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Learning the Ropes: A Phenomenological Exploration of Newcomer Experiences of Onboarding at a Health Services Organisation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Murphy, Lynn (2021) Learning the Ropes: A Phenomenological Exploration of Newcomer Experiences of Onboarding at a Health Services Organisation during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Onboarding is a period of significant learning in which newcomers become orientated to their roles and socialised into the organisation. The rapid shift to remote work in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching implications for how businesses manage their onboarding process. Newcomers are commencing roles while working separately from their colleagues. Literature on onboarding typically focuses on the delivery of co-located activities, with virtual onboarding still being a relatively new phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to explore how newcomers are experiencing onboarding at an HSE organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study engaged with a qualitative interpretive phenomenological research design to achieve this. Six participants were purposively sampled to participate in semi-structured interviews that enabled them to share their experiences, and the data gathered was analysed thematically. Analysis of these results identified that the shift to remote and hybrid work impacted participants onboarding experiences. The participants found that the onboarding activities, while helpful, were also very intense with large amounts of information conveyed in short periods. This was exacerbated by the reduced interactions that the participants had with colleagues. As participants worked separately to colleagues, it became harder for them to build relationships, seek feedback, and clarify expectations. The results of this study have highlighted the need for further research on the impact of delivering onboarding in a remote or hybrid model. For this organisation, this study has identified areas for development, including the need to support existing staff in facilitating on-the-job learning within a virtual or hybrid model of working and the development of accessible organisational resources. As a practitioner, completing this research has led to a reconceptualisation of what constitutes good onboarding practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: R Medicine > Healthcare Industry
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management
Divisions: Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning > Master of Arts in Educational Practice
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 16:21
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 16:21
URI: https://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5294

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