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Businesses around the world are failing to master the onboarding process

Businesses are failing to master the onboarding process. Mistakes like missing laptops and computers can have a seriously damaging affect on the new employee's first impressions of their employer.
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The process of taking on new employees is being mismanaged at companies around the world, with 39 per cent of businesses encountering problems during the onboarding process. The majority (60 per cent) of those experiencing problems during the process claimed this happened from the first day on the job.

This is according to research from webonboarding, which warns that this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, as poor onboarding leads to “employee dropout”.

Around ten per cent leave the job after only a few days, nine per cent within months of starting, and 15 per cent said they had to turn down a job offer due to problems with the onboarding process.

The problems that can afflict businesses vary: 42 per cent claimed there was no laptop or computer for them when they started, 37 per cent were not given full training, 28 per cent were not given a suitable induction, and 26 per cent of employees didn’t have a desk ready when they started.

This reflects poorly on the company as well – 38 per cent of survey respondents said the poor onboarding process made them feel like they had joined an unprofessional company.

What causes these problems?

More than a third of global businesses do not have an induction policy, or guidelines for onboarding new starters. In addition, only 62 per cent of those surveyed said that their company does have these, and 65 per cent believe that the onboarding process could be improved.

In addition, businesses are unlikely to receive feedback about their onboarding process. Almost nine in ten (88 per cent) of survey respondents said they had not made a complaint about the onboarding process when starting with a new company, as many people are hesitant to paint themselves as a complainer when starting a new role.

Adam Reynolds, CEO of webonboarding, commented: “Major themes throughout [the report]were neglect, disorganisation and a lack of engagement leading to onboardees regretting their choice or choosing to leave.

“Remarkably, it seems to boil down to businesses failing to invest the time and focus you would expect to receive in the first few months of joining a new organisation.”

Reynolds believes it is important to remember that businesses wouldn’t treat customers like this.

“These are issues that have previously been brushed under the carpet and now need to be addressed and changed. More than half of respondents admitted their current organisation needed to improve their onboarding process, so these findings could be that prompt to do so,” he added.

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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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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