Onboarding: A More Powerful Process May Be What You Need 

Onboarding
January 8th, 2020 0 Comments

How many times have you been excited about being hired at a new company and then gotten turned off or even fallen asleep during the onboarding process? Our guess is at least once- if not every time.

That’s because most companies don’t understand the importance of making the onboarding process engaging, informative, and fun. Most companies see onboarding as completing paperwork and getting information to the new hire.

Some companies don’t even have a thought-out onboarding process, which means that the first contact a new hire has with them is chaotic and time-consuming.

  • The question here is— if you’ve had this experience, why would you want to pass that on to your new hires?
  • Wouldn’t you rather give them confidence in your company’s ability to take care of itself and its employees as well as represent the values of the company from the get-go?
  • Not to mention get them energized and excited, so they give you their best efforts? 

Of course, you would! So, maybe it’s time to review your onboarding process and tweak it up. 

Your Onboarding Process 

Let’s start with getting a full understanding of what onboarding is. According to SHRM’s onboarding guide:

“New employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team.” 

Experts also agree the onboarding process at an organization should be a strategic process that lasts at least one year. Surprised?

Most companies slam the onboarding process out in as little time as possible. Still, experts will tell you that the first few days and months of a new employee’s experience at your company is crucial to ensuring high retention.  

Benefits of a Well-Considered Onboarding Program

  1. Improve the on-the-job performance of new hires.
  2. Increase employee retention.
  3. Pre-boarding activities can get new hires engaged immediately.
  4. Improved recruiting and employer brand.

Eight Examples of Powerful Onboarding Processes

1. Engage them.

Traditional onboarding can be draining. Videos, lectures, extensive reading, and endless forms can drain energy faster than the hoover dam!

However, if you convert some of these elements into a competitive game with instant feedback, new hires are more likely to engage and not lose interest. 

2. Send a reminder email from the hiring manager.

Google’s analytics team has done quite a bit of research on which factors have the highest positive impact on new hire productivity.

In the book, “Work Rules,” Google states that a simple “reminder alert” email to the hiring manager can reduce the new hire’s time to productivity by a full month. This is a 25% decrease over the typical time it takes to get a new hire up to speed!  

This reminder email should contain five critical tasks, which the hiring manager should perform: 

    1. Discuss the new hire’s role and responsibilities. 
    2. Match the new hire with a buddy. 
    3. Assist the new hire in building a social network. 
    4. Set up monthly check-ins for the new hire’s first six months. 
    5. Encourage open dialogue with the new hire so that they feel comfortable with bringing questions and concerns to the HR department. 

3. Present team goals, priorities, and success measures.

Onboarding should help new hires become acquainted and comfortable with goals and performance metrics. The big picture version of onboarding covers the company’s overall mission and corporate goals.

The departmental version of onboarding focuses specifically on the focus and the priorities of their new department and team. Managers reveal their management approach and style.   

4. Cover their individual goals, assessment criteria, and career path.

Show new hires their own individual KPIs, their bonus formula, and the elements contained in their performance appraisal form. This will help them better understand their job responsibilities and on what basis they will be assessed.   

Have their manager go over “how decisions are made” and what career paths typically lead from their job. 

5. Show them why their work is essential from the get-go.

If new employees immediately understand and appreciate the impact of their job, they are more likely to be productive and focused.

This is an excellent time to “reinforce the sale” that started during the recruiting process. Introduce them to other employees and customers so they can get a better understand of how others use and depend on their outputs. 

6. Assign them a mentor or buddy.

Studies show that mentorship programs have a positive impact on both productivity and retention. Mentorships could last anywhere from 30 days to a year, depending on the position.

If you are interested in how mentorship programs work, you might check out Google’s “Buddy Hire Program” or IBM’s Royal Blue Ambassador Program. 

7. Data. Data. And more data.

What does data have to do with your onboarding process? This part is not for the new hire; it is for you. Utilizing analytics can help you improve your onboarding program.

When it comes to recruiting and retention, it is a competitive world out there. The best way for you to achieve excellence in your onboarding process is to know what’s happening with your staff at various stages in their employment with you.

You can do this by surveying the new hires that went through onboarding after 1, 6, and 12 months of employment. This data can help you identify the program components that worked, those that need improvement and those that need to be added.

If you really want to get ahead, externally benchmark your competitor’s onboarding programs as well. 

We Understand How Vital Staff Retention Is

As a company that has been in business for over 20 years, we know how vital staff retention is to a company. We hope this post has helped you step up your onboarding game. And if there is ever anything we can do to help you with your POU needs, let us know!  

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Onboarding: A More Powerful Process May Be What You Need 
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As a company in business for over 20 years, we know how vital staff retention is to a company. We hope this post has helped you step up your onboarding process.
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