Employees that are adequately on-boarded are 69% more likely to stay with a company for at least three years.
On average, replacing an employee will cost an organization at least six months of the exiting employee’s salary.
Depending on your pay scale and number of exits in a year, your company can end up with huge staffing bills year in year out.
It’s in your best interest to ensure your onboarding process is sound enough to encourage retention and increase productivity and engagement.
What Is Onboarding?
Onboarding is the initial process of getting new employees adjusted to an organization’s performance and social aspects of their jobs smoothly and quickly.
New hires learn the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors required to function within your organization.
It also includes meeting the rest of the team, introduction to the tools of the trade, and daily preparation checklists.
Despite its benefits, onboarding is expensive. For this reason, having a proper onboarding strategy in place ensures that you get it right each time.
How do you welcome new employees so they can start making valuable contributions in the shortest time possible? Here are seven tips to get you started.
1. Prepare Employees for New Hires
Before the reporting date of the new hires, communicate their arrival to all employees.
The communication should include the number of new employees, their roles, past successes, and what you hope they will bring to your organization.
You should also encourage them to be welcoming and supportive of the new hires.
Having a heads-up about such matters allows your existing employees to prepare for the incoming ones. This makes the new hires feel welcome and comfortable enough to focus on their new roles.
2. Allow Enough Time for Training
You should have a definitive training period and curriculum in place for your employee onboarding process.
The document should be fluid enough to accommodate the constant changes in your training needs and changing industry practices.
Each new hire should go through this training period, even if they have been in a similar role before.
Comprehensive training that covers company rules, procedures, processes, and expectations delivers a myriad of benefits to any business.
3. Encourage Interaction
To get the most out of your onboarding process, interaction is key. The new hires should feel comfortable enough to ask questions and seek clarity on issues.
For this to happen, they need to be able to hear what the onboarding team is saying. If there are practical demonstrations, each person in the group should be able to have a clear view as well.
One way to encourage interaction is by having sound communication tools in place. Having two-way tour guide systems, for example, can be the difference between an engaging, interactive training session and a tuned-out one.
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4. Get a Bit Personal
Depending on your organizational culture, there are small things you can do to make a new hire feel less anxious.
Some organizations have had success in setting up new-employee work stations and placing some corporate swag on their desks.
Others organize a lunch with team members where the new hire can interact with their team in a more relaxed setting.
For some, assigning a workplace buddy does the trick.
A work buddy is a person that will be with the new hire for the first day or few days, for non-work orientation.
This is anything from showing them where the coffee maker is, to helping them get their access passes, to showing them the restaurant around the block, and so on.
Basically, this person helps an employee get their bearing and reduce the unfamiliar environment stress.
5. Send Paper Work Before Reporting Day
Let’s face it; filling in paperwork is not exciting for anyone.
Instead of a huge chunk of the reporting day being absorbed by paperwork, why not sort this out prior?
You can make it a policy to send all paperwork and other requirements to the employees before their start date. They can fill these in their own time as well as acquire any other resources you need ahead of time.
You can also include the training, orientation, and onboarding schedules so that they know exactly what to expect, when and how and from whom. This leaves the starting day for more exciting, engaging activities.
For most people, knowing what to expect is in itself relaxing.
6. Make It Multi-Departmental
Understanding new hire anxiety can help you develop a suitable onboarding process. Essentially, if you meet an employee’s need, they are likely to stay longer and perform better.
One major anxiety is trying to make connections and understanding how the company functions. Involving the main functions in the onboarding process goes a long way in aiding this.
The main departments that should be represented are HR, IT, and Administration.
HR is central in all remuneration related discussions, JD overview, and work policies.
IT can go through setting up work stations, issuing passkeys, and introducing themselves as the go-to for any IT issues.
Administration, on the other hand, can handle a more relaxed orientation of the facilities, work culture, and so on.
7. Schedule One on One Time
In a LinkedIn survey, 96% of employees singled out one on one time with their direct managers as central to a great onboarding experience.
For managers, scheduling this time shows you and the company as accessible and supportive towards a recruit’s role. It also shows that you are mindful of ensuring a new employee’s success and growth in the company.
For new hires, this one on one time can be their opportunity to discuss challenges, opportunities for more training, and any other challenges in their role.
When an employee feels empowered and supported, their confidence levels go up, they perform better, assimilate better and ultimately stay with you longer.
Onboarding Process vs. Orientation
While sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, they stand for two entirely different concepts.
Orientation is a single process, spanning about a week or so. Its main focus is compliance and paperwork.
On the other hand, onboarding looks to integrate new employees into their roles, with training and support and constant follow up.
The extended time duration, as well as the complexities of dealing with a large team, can get overwhelming for managers and supervisors.
Another important aspect of the onboarding process is building cohesion among your employees. Team building is one way to bring out the competitive side of your employees in a fun, relaxed atmosphere that’s conducive to team bonding.
Do you want to add some fun, inexpensive, indoor team building activities to your repertoire? Check out our blog for suggestions.