>Employee Onboarding and Enterprise Architecture

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The human capital perspective of the enterprise architecture is often overlooked, and is not yet included in the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), but I’m still hopeful.

A recent article in Federal Times, 9 June 2007, called “First Day on the job, first step to retention” demonstrates that human capital architecture is alive and well although not consistently used.

A report by the Partnership for Public Service found that “the government has no consistent approach to bringing new employees on board; new employees often aren’t taught about and initiated into their new agency’s culture; and technology that could ease the process and improve collaboration is underused.”

However, some agencies are coming up with new ways to welcome new employees, make them feel “at home” on the job, get them situated, acclimated and trained, so they quickly become productive employees with longevity at the agency.

For example in setting up the logistics for a new employee, “GAO and NASA have each developed case management systems to track new hires from the moment they accept the offer. The system alerts information technology offices to set up a computer network access and email account for a new employee; facilities staff will prepare an office and desk; and security staffs work in advance to arrange needed clearances.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) goes above and beyond when it comes to onboarding. OCC send new hires “a welcome basket with an agency-branded T-shirt, umbrella, luggage tags, and chocolates.” Not a bad introduction for someone starting new in a place.

GAO, NASA, OCC are all good examples of what human capital enterprise architecture is all about. I would suggest growing this list and building it into a FEA human capital perspective.

We cannot take our employees for granted. Their enthusiasm, determination, innovation, empowerment, and leadership is what will drive the organization ultimately to succeed or not.

The enterprise architecture human capital perspective can look at the lifecycle of the employee from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding all the way through their 30+ year careers and into retirement. The enterprise architecture can assess how we manage the human capital lifecycle in the enterprise today, establish a future target state, and develop the transition plan to move the organization towards best practices for managing our most critical asset, our people.