liberty (Nozich)
Avoid actions that
interfere with others’ self-
fulfillment and
Acknowledges the
obligation to assist
employees to
become excellent.
Poor onboarding conflicts with the Ethic of
Contributing Liberty because it
undermines the effectiveness of new
employees (Bauer, 2010).
Ethic of Self-
Seek to fulfill one’s
highest potential and to
maximize one’s ability to
contribute to creating a
better world.
Recognizes that
fulfilling one’s
potential serves all
The Ethic of Self-Actualization is best
served by empowering new employees and
helping them to succeed (Smart, 2012).
Ethic of Care
Emphasizes the
importance of creating
caring relationships and
honoring responsibilities
to those with whom
relationships exist.
Focuses on the
importance of each
person and helping
them to honor their
The Ethic of Care enables new employees
to honor their responsibilities to others. It
is also a duty owed to them which
demonstrates that the organization cares
about their welfare (cf. Cameron, 2011).
Hosmer, 1995
Diagram 1: The Virtuous Continuum as an Ethical Framework for Leaders and
Caldwell, Hasan & Smith, 2015
... We might therefore expect new professionals working in organizations to be vulnerable to organizational socialization efforts to shape their professional identities to support organizational goals (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979;Ashforth and Saks, 1996). However, organizations may be less likely to invest in costly training and socialization programs (Caldwell and Peters, 2018;Beane, 2019), given employment trends over time that see new hires less often remain at the organizations where they began their careers (Bidwell et al., 2013). An organization's managers may also be unaware of-or not incentivized to understand-the professional identity desires of entry-level hires who are often more easily replaceable; hence managers may not use their employees' professional identity desires as a form of organizational control (Anteby, 2008a(Anteby, , 2008b. ...
... At the same time, scholars have noticed a decline in organizational investment in employees' training and development given the withering of internal labor markets, as new hires today are less likely to spend their careers with their first organization (Bidwell et al., 2013;Beane, 2019). Organizations may hesitate to invest in costly and lengthy training programs as they seek to extract as much productivity as possible from new hires from the start (Caldwell and Peters, 2018). Organizational managers may also be unaware of the unique identity-related desires of the professionals they hire (Turco, 2012;DiBenigno and Kerrissey, 2020) or unmotivated to attend to them, even though doing so can be an effective means of organizational control (Anteby, 2008a). ...
... Organizations may increasingly be responsible for socializing new professionals (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979;Ashforth and Saks, 1996), and attending to professionals' identity desires can be an effective form of organizational control (Anteby, 2008a). But managers may not recognize the importance of managing professionals' idealized identity expectations or may hesitate to invest in costly apprenticeship training given increasing employee turnover (Bidwell et al., 2013;Caldwell and Peters, 2018;Beane, 2019). Thus managers may not take appropriate action even though unchecked idealized identities may shape professionals' work practices with clients in ways that run counter to organizational goals. ...
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How can a professional identity persist when it is mismatched with the reality of work demands in one’s first job? Existing theory suggests that new members of a profession should adapt their identities to align with their profession’s and organization’s goals. Using data from an ethnographic study of first-time hospital nurses, I develop the concept of idealized professional identities—identities rooted in the image and history of an occupation rather than in reality—and depict how these identities can persist through client interactions despite negative consequences. When left unchecked under the increasingly common conditions of weak on-the-job socialization, nurses in my study with idealized identities infantilized patients and purposefully avoided patients who denied their idealized identities even though these practices ran counter to the patient satisfaction and empowerment goals of the organization and nursing profession. The opportunity to enact cherished idealized identities with the few clients who granted them may have perpetuated these dynamics by supporting the retention of professionals who otherwise may have exited. This study suggests that socialization into a professional role may come not only from interactions with professional gatekeepers, peers, or organizational management but also from the internalization of idealized professional identities that may be kept alive through interactions with and about one’s clients.
... When done purposefully and systematically, effective onboarding results in numerous benefits for both incoming members and the organization (Allen et al., 2017;Bauer et al., 2007). As such, extensive research has been dedicated to understanding the onboarding process, with ample practical recommendations put forth in both organizational and sport contexts (e.g., Bauer et al., 2007;Benson & Eys, 2017;Caldwell & Peters, 2018). In the current study, we broaden the theoretical scope of the literature and advance practical recommendations by considering how those closest to athletes during a transitional period, such as family members (e.g., partners, parents/guardians), are involved in, and influenced by, the onboarding process. ...
