Leadership & Productivity

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No computer, no desk, no phone? The unwelcoming reality for almost half the world’s new-starters

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Imagine you’ve secured a new role that you’re really excited about. You’ve completed the challenges of interviews and selection and turned up for your first day, ready to impress.

But almost as soon as you walk through the door, your optimism is dashed. No one seems to be expecting you. And when you do finally find someone who can show you to your new workspace, there’s nothing there. No computer, no desk, no phone, and no one to tell you what you should be doing or introduce you to your new colleagues.

It may sound like a nightmare, but that’s a typical experience for almost four in ten new-starters when starting a job around the world. In a global survey of 4,000 office workers from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand by webonboarding, 42 per cent of those polled said there was no computer or laptop ready for them on their first day.

It’s not just technology that’s lacking

The survey found that other common issues encountered by new-starters in their early days in a new company included a lack of training and suitable induction, while shockingly more than one quarter (26 per cent) said there wasn’t a desk ready for them when they started.

Providing basic equipment and space for new-starters seems to be such a simple task, and yet it’s clear that this is one of many elements of the onboarding experience that companies around the world are getting wrong.

It may sound comical but poor onboarding is a serious business

Rob Temple, writer of Very British Problems (@SoVeryBritish), recently satirised the onboarding experience with a list of ten things you can expect when starting a job. Among the humour he hits on some home truths:

  • Thinking they could have used the four weeks since you accepted the job to find you a desk
  • Wondering how many weeks you’ll leave it before alerting someone to the fact your computer doesn’t work.

While the image of a new hire standing around looking for a place to sit, and asking to borrow a computer may appear comical, this kind of experience can prove detrimental to any business looking to attract and retain employees.

This is reflected in the survey results with 10 per cent of those questioned saying that they left the job within a few days and 9 per cent leaving within months of starting due to problems or issues that they faced during the onboarding process.

Factoring the costs and resources of recruiting new-starters, this can be an expensive mistake for any business, particularly if your company regularly hires in large numbers.

How your business can get onboarding right

Onboarding is a critical period for businesses to engage with newstarters. It’s a time when employees are forming their first impressions of what it’s like to work for your company. If they feel disappointed within minutes of day one, how quickly will they be questioning their decision to join your firm?

The best companies demonstrate the ability to attract and retain the right people. Onboarding is a crucial aspect to global businesses, yet it’s often overlooked.

Business that can’t even get the basics right, leaving new starters unable to get to work without a computer desk or phone, will suffer from high employee turnover and rising recruitment costs.

A robust and well planned onboarding process ensures that everything is well managed and nothing gets missed. Getting people off to a good start puts your organisation on the right track to transform onboardeees into effective and productive employees who will add value to your business.

How technology can help manage onboarding

Technology can be a great tool to help your business manage the onboarding process more efficiently and effectively.

Webonboarding is a cloud based solution for managing employee onboarding in an effective and streamlined way. It helps speed up the process of taking the best candidates from job offer to effective employee by defining the optimum onboarding process and tracking all the tasks involved so that nothing gets missed along the way.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.

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