DION meeting with NTNU faculties to discuss onboarding

On Wednesday the 17th of October, DION met with representatives of different faculties to talk about “onboarding” in the different faculties. “Onboarding” is the process of welcoming and integrating new employees at NTNU in their different departments. So, onboarding applies to anything that happens between signing the contract and then being able to “start to research properly” – after one has settled in fully. DION conducted a survey about this process and presented the analysis to the different representatives. The goal was to have a discussion about the different measures used by the different faculties. The results of the survey clearly show a difference between the different faculties. Some faculties are very good at distributing useful information even before a new employee has physically arrived at NTNU. Other faculties do almost not manage to support the new employees. Some employees needed more than 24 weeks before they were able to focus on the work they were supposed to do and not be stuck with different bureaucratic processes. The results from the DION survey will be published soon.

The representatives of the different faculties were mainly consisting of people who are either directly involved in the PhD education or HR. Overall, the representatives were very open to hear about even negative results and seemed happy to get information about how critical the situation is. Together, we were able to have a productive discussion and exchange some knowledge on “best practice procedures”. This was supported through the work of Marit Martinsen, who is the leader of a currently ongoing project at NTNU that focuses exactly on the improvement of the onboarding process. She shortly presented the project and its current state. They focus on making a standard “starter package” that will be implemented NTNU-wide to raise the standard at all faculties. The focus is on different topics, but generally improvement shall happen in the areas of structural transparency (who is responsible for what, who can I ask?), social integration, being clear about future perspectives, how to have a good work-life balance and good mental health. The project is supposed to be done by the end of 2020. DION sees a great potential here for collaboration and hopes that we can strengthen our ties in these matters.

Similar meetings will also happen in the future, addressing, e.g. the offboarding process and how research processes can be better communicated as to avoid problems. We are very happy about the outcome of this meeting and feel positive that the onboarding experience at NTNU will improve soon.