How to Perfect Your
Employee Onboarding Process
As part of our guide to leadership recruitment, we discuss the employee onboarding process. Businesses need to welcome and develop employees from the moment they are hired.
If you’ve used the best recruitment methods to hire new employees, you now need to make sure they hit the ground running, stay with the company and fulfil their full potential. It’s important to make sure they thrive and succeed in their new role.
What Does Employee Onboarding Involve?
The term “onboarding” refers to the process of inducting a new employee and making sure that their experience starts on a positive note. Be aware that onboarding and training are different. Training focuses on a very specific knowledge acquisition or skill for a job role. Onboarding is an overarching and ongoing process during the first few months that an employee joins a company (it may involve a period of training, but also includes a wide variety of other areas).
Having an effective and efficient onboarding process is essential for retention. Up to 30% of new hires leave within the first six months. If you get the process right from the get-go, you’ve got a much stronger chance of keeping hold of those employees. Having to recruit new staff costs both time and money.
Review Your Current Employee Onboarding Process
Many businesses already have an employee onboarding process in place. The key is to find out what you can do to make your employee onboarding process even better. Do you have a high number of employees leaving in the first few months? This could be an indication that your onboarding process needs a shake-up. Exit interviews are a valuable way to gain feedback from those who have left the company.
Talk to those employees who went through an onboarding process and find out what they liked and didn’t like. Their feedback is important and enables you to create an even better experience for the next new recruits.
Here are our top employee onboarding processes that you should review and implement.
Plan Before Their Arrival
Don’t get yourself muddled on the first day the new employee arrives. Create a clear plan for their first few days. This means having all the necessary paperwork in order and organising all the equipment they’ll need to do the job (computers, phones, etc.). Give them a quick call or email a couple of days before they are due to arrive. Tell them the basics of what will happen on their first day, what the office dress code is and if they need to bring anything. These small actions will help you be prepared and can help no end with retention and making a new employee feel welcome.
Outline the Company Culture
The culture, ethos and values of the company will no doubt have come up during the interview process. However, taking time during the onboarding process to go over these is very important. What are the corporate values? Those skills and behaviours that are valued in others, that are recognised and rewarded and that encouraged throughout the whole organisation.
There is growing research in support of the phenomena of culture as the primary driver of employee behaviour. These cultures are greatly influenced by the actions of the organisational leaders. So if you want your agreed set of values to work, you all need to live and breath them in your day-to-day work and these should be encouraged from the get-go in your new manager or leader.
Give Them Your Attention
Don’t be distracted by phone calls or pass the onboarding onto another employee if you have something else to do. This shows that you don’t really care. Push back your meetings and don’t pick up your phone. Give them your undivided attention.
Make it Personal
On the first few days, there can be a lot of paperwork and information to take in. It doesn’t need to all revolve around admin. Take the opportunity for new employees to meet not only their team but other key personnel within the company. Celebrate their arrival, provide them with a welcome gift, allow them time to socialise, build relationships and enjoy some social perks of the job, too.
Plan Employee Onboarding for Longer Than a Week
Onboarding shouldn’t take a day or even a week. The employee onboarding process should be planned for three to six months. This doesn’t mean just talking through the basics and checking up on them, but rather means sitting down to review progress, any concerns or challenges they might have and offering support to help them transition. Regular feedback and reviews are becoming more popular, they improve early performance rates and employees really appreciate them.
Develop Your Employee Onboarding For New Managers
For even more information and advice about how to onboard your employees, we have developed two further guides. Find out how to onboard a new manager and then finalise your plan with our free manager onboarding checklist.
It’s so valuable to invest time and money into creating a great employee onboarding process. Employees are 58% more likely to stay with the company for three years if they had a positive and well-structured onboarding process. What are you waiting for?
Need help with your onboarding process? Contact Davis Associates to find out how our experts can help your new employees reach their highest potential.
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