There are many aspects to employee onboarding. But at the highest level, there are four keys to success according to Rick Lespinger who brings 25-years of success as a human resources consultant and executive to OnPoint Consulting. Here’s a summary of his article on the topic and how TeamworkIQ can help streamline the onboarding process:
- Start Immediately
- Cover the Basics and Set Goals
- Involve Leadership
- Keep Engaged
Why is Effective Employee Onboarding so Valuable?
Companies with solid employee onboarding programs and retention strategies tend to be much more profitable than those that approach onboarding and retention without much of a plan. Since about 20 percent of turnover occurs within the first 45 days, having an effective onboarding process is a crucial aspect of retaining top talent. In fact, a well-structured program makes employees significantly more likely to remain with the company for at least three years.
With all the cost and time spent recruiting your employees, loosing 20% of that to turnover due to poor onboarding execution rapidly eats away company cash and profits. Be smarter. Have a plan. Here’s how:
Why Start Immediately?
Most businesses start onboarding after the new employee is physically in the office. Conceptually managers assume employee onboarding starts on the first day of work. However, you can get significant benefits if you start the onboarding process as soon as the candidate accepts the job offer.
New employees are excited about their soon-to-be employer and want to learn as much as possible them and the people with whom they will be working. Delivering inspiring and informative materials online, by email, or by postal service can amplify new employees enthusiasm before work begins. You can add other administrative paperwork and forms to the materials, but sending those alone, devoid of more exciting content, can be underwhelming.
Of course there’s plenty for managers to do at work to make sure workspaces, systems, and teams are also prepared for the new employee’s arrival. Managers must coordinate with HR, IT, Facilities, Security, and others to assure a smooth arrival and transition for the new employee. Nothing demoralizes a new hire more than arriving to a disorganized workplace not ready to make them part of the team.
Use a simple process management tool like TeamworkIQ to document your onboarding process and automate the onboarding workflow so that pre-boarding, onboarding, and the first 90 days for a new employee are well planned and seamlessly orchestrated. TeamworkIQ makes process management as simple as following a shared online checklist.
Cover the Basics and Set Goals
Avoid overwhelming new employees with too much information. They are now in a new workplace with new people. We advise managers to set simple, easily achievable goals for day 1, the first week, and the first month. Use this time to get new employees settled into the new environment, and engaged with training and teammates before they get started on their first projects. Make sure each goal is achievable (but not too easy) in order to build early successes.
Lespinger also advises:
By structuring the onboarding process to reflect the organization’s typical workflow, the very act of completing training can help prepare the employee to transition into their new role.
TeamworkIQ is useful here as well. Its step-by-step workflows can guide new employees through self-paced onboarding tasks and training materials. For each onboarding task or step in the training process you can add details, images, videos and other rich content to engage the new employee. Training videos in particular are a great, modern, effective alternative relative to the traditional paragraphs upon paragraphs of text. Use TeamworkIQ to create engaging, self-paced training content.
The Importance of Involving Leadership
When senior leadership is involved in onboarding new employees it has a positive impact on her hires’ perception of the company and sets the right tone for high engagement in the purpose of their work. When the company mission is presented by senior executives to new hires it makes a much more meaningful impression than if the vision for the company is merely a page in the employee handbook.
Therefore, steps in you onboarding process should include the participation of senior leaders at some point within the first few weeks. Seek the commitment of executives to add value and play a role throughout your onboarding processes. Leverage lunches, presentations, coffee hours, opportunities for mentoring or training as way to leverage executive’s time with groups of new hires. One on one meetings are certainly effective too.
Google also reported a 25% faster path to productivity when they paired new hires with a ‘buddy’. The buddy provided a peer who could be an instant resource for answers as to the way various office processes worked, where things were located, who to talk to about what, and other ‘tribal knowledge’ that might lay outside the formalities of structure onboarding. By blending formal processes with the buddy, Google found they achieved better results.
Don’t make the mistake of wrapping up employee onboarding too quickly warns Lespinger. Most HR professionals today concur that onboarding should cover the first 90 to 100 days. This recent Career Builder’s survey found quick the shorter the onboarding process timelines, the higher the turnover rates.
Structured, formal onboarding processes can be set up to carry the momentum of engagement from the early days and weeks of a new hire’s tenure into the following months. TeamworkIQ’s automated processes can include due date reminders so that important onboarding activities within processes that can run 90 to 100 days will not be missed and the full benefits of extended onboarding can be achieved.
Formal onboarding programs that span 90 to 100 days lead to higher employee engagement, higher productivity, higher job satisfaction, higher quality services, and lower turnover rates. Scale and manage your employee onboarding process more easily with TeamworkIQ.
Find the employee onboarding process template below and 7 more here.
Employee Onboarding Process and Checklist with Google’s Buddy System
Click here to customize and use this template.