Presentation Title

A-3 From Good to Great: Improving the New Faculty Onboarding Experience

Presenter Status

Associate Professor, Communications

Preferred Session

Oral Session

Start Date

4-11-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

4-11-2016 3:45 PM

Presentation Abstract

Onboarding is a process aimed at helping new employees adjust to their new work environment. This action research project was aimed at discovering (1.) how the onboarding process at this university could be improved and (2.) the unique challenges new faculty might face in adjusting to this small, rural, faith-based, and highly culturally diverse environment. First, an improvement proposal was drafted and presented to a focus group, and feedback was collected. Next, the proposal was revised and sent to 62 new faculty participants, along with a survey and invitation for additional involvement. Ultimately, survey and in-depth interview feedback was collected from 19 respondents and analyzed. Results revealed (1.) the proposal was considered a satisfactory improvement of the existing onboarding process; (2.) unique challenges included feeling overloaded/overwhelmed with work/time demands and with experiencing difficulty in finding a “fit,” establishing connections, developing a network of support, and receiving informative feedback. The conclusions were (1.) the expectation for establishing a fit and developing meaningful connections is heightened by the expectation of joining a religious and culturally diverse environment, but the reality of living and working in it is more challenging than expected; (2.) recognition of this reality and intentionality in addressing it and in providing training and support is needed; and (3.) though the proposal offered many important improvements appreciated by new faculty, it did not fully address this need.

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Nov 4th, 3:30 PM Nov 4th, 3:45 PM

A-3 From Good to Great: Improving the New Faculty Onboarding Experience

Onboarding is a process aimed at helping new employees adjust to their new work environment. This action research project was aimed at discovering (1.) how the onboarding process at this university could be improved and (2.) the unique challenges new faculty might face in adjusting to this small, rural, faith-based, and highly culturally diverse environment. First, an improvement proposal was drafted and presented to a focus group, and feedback was collected. Next, the proposal was revised and sent to 62 new faculty participants, along with a survey and invitation for additional involvement. Ultimately, survey and in-depth interview feedback was collected from 19 respondents and analyzed. Results revealed (1.) the proposal was considered a satisfactory improvement of the existing onboarding process; (2.) unique challenges included feeling overloaded/overwhelmed with work/time demands and with experiencing difficulty in finding a “fit,” establishing connections, developing a network of support, and receiving informative feedback. The conclusions were (1.) the expectation for establishing a fit and developing meaningful connections is heightened by the expectation of joining a religious and culturally diverse environment, but the reality of living and working in it is more challenging than expected; (2.) recognition of this reality and intentionality in addressing it and in providing training and support is needed; and (3.) though the proposal offered many important improvements appreciated by new faculty, it did not fully address this need.