If you had a chance to read our post on employee experience (EX) titled "Got Employee Experience" you already know how important the onboarding process is to EX. For this reason, we're going to take a bit of a deeper dive into onboarding and what implementing some simple changes/improvements might mean for your organization.
As we mentioned in our previous post, having no onboarding process is akin to pouring the concrete foundation for a building, not letting it cure, and then trying to build on top of it. In fact, the data from multiple studies validate this exact scenario. A study by TinyPulse showed that "when employees go through structured onboarding, they are 69% more likely to remain with the organization after three years.” This is a significant metric, especially when considering the average cost of losing an employee is estimated at $15,000 and can be as high as 1.5 - 2 times the employee's annual salary.
What you should keep in mind is that the onboarding process should match your pre-hire discussions and corporate promises as well as the reality of resources available. For example, the onboarding process at a Fortune 500 firm is going to differ from that at a startup simply based on resources; however, there are essential elements that each organization can and should deliver on. We've taken the time to distill this list down to easy to implement essentials:
Pre-Hire Communication: There's often a lot that is said to a candidate prior to them walking in the front door. It's a competitive market and selling a candidate on your enterprise often requires emphasizing things that are important to that candidate. This practice is fine so long as the organization is able to deliver on what's said.
Orientation Schedule: Don't overthink this, but have a planned schedule of events. The last thing you want is for a new hire to feel idle and unattended to on day 1. Break down the day into blocks and schedule relevant content for those blocks. Having a planned schedule of events keeps the new hire informed on an already whirlwind day and will ensure you've made sure they're equipped to be productive as soon as onboarding is over.
Relevant Training: Yes, an understanding of how a company is structured and how it operates is important to include in onboarding, but if you're hiring someone for operations and they spend 3 hours shadowing finance, it probably is not the best use of their onboarding time and can actually cause unnecessary confusion. Remember that the more efficient your company is at getting a new hire acclimated, the shorter the time for that new hire to reach productivity within their role. Take the time to really vet the training that your new hire is going to receive during onboarding - we suggest even sitting through the schedule you create for a new hire. This way you can see if the 2-hour building tour time slot is really necessary or if it can be cut back to 1 hour, for example.
"Walk the Building": Speaking of building tours... This is a very important element of onboarding. By "walk the building" we don't mean walk around aimlessly. We're talking about in-person introductions. It's great for a new hire to have access to a company directory, but they should be able to put a face to a name. They should know where people sit and how to get in touch with them.
The Desk: Please, please, please have your new hire's desk set up when they arrive. It's their home away from home. Nothing is more disheartening to a new hire than having to move file boxes off of the unofficial office storage desk to make room for themselves. You'll want to set your new hire up for success so ensuring they have space and equipment to do their job is key! Of course, setting them up with free company swag is a cool touch, but not all companies have promo items to give out. Do the absolute best you can with what you have and it will go a long way.
Hopefully, these basic essentials of onboarding were helpful to you. We'd love to hear from you on what has been working for you, so feel free to drop us a note at: email@example.com
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