What is onboarding?
Onboarding is essentially an orientation for new employees. It is a process that helps to initially settle an employee into his or her new role and then sustain the employee’s engagement and satisfaction levels over time. When done effectively, onboarding should start before a new employee’s first day on the job and can continue for months or even years into the employee’s tenure at the company, though in most cases takes places over the first several months of employment.
Onboarding effectively familiarises an employee to the company, his or her role and responsibilities, colleagues, and anything else is relevant to the new job. It is a comprehensive process and usually meticulously planned.
What are the main benefits of onboarding your new employees properly?
Get new hires up to speed quickly
Reduced speed to induct your new employee to company processes and norms, to his or her new colleagues and the transfer of information from the previous person in the role or the effectively training of the new employee for his or her new role. The more effective the process is, the sooner employees will reach the point where they can be productive and valuable assets to their team and organisation.
Increased employee engagement
A good onboarding process will teach new employees all about the company, its culture, its ethics, its goals, and any other relevant information. The employees should be made to understand their roles in the company and how they contribute to individual goals and also how they fit into the overall mission of the company. Onboarding will also introduce the new employees to their co-workers, supervisors, and mentors in the company. All of this helps your new employees to feel more engaged in their jobs, improving job satisfaction and productivity.
Improved employee retention
One great benefit of increased engagement is that employees will be happier at work, resulting in lower turnover. If an employee feels disengaged in his or her new role as a result of ineffective onboarding, he or she is much more likely to start looking for a new job. With one-third of employees leaving their job within the first six months, employee turnover can be a major source of lost investment in terms of time and cost, and since onboarding is one factor that influences employee turnover it should not be overlooked lightly.
Make a good first impression
New employees are probably anxious to make a first impression, and the company should be also. The onboarding process is the first real impression new employees form of the company after being hired. If this process is sloppy your employees don’t get the information and guidance that they need, this can plant the seed of doubt in their minds that the choice to work for your company was the correct decision.
What does your onboarding process look like? If, like most companies, the process could use some improvements, then set out on getting all the best practices available and use your team to brainstorm which of those will be most effective in your organisation.