Onboarding new employees is always challenging but can be even more difficult in an international school. Expatriate employees have made a big move and maybe feel homesick or uncertain about their new job. They may also be feeling out of place among the other staff members. This blog post will discuss some steps that you can take to ensure a smooth transition for your new employees.
Do you want to learn more about onboarding, consider reading our Onboarding 101 article.
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Onboarding in International Schools: The Induction Phase
The first step in onboarding new employees is the induction phase. This is when you introduce them to the school, its culture, and its colleagues. It’s essential to make sure that they feel welcome and comfortable.
Some activities to plan out during the indication phase should include:
- A physical or virtual tour of the school
- An introduction to the other staff members
- A discussion of the school’s culture and values
- An overview of the job duties and expectations
Using Onboard360’s platform, designed from the ground up to help onboard international teachers. You can deliver realistic job previews during the induction phase to help teachers understand their roles better. To learn more about realistic job previews, read our detailed article Onboarding the way it’s meant to be – with realistic job previews.
The uncertainty of whether a new employee will be well received by their colleagues is always there, even though you have signed up for that job. The preboarding phase deals with these questions and more so before the actual onboarding process begins!
Helping new hires feel welcome and trusted is a top priority for any school. Therefore, it’s critical to continuously keep in touch with your latest team member before starting work! Send crucial information about how things are going at the school or who they should meet if there are people from outside the department who can assist–this will show them the school cares enough already and acclimate newcomers quickly by providing what they may need most: support camaraderie.
Onboarding in International Schools: The Orientation Phase
The orientation phase starts on the first day the teacher reaches the school. Is handing a new employee a task list the best way to kick off their orientation? The goal of this phase is for newcomers to become accustomed to and feel welcomed quickly.
It is vital to give the employee plenty of time to adjust. This may mean allowing them to adjust at home for a few days or giving them extra time off during their first week to take care of personal matters such as obtaining a local driver’s license. It is always important to be patient and understanding as the employee adjusts to their new surroundings.
Role training during the orientation phase should be kept to a minimum. Instead, newcomers should be allowed to explore their new surroundings and get to know their colleagues. The focus during this phase should be on building relationships and trust. Once the employee feels comfortable, they will be more open to learning about their new role and how they can contribute to the school.
Finally, ensure that the employee has access to support from other staff members. This may involve creating a buddy system or setting up regular check-ins with the head of the department or principal.
Onboarding in International Schools: Post Arrival
The onboarding process doesn’t end when the employee starts work. The post-arrival phase is when the employee fully integrates into the school. This process can take several months, and patience is essential.
During this phase, the employee will start taking on more responsibility and be expected to contribute to the school community. They may also be asked to lead or participate in professional development activities.
It is essential to continue to support the employee during this time. Check-ins should be regular, and feedback should be given frequently. This will help the employee feel comfortable and confident in their new role.
The challenges that international schools face are numerous and ever-changing. However, with these challenges come opportunities to create an even more cohesive community within the school. By following Onboard360’s questionnaire, which is built on best practices for onboarding new employees, your school can set everyone up for success.
Consider All Your Onboarding Options
Now that you understand the importance of onboarding, you should take the time to consider how best to deliver it. Onboard360 was built from the ground up for international teacher onboarding.