How a Good Employee Onboarding Process Could Have Made Me Stay
To Leave or Not To Leave. Don’t Let That Be the Question!
Have you ever found yourself uninterested in your job, unengaged from the overall future of the company or just plain fed up, spending your evenings searching for a new opportunity?
While there may be a few factors for this, if you were within the first three months of that position, chances are you are part of one-fifth of the workforce that leaves a company in the first 90 days on the job due to poor onboarding.
Further to losing 20% of new hires in the first three months companies with bad or no formal new hire onboarding end up losing a quarter of total new hires in the first year. What does that mean for an organization?
Well, for a company that I was part of (for a short period of time), the lack of a formal onboarding process was the reason for several issues and part of the reason that I inevitably sought out another opportunity.
It was day one of my exciting new position. Upon arriving I am greeted by a temp receptionist who has no idea who I am or what I’m doing there. Not the best way to start the day but I give her my info and let her know the name of my manager. She looks at me a bit confused and lets me know that he’s on vacation for two weeks! She’ll see if someone else can meet with me instead. My experience thereafter did not get any better.
With the lack of a formal onboarding process managers can easily default to what they think is the most appropriate way to bring a new hire onto the team. In this case, my manager felt that it would be fine to have the CFO show me where I was going to sit and have a colleague brief me on the company and the department (to the best of his knowledge that it!).
Not having a process in place also meant that I was not brought up to speed on essential items, nor did anyone in the company know who I was or what I was doing there until my manager returned.
Being welcomed by less than open arms quickly made me feel undervalued, displaced and quickly unengaged. Within a few days, I could see it was not just me. The lack of onboarding had created a negative company culture which included disgruntled employees each with their own toxic story of the company, manager or coworker.
While this was likely due to the overall lack of strong leadership across the company, the poor level of engagement was also a symptom of poor onboarding. If they had also experienced the same experience as me, it was easy to see why they felt disconnected and uninterested in its future success.
Without a strong onboarding program, employees are likely unaware of the tools and technology available to them from the word go. Chances are they’re not sure what the expectations of their roles are and aren’t sure who they should look to for coaching or mentoring along the way either. All these shortfalls, in turn, contribute to lags in or just poor productivity.
In my case, what I had been brought on board to do in my role quickly began to change with expectations that were not discussed at my interview or hiring taking shape. While busting my butt to try and meet these was my focus in the interim, I soon found myself less and less motivated. With that came lower productivity and finally, I knew that my contributions should be put forth somewhere else.
Poor Image of the Company
An employee’s onboarding experience is when a new hire will form their opinion or image of the company that they’ve decided to join. Digitate reports that one in five new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member after their new hire onboarding experience. In my experience, I would fall within this 20% with little encouragement to friends or colleagues to join the company that I was at and shortly left.
A poor or nonexistent formal employee onboarding process creates an immediate disconnect and leaves the new hire to basically fend for themselves in a new environment. Creating an association between work and a struggle to get your job done immediately leaves an employee with a bad taste in their mouth which is then reflected in their actions going forward, including providing their opinion of the company.
The cost of employees leaving is one that is directly tied to poor onboarding. In fact, a negative onboarding experience results in new hires being 2 times more likely to look for other opportunities. What is the point of allocating time and budget to recruitment, interviewing and hiring if you’re not going to add a portion to the most important part-onboarding that new hire?
Turnover costs can range based on seniority with millions a year being spent on executive turnover, which is the costliest.
A good organization should have a formal new hire onboarding program in place t make new hires feel welcome and supported on their first day.
A great organization should also include a re onboarding program for employees returning to work after an extended leave whether that be maternity, leave of absence or disability. Ensuring that valued employees are up to speed after being away from the company and their role for an extended period of time is in the best interest of the company and works to address all of the issues we’ve just looked at.
Download this free Employee Onboarding Handbook and Employee Onboarding 2.0 Handbook for returning employees from TrainingFolks.
Making the case for an onboarding program may not be easy. Call the team at TrainingFolks today to help you create a strong needs assessment for a formal onboarding program today. If you’re ready to create the program and the training associated, we can help with that as well.
Save millions a year, while also ensuring the brand integrity of your company and a happy and productive new hire with the right employee onboarding program. Looking back at the company I had left, even a basic program would greatly improve the culture and company. I would likely have stayed longer had I had a workstation ready for me on day one, a one-on-one meeting with my team leader or at least an idea of where the bathroom was! These things can be taken for granted by an HR team or Learning department but can make all the difference when it comes to a new hire staying or leaving a company.