You’ve finally found the right person to fill the position and they’ve accepted the offer! The interviewing and screening process is over and all that lies ahead is the onboarding process.
But... Welcoming a new employee isn’t merely about signing forms and having a quick orientation to introduce them to their new role and the company. Unfortunately, many companies neglect onboarding - a huge missed opportunity!
While it may be time consuming, a thoroughly thought onboarding program offers employers a chance to raise retention rates while reducing costly turnovers. The Society of Human Resources reported that 69% of employees were likely to stay with a company longer when they experienced a good onboarding program.
In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn why onboarding is important for employee retention and how you can develop an effective onboarding strategy that will help your new employees hit the ground running.
It can be easy to think of onboarding as just an orientation and the signing of various forms. Those are just the very beginning. To successfully create an onboarding program, you have to think of onboarding as a process.
During this process, a new hire is introduced to the brand, organisational values, team members, professional culture, and the tools they’ll need to do the job. Rather than a one-time meeting, onboarding can last months as the employee is acclimated to the position.
In general, onboarding covers the following:
As the new employee gets settled in and starts assimilating into the company, their success and progress should be carefully measured alongside frequent check-ins and feedback.
Put yourself in the place of a new employee. After weeks of combing job boards, interviews and resume revisions, they’ve finally landed a new position. They’re excited to join the team. Then comes the onboarding process - paperwork, orientations, training, introductions. In the midst of all this, a new employee is likely to be stressed, nervous, and may struggle to connect with the rest of the team.
The quality of your onboarding program plays an important role in the success of the new employee and whether they’ll continue on with the company.
A poor, frustrating program can cause you to lose talented employees. It can also cost you financially as you spend resources to start the cycle of hiring again. According to Employee Benefit News, it can cost up to 33% of a departing employee’s salary to replace that employee.
To retain today’s talent, the onboarding process is even more crucial to make employees feel at home especially when employee loyalty is no longer guaranteed. This applies for millennials where job hopping is common.
To keep a new hire engaged, a company must use onboarding to shape their perception of the job. An employee that feels actively supported, welcomed by the team and knowledgeable about the upcoming job is less likely to second guess their decision in accepting the job.
The onboarding process can be an effective way to improve employee retention and engagement. By having a process in place to integrate new hires into your organisation, you are able to:
Onboarding begins long before the employee starts their first day. As you recruit candidates, impressions are being formed about your company.
During the recruitment stage, candidates start getting their first glimpses into your company culture. Make a good first impression by:
By following these steps, you will not only raise your chances of attracting the right people to the job, you’ll have less risk of an employee quitting due to disillusionment.
When you’ve reached the offer stage, this is another time for your company’s personality to shine. The offer letter should include more than just basic information about the role and the salary:
The onboarding process takes time. You are giving recruits the knowledge and tools they need to excel at their job. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding, the following steps are designed to serve as a guide to help you choose a strategy that works best for your employees, managers, and organisation as a whole.
If you were a new hire, would you want to spend time on your first day filling out paperwork? Exactly.
Sending out paperwork the day or week before and letting employees sign electronically can save the time of HR, payroll, trainers and the employee. Having a digital onboarding portal can be a great way to get new employees acquainted with the company before they start training.
The first day is a crucial time. All the expectations should be laid out so that employee understands their role. The first day should involve:
To determine the success of your onboarding strategy, you’ll need to check in with employees to see how well they are adjusting. Even though an employee has been working at the company for a few months, there should still be on-going feedback, support, and reinforcement.
The Big Takeaway: By shifting the idea of onboarding away from a one-time event to a long-term process, your company will be able to create a system that will better prepare new hires to join your company while setting them on the path to success.
Ineffective onboarding is responsible for employers losing 17% of new hires within the first 90 days. When done right, the onboarding process can lead to higher levels of productivity, job satisfaction, performance and retention. In short, onboarding is important to the success of the new employer-employee relationship.
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