Onboarding is the first experience that new employees encounter when starting a new job. The first couple of days set the scene for the next couple of months for the new employee – the company culture, whether there are training and support provided to newcomers, clarity around systems in place, and the company’s overall management.
Sadly, statistics reveal that employee turnover is higher in the first year of employment than in subsequent years – reality didn’t match the promise.
Replacing staff is costly through the investment in training that employers provide to get new employees up to speed. While many software products claim to deliver exceptional onboarding experience, there remains a large portion of human work to be done.
There is nothing worse than providing a new hire with a huge stack of paperwork and worksheets to go through – this is the surest way to make them lose interest almost immediately!
Incorporate a variety of media throughout their onboarding process, such as videos, one on one’s with a buddy mentor, seminars and online learning to make the process more engaging, enhancing retention.
There should be a clear direction to new employees of what’s important and provide them with the necessary tools to make decisions that line up from day one.
Creating a consistent and coherent experience for all new employees will guide them to understand the company’s strategy and accelerate their time to add value through their day to day actions.
It is essential to check in with new starters continuously and ask them whether they have all the information, tools and relationships they need to bring the company’s strategy to life – don’t stop until they say yes!
We understand that businesses may require more hands-on deck as soon as possible, and this would see a new employee being thrown into the deep end.
However, we would always suggest providing new hires the time they need to settle in comfortably before requiring them to work at the pace of others.
This, in turn, can help boost retention considerably and allow the new hires to integrate with the company’s corporate culture fully.
Every business has its own tone, language and culture; dropping a new hire into the mix without explaining your jargon and inside jokes sets them up to be outsiders.
Make sure that you explain not only the corporate buzzwords you use but that you fill new hires in on any inside jokes, traditions and other essential bits of your company’s culture.
Think of it as adding a translator or glossary to your business and make sure you interpret for your new hire as they settle in.
Giving new starters some insight and context allows them to feel part of the team and pick up the tone and theme of your business culture.
Formal onboarding processes often overlook the individual’s needs and expectations.
Take the time to build personal connections at an individual level to give new team members a clear sense of teamwork and relatedness right from the very start.
The onboarding process succumbs to the familiarity bias that our own work experience has allowed us to make sense of the complexity of our own company. And in turn, we overestimate the ability of others to do the same without having the experience.
This leaves people feeling isolated, ill-equipped and confused to contribute.
Always check in with new team members and ensure they have all the information, support and tools they need to succeed.