11th Strategic People Management Workshop
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27 April 2022

11th Strategic People Management Workshop

'I want you, but won't see you: E-Onboarding and how to set new hires up for success from Day 1'

The 11th Strategic People Management Workshop at CITY College, University of York Europe Campus took place on Wednesday 13 April 2022. This in-person event centred on e-onboarding was opened by Prof. Leslie Szamosi, Director of the Pan-European Executive MBA and Professor of Human Resource Management & Organizational Behaviour, who welcomed the audience and introduced the structure of the event. Next, Dr Giovanni Oscar Serafini, Assistant Professor in Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour, presented an overview of onboarding, highlighting its benefits and challenges, before discussing e-onboarding characteristics and highlighting key steps for its successful application. The core contribution to the workshop was delivered by Ms Lorena Furtuna, Senior HR Manager, ORACLE, who shared online amazing insights on her first-hand experience with e-onboarding practices application. 

11th Strategic People Management Workshop at CITY College, University of York Europe Campus

Ms Furtuna stressed that e-onboarding requires the creation of a virtual organisational socialisation space that fosters the confidence of new hires in their own role, by enabling the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and behaviours. Thus, e-onboarding is instrumental in one of the most delicate and important HRM tasks: the transition of new hires from being ‘outsiders’ to becoming effective organisational members and ‘insiders'. The floor was then opened to Executive MBA students of CITY College for a multifaceted discussion leading, among others, to the following main conclusions:
(1)  There are multiple benefits of having a structured e-onboarding. Its unifying effect leads to acclimating new hires to the organization and its culture, creating connections, and understanding their role, with the ultimate benefit of making new employees feel welcome, appreciated, and respected.
(2)  Effective e-onboarding boosts the motivation of new hires, thus making them willing to stay.
(3)  An imperative for e-onboarding is to convey to new hires the need for compliance, involving awareness of basic legal and policy-related rules.

The event was also enriched by the presence of Prof Alexandros Psychogios, Professor in International Human Resource Management at Birmingham City Business School (UK) who remarked that, while onboarding is a complex process under any circumstances, remote work has rendered e-onboarding even more of a challenge. Given that human nature fundamentally craves in-person interactions to build solid, trustworthy relationships, Prof Psychogios pointed out that the post-pandemic workplace will see a gradual return to conventional face-to-face onboarding practices.

The event took place in the context of the Annual Study Week of our Pan-European Executive MBA programme and was attended by Executive MBA students from all 8 countries where the programme runs.


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