The methods of integrating new hires into the organization are referred to as "onboarding." It involves activities that help new employees complete a new-hire orientation process and learn about the company's structure, culture, vision, goal, and values. For some businesses, the onboarding process is a series of events that last one or two days; for others, it is a series of actions that last one or more months.
Every new employee is onboarded, but the quality of the onboarding matters. Too often, onboarding entails delivering a stack of documents to a new employee and having a supervisor or HR expert show them around the premises, and making introductions. When onboarding is done correctly, it builds the groundwork for both the individual and the employer's long-term success. It can boost productivity, increase employee loyalty and engagement, and help employees succeed early in their careers with the new company. According to Glassdoor, organizations with a great onboarding process increase new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by more than 70 percent.
Increase retention and ensure new employees come up to speed quickly by onboarding new employees in a fun and effective way. At some point in our careers, we've all been the new kid on the block. Unfamiliar people, routines, and surroundings can make any new employee feel restless, anxious, or even overwhelmed on their first day at work. If it's your job to make sure the process runs well, get new hires up to speed quickly, and boost employee retention, you're in luck.
According to Gallup, only 12% of employees strongly agree that their company does a good job onboarding new employees. Here are some tips for making your new employee feel like a full member of the team from the moment they walk through the door on their first day.
1. Onboarding begins at the beginning of the process
Don't make the mistake of believing that onboarding can't begin until the employee arrives on your premises. The majority of potential employees are eager to learn as much as they can about their new company and the people with whom they will be working and engaging. With today's technology, you can interact and engage with employees as soon as they accept your offer.
2. Involve Senior Leaders
Employees are interested not only in learning about their coworkers but also in learning about their managers. Involving senior leaders improves employee perceptions of the onboarding process. Senior leaders can participate even if they are unable to attend the official onboarding training sessions. Establish a timetable for one-on-one meetings between employees and important leaders they'll face on the job. It's an excellent approach to break the ice, especially for new employees who may be frightened by their bosses.
3. Get the essentials out of the way first
New employees want to learn about their professions. But first, they'll have a few more "housekeeping" queries that you should be sure to address: where are the restrooms, where is the breakroom, and how do they contact crucial colleagues (phone directory, chat groups, etc.)? Hint: You may learn about these essential "small things" by asking other employees what they wish they had known when they first started working for you.
4. Interactivity and involvement
Working with colleagues on our team or in our business function takes up most of our time as employees. Given the nature of the normal organizational chart, this makes sense, but we also spend a significant amount of time collaborating with colleagues from various teams, departments, and office locations. In these situations, it's critical to have established ties, and those interactions should start throughout the onboarding process.
Allow plenty of time for networking, interacting, and getting to know one another. Don't make your onboarding process a show-and-tell exercise with talking heads doing all the showing and telling. Encourage new employees to get involved with one other and the rest of the team to begin forming relationships.
5. Place the welcome mat on the floor
Take steps to ensure that new employees are made to feel welcomed right away. On their first day, make sure someone is there to greet them. Prepare a work area for them, complete with the essential supplies they'll require. Consider giving flowers, a coffee mug, lunch coupons, or other warm gestures as welcome presents. Request that a coworker accompanies the new employee to lunch or invite them to coffee. Small gestures like this can go a long way toward reducing the stress of starting a new job.
6. Get feedback
An onboarding process can always be improved, and the best way to do so is to talk to the people who know the most about it, your workers. In the spirit of continuous improvement, don't pass up the chance to ask employees what they thought of the onboarding process and whether they have any suggestions for improvement not just right after the training, but also after they've been on the job and have had time to think about the training's value.
7. Assist them in visualizing their future with the company
Onboard new employees to allow them to envision a long future with the organization and to establish psychological trust and loyalty. Take the employee on a journey of discovery about the organization, including facts, intangibles, and personal tales about their work experience and tenure. Finally, they should be energized and ready to make an effect.
8. Have all of the necessary tools and resources available
Give them the resources and tools they need to succeed. Some folks want to get right to work and perform right away. They'll require access to the tools and resources they'll need to do so. Nothing is more demotivating than starting a job when you aren't equipped to accomplish your job straight away. Prepare for the arrival of your new personnel!
9. Use technology
There are lots of methods to incorporate a little fun with technology. It's simple to use the technologies at your disposal to make new hires feel like part of the team, from social media posts and specialized Slack channels to a little low-fi fun with Photoshop. More technology than you can shake a stick at exists in the worlds of HR and recruiting. Smart businesses are also incorporating this technology into their employee onboarding processes to make it more enjoyable.
10. Don't hold them back
We've spent a lot of time talking about scalable and repeatable onboarding processes, but there are occasions when you need to break the pattern. Long and overly regimented onboarding processes for senior employees might actually slow them down, restricting their ability to contribute. Allow a new hire to leap right into the deep end if they are truly ready. Senior-level recruits bring a wealth of hands-on skills and big ideas to the table, and the last thing you want to do is shackle them with training that may or may not be required given their advanced skill set.
The more the onboarding process is organized and supported by HR, the easier it will be for all parties to introduce and familiarize the new employee successfully. Setting up a disciplined procedure, whether supported by a checklist or onboarding software, ensures that everyone engaged is on the same page. This frees up time for you to work on onboarding content and the new employee's social relationship. You're not dealing with the whys, whos, whats, and hows; instead, you're assisting a new colleague's seamless integration.
The crispier the onboarding process, the efficient the employees become, and the better the outcome
~ Mario Peshev
Nolwazi Mlala is a Business Analytics Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.
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