A sound onboarding process is key to getting hires assimilated into his/her position and the organization and accelerate productivity. This directly aids in lowering disengagement and boosting retention creating a workforce that is engaged and committed. According to a survey submitted by MIT Sloan Management Review, in the United States more than 25 percent of the working population experience career transitions every year. This makes onboarding a subject of strategic importance.
Onboarding or the process of ‘organizational socialization’ is usually managed by the human resource departments and facilitated by concerned departments supporting new hires and employees in new roles. The process of onboarding helps reduce the learning curve, teaching and equipping new employees with behaviours, skills, knowledge and tools that help to perform at a functional and social level.
It is estimated that managers transition into new jobs or new roles on an average every 2 to 4 years with approximately 500,000 new managers moving into new roles or companies each year, in just Fortune 500 companies alone. Yet, the success ratio of senior hires from outside the company is 50%, half of them failing within 18 months into the new position.
Employee onboarding processes – Best Practices
First impressions matter, and the first day on the job is the most important day for a new employee. Many hourly workers, in fact, do not turn up after their first day on the job. The major and minor details matter when it comes to onboarding. Be it going paperless on joining formalities, or a functioning work station on the first day, or the CEO taking new hires out to lunch, the big and the little things matter. Research has shown that the trajectory of success of a new hire starts within the first two weeks at work. Some of the best practices for onboarding are as follows:
- Go paperless with joining formalities.
- Give a snap shot of the working life at the organization prior to the first day.
- Prepare the new hire, allow him to be ready and informed, for his first day.
- Make the first day special – customize, make it individual specific where ever possible.
- Develop a written onboarding plan.
- Make onboarding participatory.
- Ensure the program is consistently and systematically implemented.
- Review the effectiveness of the onboarding program .
- Digitize and use technology to facilitate the process.
- Check in and connect with the employee as they reach milestones – such as 1st week, 3rd week, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days on the job, up to one year in the organization.
- Provide feedback to the employee with respect to his progress during the course of the first year.
- Engage stakeholders in planning and facilitating the onboarding program.
- Include key stakeholder meetings as part of the program.
- Provide clarity to the new employee with regard to role, responsibility, objectives and timelines.