Onboarding. What is it, why is it so important, and how can you make it better?
What is onboarding?
Companies spend a significant amount of their time looking for the perfect candidate in order to fill an open role in their organization. However, it is often forgotten that the job of the HR function or Hiring Manager is not finished once they hire the right candidate. To transform a new (and likely very nervous) starter into a productive team member, an effectively planned onboarding program is required.
Statistics show that 90% of employees make the decision on whether to stay with a company or leave, within the first 6 months from the start date. Onboarding can have a massive impact on your mindset.
A better onboarding experience improves new employee satisfaction, engagement, and performance.
Some scary figures to consider:
After a disastrous first day, 5% of new employees quit immediately.
Within the first 45 days of employment, 20% of new employees will leave.
Almost one-third of all new employees leave the company (voluntarily or involuntarily) before the end of their first year.
A good onboarding process expedites the integration of new employees while lowering costs. Replacing an employee typically costs an organization between 50 and 150 percent of the departing employee's annual salary!
How can you make an effective and successful onboarding program?
Onboarding programs can differ depending on the size and culture of the company. However, there are some common tips and rules used in successful onboarding programs. Before we get to the training part, it is crucial to ensure that new starters are provided with the needed resources to be efficient. Such resources depending on your work might include:
Passwords, log in details for software, and the keys to access the building
Tablet, Computer, or phone
Having this, you can be confident that they have what they need which would make it less stressful for both you and the employee.
Top Tip: Highly motivated employees will go the extra mile, so don’t be afraid to point them in the right direction! Provide a reading list or suggest a few useful websites that will allow them to independently research and accelerate their learning.
Complete the paperwork before their start date
Documents like the contract of employment, payroll forms, work requirements & VISA need to be finished before day 1. The quicker you are done with the important documents, the faster you can put your mind on planning the engagement part of the onboarding. Nowadays, instead of posting the documents, consider an electronic signature. This is a quick way to avoid any delays and allows the employee to keep all important documents stored electronically too.
The team and communication
Building the employee/manager relationship from day one is essential for communication. According to the data, 61% of ‘best at’ onboarding businesses allow their managers to be part of the hiring process making the status of new hires accessible for them. Through applying this process of engagement between manager and new starter you provide the employee with the best practices, knowing that they are being followed in the correct way.
Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to communicate before the first day! Send a welcome email, set up a virtual coffee, give some insights into the onboarding process. New starters appreciate the contact, and you’ll appreciate having a strong foundation from Day 1 to build on.
Create a welcome experience and provide them with culture aspect of the company
Have a clear owner of the orientation experience – is it the hiring manager or a human resources representative who will walk them through the office, show them where the kitchen, good coffee machine, and best bathrooms are?
Make the new hire feel truly special by allowing them to decorate the space if they have a dedicated workstation. If you're hot-desking or working remotely, consider making a fun, travel-sized pack. Hot desking may be unfamiliar to many people, so making a caddy full of treats may help to normalize the experience.
Top Tip: Create a welcome pack! It can be inexpensive and include some essentials like a branded water bottle, pens, mousepad, and a voucher for a desk plant.
After the first day
After let’s say 4, 6 months, a year… How are you staying in touch with that employee overtime? Onboarding should not end after the first week.
Setting your employees up for long-term success requires clear goals, objectives, and succession planning. This is where probation management comes into play. It's simply not enough to hire a superstar and expect them to perform flawlessly all the time. To help them thrive, every top talent has a great coach and support network. Share goals and set regular check ins.
When the best practice of onboarding is carried out, it benefits not only the new employee but also the manager and the organization as a whole.