... Scholars have drawn attention to how effective onboarding practices should help new members access critical social resources (e.g., information, support) by developing social capital (Fang et al., 2011;Korte & Lin, 2013). Summarizing these empirical findings into concrete practical recommendations, Caldwell and Peters (2018) advanced a ten-step model for quality onboarding experiences, suggesting the need to appoint a trained mentor to guide new employees, facilitate networking and relationship building opportunities, clarify expectations and priorities, and provide an engaging, empowering, and appreciative environment. ...
... Valuing new members and acknowledging their individual contributions to the organization are important features of effective onboarding (Benson et al., 2016;Caldwell & Peters, 2018). Notably, the welcome from the IWG framework (Klein & Heuser, 2008) explicitly emphasizes the need for employees to feel appreciated and celebrated. ...
... Onboarding represents a meaningful transition for employees as they are entering new work environments, become part of teams, and take on new responsibilities (Adler and Castro, 2019). It introduces new hires to team and organisational practices, processes, policies, and values to support the adjustment and positive early experiences of new hires (Klein and Polin, 2012;Caldwell and Peters, 2018). These transitions can vary in terms of content, formality, timing, budgeting, and customisation vs. standardisation. ...
... Transitions can be challenging experiences, especially for those who are transitioning into new functions, take on cross-functional roles, or join a very fast-paced work environment. The allocation of mentors, buddies and coaches is a good way to support these more individualised forms of onboarding (Bhakta and Medina, 2021;Caldwell and Peters, 2018;Karambelkar and Bhattacharya, 2017). Similarly, actions to foster team identification may be helpful (see also Horstmeier et al., 2016;Rodeghero et al, 2021). ...
... What is more, these first experiences are also the first test of the psychological contract (Caldwell and Peters, 2018). These contracts are usually unwritten, and capture expected reciprocal relationships (Rousseau, 1995). ...
Purpose The onboarding stage of new hires represents a unique opportunity for mutual learning between the new hires and the organisation regardless of the company size. The current paper aims to address these learning opportunities. Design/methodology/approach The authors reflect on current practice, draw on recent literature and their experience with recruitment and selection processes in the industry to generate new insights and identify opportunities for practitioners and new hires alike. Findings Today's new hires expect onboarding experiences that allow for a much greater degree of flexibility, customisation and personalisation. Similarly, many new hires expect hiring, onboarding, and learning and development to be interconnected to generate new learning and career opportunities. However, these expectations require changes in the way in which onboarding is implemented, evaluated and connected to other human resource practices, specifically with the dramatic (and successful) increase in remote work arrangements in 2020 in response to the global impact of the pandemic. Originality/value The current paper provides readers with an overview of potential learning opportunities, outlines specific success factors and highlights a variety of pointers for practice and further professional development. Here is the link to the full article:
... Approaches to board induction tend to follow for the most part standard approaches to organisational induction or onboarding. Indeed the organisational induction process has become one of the core Human Resources functions (Caldwell and Peters, 2018). Traditional approaches to induction have tended to focus on information transfer, policy sign off and for the most part have gained an image of being tick box exercises, focusing on the demonstration of compliance driven by national legislative agendas (Caldwell and Caldwell, 2016). ...
... Indeed, some authors suggest that socialisation should commence early and even before the inductee commences their role, or enters the boardroom in a director's context (Saks and Gruman, 2018). Unlike traditional upfront one off induction, a socialisation model is viewed as an ongoing experience that helps the inductee to evolve their expertise within context over time (Ferrazzi and Davis, 2015;Caldwell and Peters, 2018;Harris et al., 2020). ...
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A cursory look at the literature in the area of corporate governance identifies a number of core themes currently offering insights into boards and their changing role in organisational governance. Increasing discussion on diversity, gender, changing governance frames and the progressive conceptualisation of board membership as a profession in its own right, are all clear to be seen. Given that boards and their role in governance transcend many sectors from industry, finance, and retail to the more emotionally laden service industries such as regulation of health and social care, how can organisations learn to grapple with the changing face of the boardroom and with wider societal expectations of their boards? The suggestion in this thought paper is that by understanding the organisation’s governance frame and organisationally enabling the concept of board membership identity through a strategically aligned view of induction as a process of socialisation, a better board dynamic can evolve.
