Want your employees stick around for a while? Start with a solid onboarding program. Make sure your candidates and new hires understand their jobs, get adequate training, and fit in the company culture to ensure they have a happy and successful employment experience. Read more for our onboarding best practices.
How does onboarding impact your organization?
Onboarding is the process of quickly and smoothly integrating new employees into an organization so they can make successful contributions to the organization’s mission and goals. In the typical organization, new employees get 90 days to prove their worth. This form of “sink or swim” onboarding forces employees to fend for themselves, promotes a very competitive work environment, and fails to immerse the employee in the company culture. The “sink or swim” onboarding strategy is more common than you may think. Typically, companies that neglect onboarding practices face these severe consequences:
- Higher turnover rates
- Slows the rate of which employees become productive
- Fails to achieve affective commitment between new employees and their co-workers
- Promotes a competitive environment that impacts collaboration
- May lead to bad publicity on social media sites, like GlassDoor.com
In order to avoid the pitfalls of an ineffective onboarding strategy, companies are developing comprehensive strategies that help new hires transition. By setting the tone of the employee’s time at the company, companies are benefiting from employee engagement, collaboration, increased productivity, and more.
Recruiting is part of the
Onboarding shouldn’t start on an employee’s first day, but instead should start throughout the recruitment process. Job advertisements and descriptions should align with the actual position so new hires are not met with unanticipated responsibilities or expectations. Expectations shouldn’t be vague or ambiguous. You want employees to feel confident in the job, and you want to feel secure in the employee you hire for the job.
- Best Practice Tips: Be very clear on objectives, roles, and responsibilities. Make sure the position is described accurately and consistently throughout the hiring process.
Technology & Onboarding
Onboarding technology and software can automate processes such as benefits enrollment and assist with new hire documentation. This ensures forms are completed, compliance requirements are met, and quality onboarding systems can electronically store required documents. This relieves employees and managers of the pressure to complete all forms on the first day, and the headache of manually inputting the information into a database.
- Best Practice Tips: New hires retain limited information on the first day; don’t overwhelm them with long lectures or lots of paperwork. Information overload can lead to confusion and disengagement. Direct new employees towards technology that eases first day paperwork that also provides employees with a positive introduction to the company.
Employers have a short window to sell new employees on their company. In fact, as many as one in three employees voluntarily, or involuntarily, leave before their one year anniversary. In order to avoid high turnover and benefit from the productivity of a tenured employee, companies are starting to have longer term onboarding policies.
With a formal onboarding strategy, employers can begin to track their employee retention rates and can evaluate the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of their strategy. Measuring retention can set employers on the path towards higher retention rates, lower turnover costs, and increased employee performance and engagement.
- Best Practice Tips: Provide useful feedback to facilitate employee’s progress hiring and at the three-month, six month and one year marks. Get feedback from current employees to discover weaknesses, assess challenges and build on strengths of the onboarding process. Don’t treat onboarding with a one-size-fits-all approach. Employees should be onboarded/trained according to their position, department, and/or skill set.