Why is Employee Onboarding Important?
It’s no overstatement to say your company’s system for onboarding new employees is the most important step you’ll take toward building a solid workforce. Getting started on the right foot has more benefits than just improved employee relations.
It’s important to understand how to build a process that gives new employees a road map to success within your company. You may wonder, how can I improve our employee onboarding process? Is it really that important?
The Case for Improving Your System
The statistics for new hire performances are grim.
Most companies experience a new hire turnover rate of 20% within the first 45 days of hiring. The numbers are even worse for senior-level hires. About 50% of outside hires for executive positions have reportedly failed within 18 months.
The costs for replacing each employee numbers into the thousands. You would need to consider the resources used during the recruitment process, additional training time, and the possibility of another failed new hire. During this time, that position will lie vacant, impacting your overall productivity even more.
It is in your company’s best interest to emphasize creating a thorough and positive onboarding experience after recruiting a new employee. This will improve retention, employee satisfaction, and productivity.
What Challenges Face New Hires?
No matter how well trained or qualified a new employee is, starting a new job is a challenge. In their first few days, there are countless HR forms to complete, compliance training, meetings with new people and a dizzying array of new processes and procedures to learn. This information overload will overwhelm even the sharpest of minds.
Even worse, if the employee experiences an unorganized company with no schedule or onboarding plan would be left thinking, have I made a terrible mistake?
Another difficulty faced by rookie workers is demotivation. This can happen if the newcomer is given the grunt work - something to keep them busy while senior employees handle the “important” matters. When starting a new job, most employees are excited and ready to get to work, and this behavior puts a damper on that drive to the detriment of your organization. People want to do a good job and to feel that their contribution is important.
Not only do new hires face the learning curve of their job, but they also need to learn how to fit into your company’s culture. Being unable to fit in, find mentors, or understand team dynamics is a large factor leading to quitting or being fired soon after beginning a new job. You can avoid this if your process for onboarding new employees includes giving them help and time to fit into their new environment.
A well-designed employee onboarding system allows new hires to jump right in and start contributing to your company. It allows the employee to understand the role they are playing and how it relates to the roles played by their colleagues. When an employee understands how the company works and what it needs from them, they have more confidence and motivation. Their engagement will be a valuable asset to assist you in reaching your business goals.
Improving Your Onboarding Process
If you want to improve your success with keeping new hires through a better onboarding system, where should you begin?
First, take stock of what you already have. Review your forms and requirements to make sure they are still relevant and useful. Once you have your required documents and know what information or training will help new employees get better acclimated, it’s time to create an employee onboarding checklist. We have created a free best practices guide to assist your design of a checklist that will serve your needs effectively.
Your strategy doesn’t stop at creating the checklist. It is helpful to take some time to find out from current employees what challenges they had when first joining your firm and what ideas they have to ease those difficulties. You can use this feedback to create a better experience for incoming employees.
Besides the employee onboarding checklist, you can also use employee onboarding software to automate the process. This can drastically reduce the time spent reviewing forms for completeness and making corrections. TrainingFolks can help you determine which programs would best suit your needs, taking the guesswork away from choosing an employee onboarding software package that matches your business goals.
You’ll want to think about your company’s work culture and how to help new hires successfully become part of that culture. Consider how long the onboarding will last and who will be in charge of the onboarding experience. Review your current employees that will support onboarding the new employee. Do you have a solid orientation training program and well thought out learning plan based on their role?
These aren’t the only considerations, but they will improve your onboarding process and retention of new employees. These steps aren’t only for low- and mid-level hires, though. How can you adjust your strategy to benefit employees playing new roles, new managers, and outside executive hires?
Onboarding Employees Remotely
You may find yourself in the position of having to fill a vacancy while you are working remotely and will also have the successful candidate start their new job in a remote environment. In this example, as with any new hire, training and structure is key to their success, as hiring a new employee remotely can come with many of the same challenges as hiring an in-office employee.
As would be the case when hiring an in-office employee, you should create a set structure for the onboarding. Create a plan that explains their progress through the first 30, 60 and 90 days that you can share with the employee. This will make your expectations clear and create transparency. The plan can include company or systems training, getting to know products or processes, or specific project tasks or goals.
Make use of video calls, chat, and email to make them feel welcome and part of the team. You should also have the new hire reach out to key employees so they can have an introductory call. This will help them feel more welcomed and get a better understanding of their colleagues’ roles
Keep them connected
Ensure you book regular meetings (via Teams, skype, webex, zoom etc.) to check in with them to see how they are doing. This can be one on one or part of their larger group. One on one meetings are a great way for the employee to ask any questions, or get help with specific issues, whereas team meetings will help them get to know their colleagues better. You can also encourage other employees to reach out throughout the day. Also, make sure you include them in group emails and meetings to ensure they are connected to their team.
Onboarding Senior Level Employees
Individuals taking on new roles or becoming managers in your company will need structured guidance to be successful in their position. They need to understand the roles of their teammates and become familiar with company leadership they will work closely with.
New managers need a deeper understanding of company policies and their enforcement. Your onboarding should include showing them how you want them to resolve conflicts and how to use the company’s resources to accomplish important tasks.
Executives hired from an outside firm face special challenges. While experts in their respective fields, these executives may be unfamiliar with your company and how it functions. They will need additional help in building teams within the organization and understanding the workplace culture. If they don’t receive help, they risk being unable to mobilize your workers to implement vital changes or improve the services you provide. An executive will likely have more experience, so ask them if they have any additional onboarding techniques that they might want to incorporate into their onboarding experience.
The success of your newly hired executives will rely on how well your onboarding process works to remove the obstacles they face. Can you provide them with a mentor while they get acclimated to the new environment? How will you communicate the philosophy and goals that drive your company? Have you outlined the parameters to measure their success?
The free Onboarding Checklist created by TrainingFolks will help you identify the onboarding needs for employees taking on new positions and shows how to prepare them to be successful in these new roles.
Regardless of the position you are filling, getting new hires to remain with your company and quickly become valuable contributors relies heavily on your onboarding strategy. TrainingFolks can help you design a system for onboarding new employees that will improve retention, effectiveness, and satisfaction of these new hires. You can relax, knowing your company is going in the right direction.