8 I’s of Onboarding | Best Employee Onboarding Practices for New Hires

Table of Contents

According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board nearly 4% of employees quit a new job after the first day. Studies indicate that it can cost 6 to 9 month’s salary every time an employee is replaced. This brings to the fore, the need for a structured onboarding process in any organization, established or a start–up. One cannot leave it to the manager to handhold the new employee. The process could get lost in a year-end crunch or a delivery deadline. Here are some of the important I’s to address in an induction program, be it a structured or fluid process.

  • Identify

Recognize the key goals to be achieved in induction. Pinpoint those that will anchor and carry the task, including the immediate manager, HR team, Admin, mentors, buddies, and those associated. Connect the new employee to these key persons. It is important that both basic and soft elements of onboarding are addressed. Basic elements would include providing the necessary hardware, tools, accesses, and permits. Soft elements entail making a connection that is both social and professional.

  • Integrate

Integrating the new hire requires all hands onboard, atleast all hands of the identified stakeholders. Establish the roles each of them have to play, and build in accountability. Often recruiters, HRs, managers, L&D employees are unsure who is to do what. Get the new hire also onboard, ensuring they understand what is expected from them, right from the recruitment stage. Creating a personalized onboarding experience, albeit time-consuming, proves to be effective.

  • Immerse

Immersing the new hire in the company culture in an important aspect. Reaffirm what makes working with your organization distinct and special. Let them know what’s in it for them, as well as where they can be a few years down the line. Smaller organizations employ formal introductions and welcome to let the employee know who is who and how they would engage with them. Informal employee time is also beneficial, maybe lunch with the team or board games or Wii time with colleagues. It’s important to make the employee feel welcome and comfortable working together from day one.

  • Induction

New hires have to quickly get onboard. Induction lays the foundation for this. Setting up the new employee to not just perform but rather excel. Induction ensures that new hires do not lack in any sense, with regard to their ability to perform on the job. It also addresses the employee’s concern with regard to compensation, benefits, and cultural fit.

  • Impress

Making a lasting impression starts even before the recruitment process. Good talent is scarce, and every organization is vying for it. Organizations need to show and promote what they offer to a new hire with respect to a career, development, and association. Immersing in the culture and values of a company is dependent on how well the new hire associates his values with the organization. Leverage on a good cultural fit and a new hire’s excitement in the onboarding process.

  • Impart

Onboarding programs should be aimed at equipping the new hire for the new role. New hires bring onboard a fresh perspective and a jolt of energy to the team. Strategic onboarding processes effectively utilize this for improving processes. It is important to impart to the new hire adequate knowledge of their role in the overall strategy of the company. Training during onboarding should help new hires develop skills that are important to perform tasks and responsibilities pertaining to the job. This leads to a far more engaging process in induction.

  • Interpersonal Connect

It is vital to connect employees not just to their peers, but to critical workflow networks. Mapping the key stakeholders to every position, and connecting the new hire to these workflow networks help productivity. Strategic onboarding programs recognize, an individual itself performing will fall short in the overall strategy of the company. However, if he or she is able to leverage and network internal relationships to meet goals, and others in turn rely on the individual to accomplish their goals; the organization moves forward. Onboarding processes must connect new hires not just within the team but across processes and functions. Networking is a priority here, so the employee is also encouraged to find interest communities within the company. One of the most valuable elements of the networking process is the individual assigned as a new hire’s coach—a friend to answer questions, reinforce concepts, share processes and tools, and help transmit the intangible cultural values of the firm.

  • Ignite

It’s within the first 6 months of the new hire decides whether to stay on in the company or look for a change. More than 20% of US workers make a career choice annually. Effective onboarding is key to igniting the passion in the employees helping them to stay engaged and productive. A negative onboarding experience can cause the employee to be disengaged and opt for an early exit. A well-planned onboarding process will give the new hire the necessary spark needed to stay committed and turn a good recruit into a productive long term resource for the organization.

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