Onboarding (noun): the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization.
Why is onboarding so important?
One very good reason: you can’t afford to NOT do it. Why? Turnover. Up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days (Mariano, Christine). Assuring a new-hire is prepared from the get-go will increase the chances of retention by a long shot and save you the time and money it takes to find, hire and train someone else.
Onboarding is a period of time where your employee learns the company’s basic policies/regulations, learns what the expectations of their position will be, and one in which they will get to know and acclimate to a new company culture – something of significant importance to today’s candidates. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they experience great onboarding.
It’s not hard to have a great strategy:
There’s no point in overthinking it. The entire point of onboarding rests solely on one thing: employee preparedness. By that we mean, how much effort was put into setting your new hires up for success? Sure, you’ve found a qualified individual who seems to be a great fit but now it’s your turn. You pave the way from here and we’ll tell you how:
Before the first day:
Once your new-hire has confirmed and signed their agreement, don’t just give sparing details over the phone and hope for the best. Engage with them and send them a welcome email on behalf of your company within the next few hours. This email should include a message of congratulations as well as any useful information that’ll make the first day easier (like what to have prepared, directions, dress codes, etc.)
Also take the time to put together a welcome package for their first day. This package could range from a humble assortment of branded pens and snacks to extravagant, but your message should always be clear and meaningful. Take, for example, this welcome kit from Percolate. In it, a new hire will find a handwritten note, branded stickers, apparel, snacks and ~ a kindle (this is not excessive for excessiveness’ sake but rather the company’s stance on how every employee should never stop learning – and therefore – never stop reading.)
Related Article: “Why Should I Hire You?” The Best Answers to a Tough Question
The First Day:
Be very clear on what the goals are for the day – create a schedule even – especially if there are trainings. You don’t want a new-hire aimlessly wandering around wondering “what now?” Go through their job description once more and highlight what milestones are expected using periods of time (i.e., where they should be their first week, first month, etc.)
Introduce them to relevant teams, take them for a tour of your offices, treat them to lunch – these are all opportunities to get to know them on a personal level and show them what levels of communication you, your team and your company operate on.
Have a fellow team member, coach, or representative show them what they need to know in terms of office tech, programs and platforms.
The First Week:
Don’t lose communication during this critical week, especially when your new-hire will be receiving their first assignments. Check in on a daily basis, make sure they have what they need and clarify/go-over information discussed in meetings, trainings, etc.
The First Month:
Feedback is key. Have your new-hire understand that it is absolutely okay to ask questions, or for extra training. Have them understand where they can improve in meaningful ways. Remember, this period is a breaking point for most new-hires as the turnover rate is highest in the first 45 days.
All in all, an on-boarding period, in general, is a chance to ease a new-hire into a brand-new world. Patience, clarity and candor will be your best attributes and earn you respect in return. Prepare your team for success… they might just deliver.