New Employee Onboarding: 5 Ways To Make It A Success
What has been dubbed as the “Great Resignation” of employees may have started in the United States, but a recent study shows that the Philippines also experienced a 176 percent increase in voluntary resignation across industries even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons vary: changes in the working setup, a lack of work-life balance, and uncertainty over the pandemic. What is clear is that because of this development, more people are expected to apply for work in other firms, making the new employee onboarding process even more critical for hirers.
Benefits of new employee onboarding
First, it is important to note that new employee orientation is different from the new employee onboarding process. New employee orientation is a necessary step to complete paperwork and other routine tasks. On the other hand, the new employee onboarding process involves integrating new employees with your company and its culture. It also entails giving them access to the tools and information needed to become productive members of your organization. You are teaching new employees how to do their work and how to build their trust in the company.
New employee onboarding is a golden opportunity for hirers to make a good first impression and establish a connection with new hires. Without a proper onboarding experience, another survey says one in 10 new hires have left a company. High turnover rates and low productivity lead to decreased employee engagement, which spells financial loss for any company.
But the benefits of having a new employee onboarding process in place extend beyond the first few weeks or months. According to statistics, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. New hire productivity also increased by 50 percent for organizations with a standard onboarding process experience. In the bigger picture, your new employee onboarding process can spell overall success for your organization.
Your new employee onboarding checklist
On a new hire’s first day at work, you can ease the stress by leaving a personalized welcome sign on their desk or a care package to help them get through the next eight hours or so. But beyond giving your new employees an amazing first-day experience, how do you build an effective new employee onboarding process that will set up your new hires for success and reward your company in the long run?
1. Do it in phases. When it comes to new employee onboarding, timelines may vary from company to company. It is important not to rush it as it lays down the foundation for turning a new hire into a valuable asset to your organization. Avoid overwhelming both HR and the new employee, and segregate new employee onboarding into different phases.
The first phase involves completing all the necessary paperwork, while the employee orientation is held during the second phase. The next two phases will take considerably more time: training for the new employees’ specific roles and easing the transition into their new role. During training, it is crucial to let new employees feel welcome by showing that the organization values their development. As they transition to their new role, let them know what is expected of them and how you can help them improve their performance.
2. Set clear goals. What you hope to achieve with your new employee onboarding process should be clear: to acclimate, engage, and retain. Acclimation means introducing your company’s goals and philosophies so they know what role they will be playing and what is expected of them. Engagement entails having a supportive relationship between new hires and the management, wherein the company is committed to recognizing their talent and helping their professional growth. Ultimately, the goal is to retain these new hires to avoid productivity losses on your end.
Find out: How can SMEs improve employee retention?
3. Schedule frequent check-ins. During new employee onboarding, make it a point to check in with them to ask how their first week or first few months are going, and what they think could be improved. Is the training manageable? Do they see an aspect of it that could perhaps be changed? Knowing this helps you focus on getting them the help that they need, rather than just what the organization wants. During these scheduled check-ins, you can also give feedback on their early contributions so as to emphasize their role in the company’s overall productivity.
4. Get creative. While new employee onboarding follows a schedule and is aimed towards achieving specific goals, it is also flexible and allows for a little creativity. Mix things up and have a virtual town hall where you bring new hires together on a regular basis. Invite someone from your leadership team to talk to them briefly in order to easily establish the connection between the company and the new hires. Start a work buddy program wherein new hires partner with long-time employees to give the newcomers a glimpse of what it is like working for the company.
5. Plan for future development. By now, you know that onboarding is an ongoing process. It started when you decided to hire an employee, and continues until the new hire is a productive member of the organization. Where do you go from here? Show them how they can build their own career in the company, and together, create a plan on how to get there.
From on-the-job training, they can now transition to continuous development, making them an integral part of the organization. It certainly helps to understand how employees want to learn in the post-pandemic workplace so you can effectively upskill them over time. Again, this emphasizes to new hires that the company cares for their professional growth.
As far as new employee onboarding goes, this saying is true: “Slow and steady wins the race.” Remember that new employee onboarding is not just a task that HR managers need to cross off their list. It takes time to complete, and more importantly, requires the collaboration of both the new hire and the company.
A successful onboarding process spells advantages for your company; increased employee retention and productivity are just some of them. It takes a lot of work, but the rewards of having productive and engaged new hires make every effort worth it.
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