... Mokgojwa (2019) found that talented employees value jobs that are in line with their qualifications, experience, skills acquired and life purpose. Moreover, the talent onboarding processes and induction are essential to building a culture of trust between the employer and newly hired talent employee (Caldwell & Peters, 2018). Molefi (2015) found that poorly applied TM practices could result in a breach of the psychological contract in the employer-employee relationship. ...
... Although most of the participants displayed a positive attitude towards talent onboarding and deployment, more attention should be devoted to expanding the effectiveness of these practices for the entire talent workforce. The induction of new talent as well as matching talent with the right positions and institutional culture is of considerable significance if institutions are to build a trust relationship with individuals and ensure optimal performance (see Caldwell & Peters, 2018;Kumar & Jain, 2012;Pike, 2014). The breach of the employer-employee trust relationship and subsequent psychological contract (see Molefi, 2015) at the start of a new incumbent's employment can translate into higher voluntary turnover intentions (Shipena, 2019) and undermine business continuity (Campbell & Hirsch, 2013;Muslim et al., 2012). ...
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Introduction: Talent management plays an essential role in the retention of competent employees in the workplace. Research purpose: The main objective of this research was to determine the relationship between talent management, job satisfaction and voluntary turnover intentions of employees in a selected South African government institution. Motivation for the study: Talent management research within the context of South African government institutions has yet to reach its full potential. Research design, approach, and method: This study followed a quantitative research design. Data was collected from employees at the head office of the selected government institution (N = 208). A Talent management measure, job satisfaction questionnaire and a voluntary turnover intention questionnaire were distributed. Findings: The results showed a weak leadership talent mindset. Talent management practices such as talent development, performance management, talent retention strategies and compensation practices were poorly applied. Almost half of the sample was dissatisfied with their jobs, whilst 68% considered quitting their jobs. Talent management practices were significantly related to job satisfaction and voluntary turnover intentions. Job satisfaction moderated the relationship between talent management and voluntary turnover intentions. Management implications: Government leaders are encouraged to adopt a talent mindset that will instil a talent culture where talented individuals are allowed to add value and contribute to the success of the institution. Value add: This research adds to the limited body of research done on talent management in the public sector context. Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of talent management in contributing to critical individual outcomes required for sustainable government institutions.
... It is possible to explain the influence of TO on OC using the psychological contract theory (Johnson & O'Leary-Kelly, 2003). Psychological contracts are one of the forms of social exchange that occurs between organizations and their employees (Caldwell & Peters, 2018;Johnson & O'Leary-Kelly, 2003). The psychological contract theory identifies the components of an employee's contract and the effects of contract fulfillment or non-fulfillment by organizations (Estreder et al., 2021;Jones & Griep, 2018;Rousseau, 2001). ...
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Although many scholars have investigated the influence of emotional exhaustion on an organization, there has been relatively minimal research regarding emotional exhaustion’s impacts on organizational cynicism as well as the underlying mechanisms of it. Considering the research gaps, we attempt to find underlying mechanisms that drive the relationship between emotional exhaustion and organizational cynicism in the present research. In particular, we propose a sequential mediation model that investigates the relationship between emotional exhaustion and the sub-dimensions of organizational cynicism with the sequential mediating of organizational identification and trust in the organization. In order to empirically test these links, we utilized two waves lagged study design with 465 employees working in different sectors in Turkey. Our results provide empirical support that organizational identification and trust in an organization sequentially mediate the relationship between emotional exhaustion and cognitive cynicism with affective cynicism. However, the indirect effect of emotional exhaustion on behavioral cynicism through sequential mediators was not statistically significant. This study theoretically and empirically contributes to the emotional exhaustion literature by revealing the sequential mechanisms through which employees’ perceptions of emotional exhaustion affect their cynical attitudes in organizations and offers practical implications by stressing the importance of employees’ perceptions of emotional exhaustion. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed, along with limitations and future research directions.
... The process of adaptation, in many contemporary organizations is also called onboarding. It has become an important part of human resource management and is given increasing importance (Huselid et al., 2009;Bauer 2010;Hirsch 2017;Caldwell and Peters 2018). Some authors consider onboarding and adaptation as the same, but some of them recognize some differences between these concepts. ...
... Tentativas de melhorar as condições de trabalho são expressas no desenvolvimento de códigos de conduta corporativa e na adoção de padrões globais que preenchem a função de estrutura para fazer cumprir as leis nacionais (Caldwell, & Peters, 2018). Quando os empregados percebem que sua corporação está buscando se manter responsável perante a sociedade, ajudando a comunidade, doando recursos ou fornecendo esforços voluntariamente, é mais provável que acreditem que outras pessoas avaliem sua corporação positivamente (Hon & Grunig, 1999 Barakat et al. (2016). ...
