How does employee onboarding take place in your organization? The best employee onboarding experiences are borne out of enthusiasm, warmth and structure. Any on boarding program for new hires needs to take into account how to bring around a sense of belonging – especially in a world that’s increasingly going remote. Overloading new hires with information or technology isn’t a good new employee onboarding plan.
What is the Employee onboarding process?
While employee onboarding meaning may seem simple, it’s more confusing than you would think. A Digitate survey found that 22% of new employees were confused how to go about the onboarding process.
Employee onboarding helps new employees get introduced to different aspects of their job to understand their professional duties and learn the skills and behaviors required to thrive within the organization. The primary objective is to help the new hires get started on the right foot.
Having a centralized new hire onboarding program can help companies retain more employees in the long run. The faster the onboarding process, the sooner the new hires can make valuable contributions to the company.
How Employees Feel About The Employee Onboarding Program
In its State of the American Workplace report, Gallup reported that just 12% of employees thought that their organization did a great job of onboarding new employees. The rest 88% of them did not believe so, which goes to show that some companies still do not prioritize onboarding.
Formal onboarding usually consists of organized procedures to help new employees fit into their positions. Coordinated activities like training and orientations are a part of formal onboarding. On the other hand, informal onboarding includes semi-organized activities like job shadowing and mentorship through which new hires become comfortable in the working environment.
Digitate found that 1 in 5 new hires would not recommend an employer to their friendly or family after the early onboarding process. It is time to improve. Organizations have already begun introducing new hire training programs that are innovative and technologically forward.
Relation between Human Resources and onboarding new staff
Human resources onboarding helps in the seamless integration of the new hires within the company.
Most Human Resources managers agree that the onboarding process can include:
Policy and culture training
New hire paperwork
Employee handbook training
The Human Resources department begins the employee onboarding process the moment a candidate sends their acceptance of a job offer. The process only ends when the employee is integrated into the organization.
An onboarding plan is a wise investment because it will provide new hires with an efficient and deep introduction to the new company. Research has shown time and again that the quality of onboarding has a crucial impact on new employees when it comes to their performance and engagement.
During the recruitment process, the HR team advertises the open positions to collect applications which are then reviewed thoroughly. The top candidates are invited for the interview, and the ideal candidate for the job gets the offer. After some negotiation, the offer letter is sent to the chosen one.
How long is the onboarding process?
There is no fixed time for a successful onboarding process. In many cases, companies try to rush through it so that the new employees can get to work as soon as possible. While that might seem like a good idea at the time, the long-term effects are questionable.
Employees who do not feel welcomed into the workplace will be much more likely to quit and look for other opportunities.
During new hire onboarding, the priority should be to maximize engagement and provide support to the new employees. Theoretically, companies can have an employee onboarding plan that spans just a few weeks. However, that is a risk. Without proper onboarding, 1 out of every 3 new employees tend to leave the company before the end of the first year.
Most HR professionals find that the ideal onboarding process should last for at least three months. If necessary, companies should not hesitate to extend the process up to a year. Just 15% of companies tend to continue the onboarding after six months. Proper resources are essential to train new hire.
How to effectively train a new employee?
The onboarding process must be effective to cement the position of the new employee within the company. Virtual training, for instance, has gained more popularity recently because of its accessibility. Employees can continue the onboarding process even when they are not at work if they can watch training videos. Also, visual content is easier to understand and remember.
New employees need to have a similar onboarding process so that nobody feels left out.
Consistency and transparency on the part of the onboarding staff make the process positive.
Team-building activities are also essential among new employees to develop strong interpersonal networks.
Studies indicate that over 69% of employees are more likely to not quit the company within three years if they had a successful onboarding experience.
Detailed program for onboarding new employees in 6 steps
The onboarding program should be laid out in the form of a checklist before the process begins.
Step 1: The Recruitment
Develop recruitment practices that will give the employees an idea of the structure of your company. Be clear and accurate in your interview questions and company policies. Transparency will prevent misunderstandings, and you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Adjusting to the work environment
You can give prospective employees a glimpse of a regular day at the office. Not only will they get an opportunity to check their compatibility with the environment, but you can also gauge their reaction and response. Show them around the office and let them ask questions.
Step 3: Offer Letter
The offer letter is an important component of the onboarding process. You should convey your excitement at having hired them through the letter and express warmth and delight. A cold and formal letter might convey the necessary information, but it will not do much to establish a rapport. The offer letter should detail the job responsibilities and expectations.
Step 4: Early Onboarding
Once the candidate accepts the job offer, connect with them. Reassuring them and reminding them of the opportunities that lie ahead are crucial steps of early onboarding.
Talk to them on a personal level and discuss their aspirations. You can even introduce them to the type of assignments they will be expected to do once they join the company. Giving them a list of duties and goals for the first week will make them feel responsible and motivated. You can also encourage the team members of the new employees to send them a personalized welcome message.
