The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding and How HR Managers can Ace it in 2022
Employee onboarding is one process that’s always been crucial for both employees and employers.
This is where the grounds for a new relationship are established. Therefore, it is now more critical for companies to look for newer employee engagement avenues and improve their onboarding program to ensure everything starts on the right foot.
“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” —Lawrence Bossidy
Let’s learn more about the employee onboarding process and how hiring managers can improve it this year.
What Is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is a process where the new hires of a team are welcomed into the office and introduced to the office members. During this time, the new employees learn about the company’s culture and how they will work in the said organization.
Companies must make a good impression on the new employees to retain them. According to the Brandon Hall Group, companies can improve their employee retention rate by 82% if they improve their onboarding.
Organizations that do not pay much attention to employee onboarding often struggle with employee retention. Employees who do not have a good impression of the company often leave within months. This makes it very difficult for hiring managers to start the recruitment process again and hire a candidate to fill the vacant positions.
Companies wouldn’t want to waste money hiring talent when they can easily retain their employees by improving the onboarding experience. This is why it is vital for hiring managers to understand the intricacies of onboarding and how they can improve it.
Differences Between Orientation and Onboarding
Understanding what onboarding constitutes is crucial to taking the proper steps for improving onboarding. Many people confuse onboarding with employee orientation when there are a lot of differences between the two.
Orientation is a part of onboarding but not the entirety of it. If you compare onboarding with orientation, you’ll learn how it is merely the first step in the onboarding process. It is an event that is usually the first working day for the employee and may even expand to an entire week if you have activities planned.
The initial presentation is followed by the remaining onboarding process that continues for as little as three months to a year. Contrary to popular belief, this is not just a one-time experience but involves complete training when an employee joins a company.
During orientation, new hires are given an overview of what the company is about. However, the company culture, work ethic, and all the organization’s missions are illustrated clearly in the onboarding process. The employees are integrated into their work to be productive as quickly as possible.
It is also worth noting that onboarding is not just for new hires but also for recently promoted employees. Once the onboarding is complete, the employees are not considered new. They are trained enough to work as experienced employees. On the other hand, employees are still regarded as new after the orientation because they are no longer integrated with the company values and culture.
The onboarding is most commonly part of the job responsibilities of the hiring managers, who must take the proper steps to improve the onboarding and not just limit it to paperwork. 58% of organizations claim that their onboarding relies on processes and other paperwork.
This is why hiring managers must work on their company’s onboarding and reap the benefits of a well-thought-out process.
How Can Hiring Managers Improve Onboarding?
There are many practices hiring managers can apply to improve their onboarding process so that new employees can become productive as soon as possible.
Let’s take a look at some of the best onboarding practices.
An Experience to Remember
The onboarding for your new hires or promoted employees starts when they walk into the door. This is the one experience they will remember for the rest of their lives, so the hiring managers need to make sure that the experience is worth remembering. The main goal on the first day should be to set expectations. Throughout this day and the entire onboarding period, you must let employees set the expectations. They should know what they can expect from the company.
In addition, make sure that employees feel welcomed. Employees should feel that they are a great addition to the family, and this will help them focus on becoming an integral part of the company. If you can clearly explain the job roles to the new hires, they will be as productive as you want them to be. Typically a new hire has a productivity level of 25% in their first month.
A widespread problem that hiring managers face when new employees join a team is the resentment of old employees towards the new one. Senior employees often feel threatened when a new one joins their team. In such cases, hiring manager managers must make sure that they create a sense of confidence in the existing employees by assuring them that there are no threats to their jobs. Clarify the new employee’s position to your old ones so there is no resentment.
Work on the Pre-boarding
Many hiring managers ignore the pre-boarding period, which is the time between the signing of the contract and the starting date of the job. This is a crucial time, and if the hiring managers are smart enough, they can utilize this time and make sure that the employee joins the company. New hires are more likely to ghost the new employer and start a job elsewhere wholly.
20% of employees don’t show up for their new job and leave it in the first few days. To prevent this, hiring managers should focus on pre-boarding. Use this time to educate the new hires and inform them about their culture, employee ethics, and other important details.
One of the biggest reasons new hires give up on the job is uncertainty and the lack of information. As a hiring manager, you can prevent this by keeping the employees informed.
Having a friendly face to show you the ropes is better than struggling your way in on your own. This is why hiring managers often assign a buddy for each employee. It is an effective way to ensure that the new hire is productive enough and does things correctly. An old employee who knows their way around can guide the new hire and show them all the rights and wrongs to ensure that they feel comfortable and work without significant mistakes.
However, it would be best to avoid forcing your old employees into doing this as they might not be willing and may have resentment against the new employee. To start the buddy program, you need to only go for experienced employees ready to volunteer as they will help your new hire with all their heart.
Take it Slow
Onboarding takes time. You cannot expect to finish the complete process in a day or two. The main goal is to integrate your employees into the system so they are no longer seen as the new hire. The process could take around three to twelve months.
Many hiring managers are in a hurry when it comes to employee onboarding. They risk losing a lot of good employees without a proper onboarding experience, mainly because many employees fail to keep up with their job.
It is always a good idea to take things slow and allow your employees to get well acquainted with the system. Speeding up the process can significantly decrease retention rates.
Evaluate the Process
One sure way to improve the onboarding process is to evaluate it. Reflect on the process yourself and see if the activities are functional enough for the new hires to be well acquainted with the company and its norms and values.
To get better insights, you can also ask your other employees for feedback on the onboarding process you practiced on them. You can ask them multiple questions that will help you understand their first-hand experience and how to improve it, like did they have job satisfaction afterward? Did they know company policies? Did they like their co-workers?
Once you evaluate these answers, you can look at all the shortcomings and loopholes, which you can fix later.
Incorporate Team Building Exercises
The new hires need to get along well with the team, which can be challenging. To ensure that your new hires adjust correctly, you can arrange team-building exercises to help your employees socialize.
HR managers and their team members need to realize that recruiting the right candidate is not the last or most crucial step of the hiring process. Onboarding new employees effectively are one of the most crucial steps most hiring managers often ignore.
If your onboarding programs are weak, you may never be able to retain top players within your workforce or provide them with employee satisfaction. This is why it is best for hiring managers to learn how to improve their onboarding process and ensure smooth completion of the recruitment cycle!
We will be happy to help you not just with effective employee onboarding, but with all stages in the recruitment process.
Get the top recruiting news and insights delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up for the Recruiter Today newsletter.