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A responsabilidade social corporativa (RSC) desempenha papel crucial nas corporações, sendo entendida como variável estratégica porque, se gerenciada adequadamente, concorrerá para o aumento de participação no mercado. O presente estudo teve como objetivo avaliar a influência que a RSC e a identidade corporativa exercem sobre a satisfação dos empregados. Para tanto, foi realizada pesquisa de natureza quantitativa, com utilização de questionário estruturado e autoadministrado, aplicado à amostra constituída por 293 empregados de uma indústria brasileira do setor de óleo gás. O tratamento de dados ocorreu por meio da técnica estatística de modelagem de equações estruturais (MEE), baseada em mínimos quadrados parciais (MQP). Os resultados confirmaram que a satisfação dos empregados é influenciada de forma direta e positiva pela RSC e identidade corporativa. A contribuição dos resultados possibilita aos gestores, o alcance de vantagens competitivas no mercado, com investimento em capital humano, o qual constitui recurso intangível, raro e único.
Employee engagement is defined as an employee's emotional connectedness with an organization. One of the key levers that affects employee engagement is leadership support. Leaders who effectively manage are vital to all organizations as they play a key role in helping to establish relational networks which lead to higher levels of engagement for their employees. This chapter discusses how leaders can impact engagement. Furthermore, it outlines how leaders can grow and develop in their leadership practice. Leaders who focus on creating a culture of learning and engagement experience higher levels of performance.
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White paper report on Onboarding New Employees.
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Although many organizations and Human Resource Professionals overlook the importance of onboarding new employees, this Human Resource Management process is extremely important for transitioning employees and is a moral and ethical duty owed to those employees. This paper identifies ten classic onboarding errors and suggests solutions to those ethical missteps. By correcting these errors, organizations can improve the transition of their new employees, build trust and commitment, reduce employee stress, and increase new employee productivity. Objective: The purposes of this paper are to identify the ethically-related duties associated with onboarding new employees, to identify ten classic errors made in that process, and to identify how those issues can be addressed to honor duties owed to new employees. Methods: The paper incorporates the Human Resource Management literature about onboarding new employees and integrates that literature in identifying the ethical duties owed, errors often made, and solutions. Results: The paper suggests specific action steps to mitigate errors made in onboarding new employees and explains their ethical significance. Conclusions: Although many organizations mishandle the onboarding of new employees, the relationship between new employees and their organizations can be enhanced and improved by avoiding the ten classic onboarding errors identified in this paper.
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Harvard's Clayton M. Christensen (2012, 2013, 2016) has repeatedly emphasized the critical importance of engaging employees at all organizational levels to achieve and sustain competitive advantage in today's fast moving global marketplace. At the same time, other scholars have noted that many leaders and organizations are ineffective (Pfeffer, 1998) and Angela Duckworth (2016) has reported that two-thirds of today's employees describe themselves as not engaged in their organization. The challenge of creating a culture of engagement and commitment has increasingly been addressed by scholars and practitioners and acknowledged to be critical to the success of the modern organization (Hayes, Caldwell, Licona & Meyer, 2015; Caldwell, Licona, & Floyd, 2015; Schein, 2010). The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical importance of creating a culture of engagement and to clarify key roles of the top management team, the human resources staff, individual supervisors, and non-supervisory colleagues in creating that culture. We begin this paper by briefly defining employee engagement and explaining its important place in organizations that seek to improve quality, profitability, and innovation. We then identify the important roles of key individuals and groups in creating a culture of engagement and offer six propositions to test related to increasing employee commitment and creating a culture of high engagement. We conclude with a brief summary of the contributions of this paper.
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Business leaders striving to be competitive in the global marketplace may profit by paying close attention to both the latest research and the successes of organizations in implementing high performance/high trust partnerships. By proactively building such relationships with their employees and by working closely with faculty at local business schools, leaders of business can not only improve their companies' profitability and productivity, but increase business credibility with customers and with the community at large. It is this ability to be trustworthy and credible that is critical for business practitioners and educators in their quest to strengthen the competitiveness of businesses and improve public confidence in the business sector in today's marketplace.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain the importance of virtuous leadership and identify six characteristics that are necessary for the modern leader to be effective in an increasingly challenging and competitive world market. Design/methodology/approach – Theory development. Findings – The authors suggest that virtuous leaders possess an uncommon level of commitment to those employees whom they serve, to their customers, to their shareholders, and to society at large, the authors extend the concept of the moral continuum and identify the importance of a virtuous perspective in honoring the obligation to optimize wealth creation and enriching outcomes and relationships, and the authors suggest ten propositions about virtuous leadership that may be empirically tested by both scholars and practitioners who are interested in studying and/or applying virtuous leadership to improve relationships and build organizations. Originality/value – Original article.
