The Importance of Onboarding

You’ve spent precious time recruiting and signing this new hire, and it’s the all-important first day. Have you already dropped the ball? If you haven’t organized and planned the onboarding process, then yes you have. Onboarding isn’t simply orientation, it’s more personal than that. Orientation is about the job, onboarding has more of a social aspect to it with a focus on the future and retention.

The Importance of Onboarding

Have you even seen the random newb standing around the water cooler waiting for some sort of direction or interaction? Too often, new hires will spend the majority of their first week on the job wondering if anyone was made aware that they would be coming. It’s hard to watch and even harder to experience. There’s no better way to make someone feel awkward and unwanted than to skip the onboarding process.

An effective onboarding program can help you achieve company success, employee retention, increased ROI on hiring, and ensuring that your new employees are ready and excited to join the team. Consider jointly what your new employee needs from you, and what you need from your new employee.

Your candidates form an opinion about your company early on in the recruiting process. In fact, first impressions matter more than you probably think. According to a post on strategic employee onboarding, “New employees are most likely to leave a company within the first 18 months of their tenure, and 90% of new hires decide in their first 6 months on the job whether or not they’re going to stay with the company.”

Onboarding shouldn’t be seen as just another trend in HR, this is a vital part of the whole hiring process. Retaining employees does wonders for your bottom line, and an effective onboarding program is where the effort to retain begins.

Employee engagement should be another of the main objectives of your onboarding process. When a new employee is facilitated in building their network and becoming acclimated with their new surroundings, you are cultivating your company culture. This can be as simple as introducing the new employee to their co-workers. Perhaps there is someone that comes to mind who would do well as a welcome wagon type of person. The quicker you get this new employee feeling comfortable, the quicker you have a productive member of the team.

Engaging and creating a sense of value for the new employee helps everyone involved, from the new employee themselves, to the entire team. A cohesive work environment doesn’t happen accident, it needs some love to get where it needs to be. Lowering processing costs ensuring compliance is yet another piece to the onboarding puzzle. When you have an actual planned process for onboarding, you are ensuring that each new hire gets the same treatment, receives the same information and this cuts down on annoying and costly redundancies. A streamlined process also ensures certain steps are taken in a timely manner. When you have an agreed upon process, you know what information should be shared and at what stage.

Following up with your new hire on a weekly, into a monthly basis is good practice to ensure that the process is going smoothly. The first week is vital, but following the progress of their acclimation shows them that they are working for a company that cares about their experience. It also helps you to figure out the strengths and flaws of your onboarding process.

Onboarding is worth the time you put into it. Taking the extra effort to acclimate your new hires can improve cohesiveness, get employees productive faster, cut down on costly turn over rates and overall make you look better at your job.

photo credit:
notsogoodphotography via