Step 5: The first day
On the first day, new employees should feel appreciated and encouraged. A survey has found that 5% of new employees quit if they have a terrible first day.
Instead of keeping it strictly formal, engage with the new hires personally on the first day and introduce them to their coworkers. You can organize a team lunch with the immediate team of the new hire so they can get to know each other.
Provide them with a list of resources they can use to learn more about the company, its history and its goals. Help them set up their workspace and answer all their questions about their responsibilities. It is likely that the new hires will be tense, and hence it is best to keep the tone lighthearted.
Step 6: Onboarding in the first weeks
Studies show that 20% of new employees leave their new job within the first 45 days – another reason why it’s important to continue the onboarding process.
Over the course of the first few weeks, new employees will try to understand their roles and get used to their duties. Planning their future in the company with them will definitely help the new hires feel at home. Provide them with a list of tasks and goals daily so they can focus on improving their work.
Have an honest discussion about their weaknesses and sign them up for training. Let them assess their work with the help of key performance indicators. Setting short-term goals will give the new hires a chance to feel like they are contributing to the company from the very beginning.
The company should take feedback from the new employees and their managers after a month to understand how they are faring. While the employees should be encouraged to give an honest opinion, managers need to try to be thoughtful about their early achievements. In a BambooHR survey, over 3/4 of new hires commented that training in the first week of work proved was what proved to be really important. That’s not all - 56% of the respondents in the survey said that having a mentor at work is very helpful.
Another report by the Aberdeen Group found that high-performing organizations are doubly inclined to assign a mentor to new hires as compared to lower-performing employers.
Remote employee onboarding 'checklist'
New hires who work remotely need extra attention because they are unable to socialize in the workplace. A new employee onboarding plan should have a checklist that is easy to follow and execute.
Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen, in their book, Successful Onboarding, find that organizations can spend up to 30% of a new employee's annual salary on the onboarding process. It is important to make the best of it. A remote onboarding checklist should help new virtual employees to deal with challenges and establish connections with their fellow employees.
Be clear that you are looking for a remote worker in your job description. The interview process should reflect your company's goals, missions and values so that the candidate knows what to expect. Transparency during the interview is a great place to start. Assess whether the prospective employee will be able to fit into the group dynamics and use the available remote tools to their full potential.
2. Define the logistics beforehand
Conveying your expectations clearly will save you a lot of trouble. By stating your requirements, you will set solid benchmarks for them to achieve. The offer letter should have all the details related to working in the company. You can also send the essential paperwork to the new employees early on so they can fill everything up patiently. These can include tax forms. the job contract, the offer letter, the employee handbook and so on.
3. Early Onboarding Steps
You should socialize as part of the onboarding program for new hires even before they start their first day. Incorporating enthusiasm and excitement into your conversations can go a long way in making the new employees feel welcome.
Organizing virtual meetups and answering their questions will keep their spirit alive and motivate them to do well on their first day. You can also take this opportunity to deliver all the essential information they need to know. You can give them access to assignments and company resources.
Remote employee onboarding programs should also provide new hires with any equipment they need to complete their work setup. Test the video conferencing software before their first day. According to Gartner, 58% of businesses have supplied their employees with new hardware.
4. Day 1
To make new employees feel like they fit in on the first day, you can send them a welcome video and set up a meeting of the entire team. You can also curate a kit that will make them feel included. You should inspire them to deliver their best performance. Discuss their goals and plans to let them know that you have their back.
5. Onboarding in the first few weeks
Remote employees need to establish strong work relationships through regular communication. Make sure that the new employees are collaborating with multiple people at a time. Look to immerse them in work during the first few weeks to fill them with a sense of achievement.
Employee onboarding examples
Some companies assign a task to prospective employees to work on after the interview through which they can test their potential to integrate into the company. Employing senior employees in training new hires is an excellent method of onboarding.
The new employees get a wealth of knowledge and learn to communicate with other people in the team. Some companies maintain a running depository of onboarding resources that can be accessed easily even when the employees are not working.
The best onboarding practices combine a personal understanding of the new hires and innovative training methods. Once you formulate an employee onboarding plan, you will be able to hire candidates and begin the integration process from the time of the interview.
Negative onboarding experiences can cause employees to lose interest in the company and quit. If you want to improve your employee retention, you must introduce longer and better onboarding programs.
Here at Bites, we give you access to a unique method of onboarding and training your employees. Create custom channels to share important documents directly. You have the option to compile interactive training material in video format. The creator app within Bites lets you create playlists swiftly.
You can even convert PPTs to short videos. Share the playlists with all your new hires for standardized onboarding. You can use the analytics dashboard to keep track of employee progress and identify knowledge gaps.