How to Use Diagrams to Improve Employee Onboarding

By Liza Mock on Jul 09, 2015 in Tips and Tricks

four flowcharts

You know what’s not fun? Spending a lot of time, money and effort finding and then onboarding someone great just to have them leave a few months later. Hiring and training can range “between 30-50% of the employee’s starting salary” 1. And after such a massive investment half of all senior new hires “fail within 18 months in a new position” 2.

A well-structured onboarding process can make the difference between a successful new employee and one who’s packing their desk toys faster than they unpacked them. Gliffy can help you keep your new hires and their desk toys right where they are.

Show, Don’t Just Tell
A majority of us are visual learners. If you’ve ever tried to learn something new, you know that it makes a big difference if you have pictures to accompany the words. Just think how much less convincing any website would be if it didn’t have images.

And yet most companies don’t give new employees anything visual to guide them in the course of onboarding them. (Stock photos of “happy employees” on the new hire binder don’t count.)

Adding a visual component to employee onboarding doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it need to take up a lot of time. There are four simple diagrams types commonly used to illustrate how companies run and the people who are involved in running them. Creating and routinely using them to help new hires get their bearings faster will make your onboarding process 10x more awesome and will save your company time and money in the long run.

Here’s How
Below is a list of the four diagrams you can create to help new employees understand where they are, what they do and who they can turn to for help if they forget the where or the what. Bonus: they can also be a big help for the existing team.

1. Team Overview Diagram
team_overview

A great way to see overall company structure and how the departments interact with each other and the customer is by drawing a team overview diagram. This can be as detailed or as high-level as you like. Clicking on the image above will allow you to use it as a template.

Key Components of a Team Overview Diagram:
1. Departments/Teams
2. Your Product/Service
3. The Customer
4. Connectors between all of the above demonstrating communication/ interaction/ movement

Shape libraries used: Flowchart & Basic Shapes

Brownie points:
· Notes that delve deeper into each department/ their function/ interactions
· People connected with/in charge of each department
· Links to company websites/documentation
· Key to help people understand the diagram

2. Organizational Chart
fun_co_org_chart (1)
An org chart will help the new girl/guy understand where they fit in within the organization. They’ll know how to plan their career path, who their boss is, who to talk to if they don’t like their boss, and who definitely not to cross on the company softball league. Just kidding about that last one (sort of). Clicking on the image above will allow you to use it as a template.

Key Components of an Org Chart:
1. Departments/Teams
2. People within those departments
3. Reporting structure
4. How departments and teams interact

Shape Libraries used: Basic Shapes

3. Business Process Map
business_process_map (1)

Whereas a team overview diagram shows team interaction, a business process map focuses on showing what happens to a product/service within each department. It can show what happens if a product is out of stock or a customer credit card declines. It can be very detailed and complex or just give a general overview. Clicking on the image above will allow you to use it as a template.

Key Components of a Process Map:

1. Departments/Teams
2. Product/Service
3. Movement of product/service through the departments
4. Customer interactions

Shape Libraries used: Flowchart & Swimlanes

Brownie points:
· Notes that delve deeper into the product
· Links to company websites/documentation
· Links to outside vendors/manufacturers
· Key to help people understand the diagram

4. Floorplan
office_space (1)

A floorplan is not a must-have, but it is a nice-to-have, especially if the building you work in is big. It can help your new hire find the new best friend they made on the company softball team and avoid embarrassing situations like thinking the bathroom is the kitchen or accidentally walking in on a nursing mother. Clicking on the image above will allow you to use it as a template.

Key Components of a Floorplan:
1. Conference rooms
2. Kitchen/bathroom etc.
3. Employee seating chart

Shape libraries used: Floorplan

Brownie points:
· Add favorite restaurants & bars close to the office

Helpful Diagramming Tips

1. Start by drawing all the shapes; worry about where they go and how they connect later.
2. Pick a different shape and/or color to represent each department.
3. Use swimlanes to make the separation more clear.
4. Proofread twice, then proofread again.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Get a coworker to look over your diagram to make sure it makes sense and you haven’t forgotten anything important (like adding your boss to the org chart).

Reference 1: http://www.oracle.com/us/technologies/bpm/employee-onboarding-ds-1912626.pdf
Reference 2: Smart, B. (1999). Topgrading: How leading companies win by hiring, coaching, and keeping the best people. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.