Once you’ve found the best candidate for a position, celebrate! It’s hard out there for a hiring manager or recruiter, so do a dance that you’ve found your unicorn and then it’s time to move on to the next important step in the talent journey: the onboarding and assimilation phase. This process majorly impacts long-term employee happiness, connection, retention, and productivity. Assimilate the way you’d like to be assimilated and new employees will be excited to do great work for your organization from the get-go.
Onboarding has the potential to improve or hinder a new employee’s performance.
The importance of a thorough, long-term onboarding process cannot be stressed enough. After all, proper onboarding allows for 50% greater productivity in new hires. Along with productivity, retention and turnover both benefit from a proper entrance into the organization. Great onboarding increases an employee’s retention to 3 years by 69%. Without proper stability, your organization could lose that candidate you worked so hard to attract. After all, research shows that nearly 1/3 of new hires leave at the half-year mark.
To avoid these unnecessary issues, ensure the longevity of your new employee’s productivity and contentment starting from day one.
The First Day
A new hire comes to you excited for the opportunities you have given them, so make the first day about their future, rather than about paperwork. Organizations, big and small, are implementing creative solutions to engage their newest employees. Some simple but effective strategies include pre-work before the first day and personalized recognition.
More is more. Before they arrive at the office, send your new hire as much information about the position as possible. Help them know what to expect to relieve anxiety about her first day. And communicate regularly so that they don’t feel forgotten in between offer acceptance and start date.
Your first interactions, and first impressions of the rest of the team, need to be personal. Don’t just greet your new employee and send her off to her desk to start completing tasks. Larger organizations may leverage career coaches and social connection platforms to minimize the distance between colleagues, both on a national or global scale.
This openness between management and employee should continue throughout the onboarding process. Find that delicate balance: onboarding must be customized and feel tailored, yet remain manageable and somewhat consistent across the organization.
Like any family, your company has its own unique culture. This includes everything from cues and norms to jargon and behavior. Properly integrate you new hire by making sure they know how to approach meetings, internal communication quirks, and traditions and celebrations. Even the simplest things like email etiquette can make those initial days feel so much more comfortable and fill your new teammate with confidence.
To accomplish all of this, define your company’s culture beforehand. If you need help with this crucial component, let us know!
Always emphasize those human moments, but don’t forget about your most valuable tool: technology in onboarding enables connectivity and streamlines workflow. First and foremost, you can get paperwork done faster by sending it electronically for e-signatures before your hire even arrives. You can also share calendars and alerts to help her get organized in her first weeks. But don’t stop using tech there. Consider utilizing a virtual onboarding program to automate, connect, and free-up more time for those human moments that really make an impact in the first few weeks-onward.
A virtual onboarding program allows your organization to showcase cultural content and key leadership messages through self-guided learning. Overall, technology lowers the cost per hire in the delivering of the onboarding program. Such programs become more valuable with specific content designed for cohort groups, such as emerging adult hires, virtual hires, executive hires, and other specific niche populations. In addition, employees can repeat the onboarding program on their one year mark to refresh their minds and make sure they are familiar with important information.
Mistakes to Avoid during the Onboarding Process
- Don’t consider onboarding complete after a short week. Continue helping your new hire assimilate after the first few days. Personally check in from time to time to nurture your personal connection and let your employees know that you care about them as much as they care about your organization.
- Don’t overwhelm your new hire with new information. Consider introducing everything in phases to reduce information overflow. Let the new responsibilities, office etiquette, and company culture soak in. In addition, designate time for a mentor or leader take time to address questions or concerns.
- Relying too heavily on technology for connection. Tech establishes communication flow, but those human moments are crucial to employee engagement. In addition to introductions with company leaders, make sure the rest of your staff warmly welcomes their new partner. Consider assigning a mentor or work buddy to work closely with your new hire to answer questions and solve logistical issues.
Early engagement has one of the largest impacts on retention. Properly introduce employees to your organization, your purpose, and their teams and colleagues, and they’re much more likely to stay beyond the first year.