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Purpose – Employee engagement has become a hot topic in recent years among consulting firms and in the popular business press. However, employee engagement has rarely been studied in the academic literature and relatively little is known about its antecedents and consequences. The purpose of this study was to test a model of the antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagements based on social exchange theory. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was completed by 102 employees working in a variety of jobs and organizations. The average age was 34 and 60 percent were female. Participants had been in their current job for an average of four years, in their organization an average of five years, and had on average 12 years of work experience. The survey included measures of job and organization engagement as well as the antecedents and consequences of engagement. Findings – Results indicate that there is a meaningful difference between job and organization engagements and that perceived organizational support predicts both job and organization engagement; job characteristics predicts job engagement; and procedural justice predicts organization engagement. In addition, job and organization engagement mediated the relationships between the antecedents and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intentions to quit, and organizational citizenship behavior. Originality/value – This is the first study to make a distinction between job and organization engagement and to measure a variety of antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagement. As a result, this study addresses concerns about that lack of academic research on employee engagement and speculation that it might just be the latest management fad.
Numerous researchers have proposed that trust is essential for understanding interpersonal and group behavior, managerial effectiveness, economic exchange and social or political stability, yet according to a majority of these scholars, this concept has never been precisely defined. This article reviews definitions from various approaches within organizational theory, examines the consistencies and differences, and proposes that trust is based upon an underlying assumption of an implicit moral duty. This moral duty—an anomaly in much of organizational theory—has made a precise definition problematic. Trust also is examined from philosophical ethics, and a synthesis of the organizational and philosophical definitions that emphasizes an explicit sense of moral duty and is based upon accepted ethical principles of analysis is proposed. This new definition has the potential to combine research from the two fields of study in important areas of inquiry.
Positive organizational scholarship (POS) is an umbrella concept used to emphasize what elevates and what is inspiring to individuals and organizations by defining the possibilities for positive deviance rather than just improving on the challenging, broken, and needlessly difficult. Just as positive psychology explores optimal individual psychological states rather than pathological ones, POS focuses attention on the generative dynamics in organizations that lead to the development of human strength, foster resiliency in employees, enable healing and restoration, and cultivate extraordinary individual and organizational performance. While POS does not ignore dysfunctional or typical patterns of behavior, it is most interested in the motivations and effects associated with remarkably positive phenomena how they are facilitated, why they work, how they can be identified, and how organizations can capitalize on them. This book is a major resource on POS. Eighty articles review basic principles, empirical evidence, and ideas for future research relating to POS. They focus on using a positive lens to address problems and challenges in organizational life and they draw on POS to expand the domain of other disciplines including ethics, economics, peace, spirituality, social movements, and sustainability.
Coping with Work Stress: A Review and Critique highlights current research relating to the coping strategies of individuals and organizations, and provides best practice techniques for dealing with the growing epidemic of stress and lack of overall well-being at work. Reviews and critiques the most current research focusing on workplace stress. Provides 'best practice' techniques for dealing with stress at the workplace. Extends beyond stress to cover broader issues of well-being at work.
We investigated structural support as a work design characteristic potentially enabling employee effectiveness in demanding contexts, proposing that structural support enhances job and role outcomes for employees but that effects depend on both the outcome under consideration (job vs. role) and the employees themselves. We tested hypotheses in a within-persons quasi-experiment in which 48 hospital doctors carried out their work with and without structural support. Structural support had positive effects on perceived core job performance, and these effects were stronger for individuals with higher clarity about others' work roles, suggesting that individuals can better mobilize available support when clear about how to allocate it. Support was also associated with improved role outcomes although, consistently with conservation of resources theory, effects differed with affect. For individuals with higher negative work affect, structural support was associated with lowered perceived role overload (a resource protection mechanism). For individuals with lower negative work affect, support was associated with higher perceived skill utilization and proactive work behavior (a resource accumulation mechanism). We approach social support at work in a novel way, extend relational approaches to work design, and show the value of considering both job and role outcomes in work redesign research.