An excellent onboarding process is as important as to a new employee as the HR process is to your organization. In fact, onboarding is one of those core HR processes you must get right. During onboarding, your new employee will learn what your company stands for, how he/she will fit in the culture, and what is expected from him/her. So, it’s critical you get it right. Having a convoluted onboarding process can hinder a new employee’s transition, so follow these steps to streamline it.
Advanced preparation during the HR process
“Transitions are periods of opportunity… But they are also periods of acute vulnerability because you lack established working relationships and a detailed understanding of your new role.” – Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days
You can make the transition into employment easier for a new hire by preparing the onboarding process prior to their first shift. A strong onboarding process can increase employee retention by 82%, so it is important you get it right. Some considerations for advanced preparation during the HR process are:
- Send a welcome email with important reminders
- Assign someone involved in the HR process to greet them at the door
- Set up their working space
- Simplify first day paperwork with a business process management program
- Print out a staff directory or deliver one via email
- Pre-assign a mentor
How to involve the new hire during the onboarding process
Engaging new hires in onboarding will help them feel more comfortable and make the transition easier. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Design an activity that introduces the new hire to leaders, supervisors and team members (perhaps each person has a question about the new hire and a fact about themselves to springboard a brief conversation)
- Take the new hire out to lunch or provide breakfast with leaders
- Pair the employee with a mentor who can answer basic questions
- Draft a list of goals for the first year to be revisited during performance reviews
Business process tools for coordinating
Business process tools can expedite and streamline the onboarding process by offering a variety of benefits like:
- Document management
- Electronic forms
- Employee handbook & directory
- Orientation management
- Employee self-service portal
- Task management
- Training management
Today’s workforce is digitally savvy. They expect business processes that are easy to use and understand, and they don’t want to get bogged down in paperwork during onboarding. That time should be saved for integrating into the workplace culture.
Good & bad quotes about onboarding experiences
A Bad Process
“I just sat there for three hours while they printed things off and chit chatted with employees coming in and out. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.”
“They gave me a handbook and said to read it. Then they put me with another person, who was not at all excited about training, and I felt so lost.”
“I cannot fully explain how frustrating it was during onboarding. They put me in a room with no windows, on a computer, and told me to follow the onscreen training. But the system acted up, and I had no clue where to go for help. The HR guy disappeared, and the supervisor they called in said she didn’t know how to work the system. So I couldn’t do anything until he came back two hours later, and then he seemed annoyed I hadn’t progressed as far as he hoped.”
A Good Process
“Onboarding was crazy easy. Everything I needed was on the computer, so I was able to go through it quickly. And they gave me lunch that day, so I felt cared for.”
“I liked how they took the time to have a call with me before my first day. They walked me through a lot of the mundane stuff so I could really get going on day one.”
“My favorite thing about onboarding was that they gave me a mentor who seemed really enthused to be a mentor. Sometimes you get a person they’ve just stuck you with and that person does NOT want to train people. That can be super off-putting.”
A critical component of hiring
Onboarding is essential to a smooth hiring process. It helps you attract and retain top talent, encourage early engagement, create a level of trust, and boost open communication. These benefits can also decrease turnover which leaves you with loyal, dependable employees who care about the company and work for its success.
For more help regarding Hiring and Firing, Employee Engagement, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Leadership and Executive Coaching and Development, and all things “HR,” The Pendolino Group is here to support you and your team. Contact us today!
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