How You Can Get Employees Rolling in Their New Roles

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May 12, 2015

You’ve just hired someone for a management position.

That someone happens to be an employee who’s been working for your company for the past three years. Since they’re well-versed in how the company does things, they don’t need to go through a formal onboarding process, right?


Onboarding isn’t just for new hires. While hiring internally does eliminate the need to teach your employee about the company, give them a tour of the office, and go in-depth on the company mission and goals, it doesn’t mean that you can forego training them as you would an external hire.

In an effort to give employees a smooth transition into their new roles within the company, here are four (4) onboarding tips designed for internal hires and promotions:

1. Start cross-training beforehand

Consider this: Companies filled nearly half (42 percent) of their job openings — almost 192,000 positions — through current staff, according to CareerXroads’ 2014 Source of Hire Report. Needless to say, your internal talent pool is worth investing in.

To prepare your current staff for future opportunities in roles or departments outside of their own, try implementing a cross-training or job shadow program between team members or departments.

Cross-training can help drive organizational success and team performance, by improving individual proficiency levels in various roles. Not only is it an affordable way to boost employee performance and motivation, cross-training also prepares employees for expanded roles within the company.

2. Assign mentors

Mentors play an important role in the onboarding process. They help new hires acclimate to their new work environment, as well as assist them in getting up-to-speed. While commonly used to help train external hires, they can be equally helpful to internal hires.

Consider assigning mentors to aid internal hires in adjusting to their new roles. Having a go-to person for questions, comments, and concerns can alleviate some of the new job jitters that even existing employees experience after being promoted or moving to another department or team.

3. Socialize employees

A bonus to hiring internally is that current employees are probably already well-acquainted with their co-workers. However, a new job or promotion occasionally means a new department or team. And moving from one department to another requires employees to familiarize themselves with people who were previously acquaintances, at best.

In an effort to better socialize internal hires, treat them as you would a new hire. Briefly introduce them to who they’ll be working with on a daily basis.

Better yet, encourage team members to take the not-so-new hire out to lunch. Not only does this help internal hires get better acquainted with their new team members, it helps build camaraderie within the workplace.

4. Offer (and request) feedback

Internal hires need regular feedback, just as external hires do. Maintaining a continuous feedback loop is crucial to developing both current staff and new hires, yet the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that only 2 percent of employers provide ongoing feedback to their employees.

To ensure that internal hires are adjusting to their new role within the company, regularly meet with them in an informal, one-on-one setting. This gives internal hires an opportunity to voice their concerns or suggestions, as well as a chance for employers to offer feedback.

In a nutshell, internal hires need (and want) onboarding, too. Fortunately, much of the traditional new hire onboarding process is already taken care of (i.e. introductory company training) when you opt to hire from within.

By cross-training ahead of time, assigning mentors during the first few weeks on the job, focusing on socialization, and offering plenty of feedback, you can rest assured that internal hires will have a smooth transition into their new roles.

What other ways can employers set internal hires up for success? Share your tips in the comments below.