Effective onboarding is crucial to establishing a positive employee experience, yet it is often overlooked by employers.
In fact, inadequate onboarding is a leading cause of employee turnover, with up to 30% of new employees leaving within the first 90 days of employment.
As the saying goes, first impressions are everything, and this is especially true when it comes to onboarding. To ensure a smooth transition and maximise retention, we urge employers to prioritise onboarding from the moment a candidate accepts a job offer.
By investing time and effort in this critical stage, organisations can set their employees up for success and foster an engaged culture and loyal relationship.
What is onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into a company’s culture and values.
During onboarding, new starters receive training, learn about their job responsibilities and performance expectations, and get to know their colleagues.
However, onboarding doesn’t have to be a tedious process of endless meetings and long days in meeting rooms.
Effective onboarding should be interactive and engaging, fostering a positive and productive relationship between the employee and the business.
Here are three reasons why onboarding is crucial to the success of new hires, and some top tips from our teams:
New employees can adjust to company culture
While it’s important to familiarise new employees with the physical aspects of their workplace, such as the location of facilities and amenities, it’s equally important to ensure that they are well-adjusted to the organisation’s culture.
Culture is a vital aspect of any company, encompassing its values and ways of working.
By helping new hires understand and align with your company culture during the onboarding period, you can foster a sense of belonging and increase the likelihood of employee retention.
However, it’s important to note that cultural fit is not a one-size-fits-all concept.
Some employees may instantly connect with your company culture and integrate well with their colleagues, while others may take longer to adapt and feel comfortable.
It’s essential to be patient and provide support and training during the onboarding process to ensure that all employees have the tools they need to succeed.
In fact, new hires can bring valuable perspectives and fresh ideas to your business, helping to shape and improve your culture.
By encouraging collaboration and open communication, you can create a culture of inclusivity and diversity that drives innovation and growth.
Improves engagement and retention
Creating a structured plan for new employees’ first days, weeks and months demonstrates you care about making them feel welcome and are invested in their long-term success.
During the onboarding period, taking the time to answer questions, share the company’s history, and discuss goals helps to build a foundation for strong engagement.
Employees who have a positive onboarding experience are three times more likely to feel supported and prepared for their job.
They stay longer, feel more connected to the company’s goals, and are motivated to do their best work.
Effective onboarding provides new hires with the tools and knowledge they need to perform their job effectively and shows them how their role fits into the big picture.
This sense of purpose and understanding contributes to higher motivation, job satisfaction, and overall success.
According to Gallup, getting to know the people they work with is the most valuable part of many employees’ good onboarding experiences. This includes spending time with managers 1:1 to discuss how they are getting on – are they enjoying it? Do they have everything they need?
During onboarding, it’s essential to facilitate introductions and provide opportunities for new hires to connect with their colleagues.
This can include assigning a mentor or buddy to help guide them through their first weeks on the job, as well as setting up one-on-one meetings with managers to discuss how they are settling in.
Onboarding is just the beginning
Jen Gaster said, “When it comes to recruitment, finding the right candidate is only half the battle. The other half is onboarding – the critical process of integrating new hires into your organisation and setting them up for success.
“But too often, employers treat onboarding as an afterthought, rushing through it or failing to provide the support and resources that new employees need.
“This is a mistake. Onboarding is not the end of the hiring process – it’s the beginning.
“It’s your chance to make a lasting impression and set the stage for a productive and fulfilling work experience.
And if you don’t get it right, you risk losing your top talent before they even have a chance to make an impact.”
Research shows that more than a fifth of employees accept a job and then change their minds due to problems they encounter during the onboarding process.
Overcommunicate and don’t wait until day one
HR Heads advise to set the stage for a successful onboarding process, it’s important to overcommunicate and not wait until day one to engage with new employees.
The time between a candidate accepting a job offer and starting their new role can be a critical period, with many potential roadblocks that can derail the process.
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that offer details and contracts are issued promptly and accurately, as delays or errors can lead to a loss of engagement and interest from the candidate.
To avoid this, regular communication during this time can help build excitement and show that the organisation is invested in the new employee’s success.
This is particularly important for candidates with longer notice periods, as they may have little contact with the organisation during this time. By bridging this gap with proactive communication, you can help to create a sense of belonging and enthusiasm before the employee even sets foot in the door.
Review onboarding plans and processes
To ensure the best onboarding experience for new hires, it’s essential to continually review and improve your onboarding plans and processes.
This means encouraging both existing and new employees to provide open and honest feedback about their onboarding experience, including any challenges they faced and how it made them feel.
By identifying areas of improvement, you can make necessary changes and enhance the experience for future new hires.
In addition to improving the initial onboarding experience, it’s also important to offer continuous training and engagement to new employees beyond their probationary period.
This helps them to feel supported in their ongoing development and reinforces their decision to join your organisation.
By focusing on continuous development, you can ensure that new hires feel valued and invested in, which can lead to higher retention rates and overall employee satisfaction.
For support with an onboarding process, induction and probation, get in touch with a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01256 328 428.
For more information about HR Heads visit https://www.hrheads.co.uk/