Employee onboarding is the process of helping new staff integrate into a business. It starts the moment a job offer is made and is vital in transforming new starters into engaged and productive members of the team.
Growing businesses face an increasing challenge to recruit and retain high quality talent with ever more companies seeking out the best and brightest employees. While many businesses spend huge amounts of the budget on recruiting and assessing candidates, research has shown that far fewer invest in onboarding.
A well-managed employee onboarding process can deliver engaged and productive members of staff who understand the company culture and their role in it. But if onboarding is badly managed or ignored altogether, a business can see a rapid loss of reputation and profit as it fails to engage and retain the best quality staff.
How should a growing business manage employee onboarding?
The first step is to make sure a business completes recruitment of its successful hires. No one wants to go through the process of interviewing and assessing hundreds of candidates only to have the perfect new employee turn down an offer or change their mind before they start work in an organisation.
It’s important to engage with an onboardee straight away and make sure communications are clear and timely. No one is going to hand in their notice until they have a written offer, so it’s important that to deliver this information quickly and accurately. Almost half of HR decision makers said that they’d lost a recruit because of delays in making offers.
Prepare for a smooth start
There are many different elements to a well-managed employee onboarding process, including making sure that everything is ready for that all important first day.
There’s nothing worse for a new starter than turning up to find no one was expecting them, there’s no equipment, no welcome and nothing for them to do.
Depending on the role and the nature of the business, it may need to order IT hardware and software and organise network and email access for onboardees.
We also recommend ensuring that new starters will have the appropriate access to premises, and office furniture and equipment is in place ready for their start date.
Having the necessary equipment and tools ready for new employees on day one takes some organisation but is essential in making them feel welcome and encouraging productivity.
Let a new starter know what to expect
Business leaders must put themselves in a new starter’s shoes and consider what they’d expect or like to know about their first day working in a new organisation. They can then use that to develop an employee onboarding plan.
Onboardees will need to know where to show up, how to dress, and who to meet. They may also have questions about working hours, pay dates, holidays and other details of their employment contract.
Rather than bombarding them with information and endless paperwork on day one, these are the kind of communications that can be handled through regular communications before day one.
By keeping an onboardee informed before they start work a business shows them that it is already thinking of them as an employee.
Use feedback to refine your onboarding experience
During their first weeks working for your organisation, new employees are deciding whether they want to stay. Gathering regular and timely feedback during this time can help to recruit and retain employees in future.
We recommend that businesses start by getting daily feedback during their first week, then on a weekly basis until they are settled in their role with clear objectives and performance measures in place.
Get onboarding right and new starters will feel encouraged to become effective and productive members of the business. Plan to create a great first impression, with everything they need in place to get started so that you can quickly turn an investment into a valuable asset for the business.
Are you looking to make a difference to your employee onboarding process?
There is a free event taking place on Wednesday 18 October in London for companies looking to grow their business through a successful employee onboarding process. It’s free to attend, plus you can hear from Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell and be in with the chance of winning a tech hamper.
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