An employee onboarding process can have a significant impact on the success of a new employee, especially when properly executed. The first day of work is similar to a first date (impressions matter) and assessments are in play, not just on the side of the employer. Having a formal onboarding process sets the tone for how the new employee perceives the company brand, and it demonstrates the level of commitment and support they can expect to receive. Good onboarding is a barometer for the new hire to determine how much they will commit and contribute in return.
"The onboarding process should not be ignored."
Large corporations have the process down more seamlessly, yet smaller businesses tend to overlook this important area. The repercussions of paying little attention to the onboarding process can be harmful not only to the employee but to a company’s ability to grow. Even for the most efficient worker, a lack of onboarding can be a setup for failure.
Employees expect that their new employer will show them the ropes on day one. It’s important for companies not to drop the ball coming out of the gate. It can be paramount as to how quickly the newest member of the team falls into place; more importantly, it can determine how long they remain within the organization.
Employers expect a 90 day period to establish compatibility, yet during this time many companies offer haphazard onboarding or none at all. New employees are often left with confusion, despair, and the 90-day forecast appears gloomy.
It's not uncommon to see only 2 hours to 2 days of onboarding set aside for new hires. Considering the evidence that suggests employee turnover happens at a higher rate within the first 90 days, it’s surprising how little time is set aside for onboarding. The money associated with losing new hires should be a good motivator! Not to mention all the other benefits of a well-run onboarding program designed to integrate a new hire into the company's culture.
If you're a company without an onboarding process, consider implementing one. It doesn’t have to compete with the likes of Fortune 500 companies, but it should certainly cover all the bases. There are many resources available to companies who want to create an onboarding process.
• Create a welcoming first day – gift the new team member with company swag or have lunch on the company.
• Don’t bombard your new hire with paperwork. While it’s important to make sure legal documents are signed in a timely manner, it's wise to spread the paperwork out over a few days or to have most of it finished before their first day.
• Let the new employee shadow members of the team. It contributes to breaking the ice, and the newbie will get a fuller understanding of the business. Also, this creates an opportunity to get answers to questions they may have in real-time.
• Establish open communication that is continuous and two-sided. Share realistic expectations, company values, mission, and culture.
• Have a schedule prepared for the first week. When the new staff member knows the first week’s agenda, it helps take away some of the jitters the come with a new job.
New employees, you can mitigate some of the issues relating to insufficient onboarding, too. It’s ideal to have all the needed tools and resources made available to you, but – a self-service mindset helps smooth out the road. Teach yourself as much as you can about the job and set yourself up for success. When both parties commit to the onboarding process, there is added value in the long run.