How to Design an Effective Onboarding Program

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Many HR professionals who work alone devote a significant amount of their time to locating the most qualified people to fill their company’s available positions. However, their job isn’t done once those people are on board.


New hires need an efficient onboarding programme in order to become fully integrated and productive members of the team. A lot of thinking and planning goes into the greatest programmes. Onboarding is a window into your company’s principles and beliefs.  Set expectations for the new hires through your activities during onboarding. Put your best foot forward, and you will reap the benefits.


Employers may increase employee retention by ensuring that new hires are onboard early on. There has been an average turnover rate of 22% in US organisations, according to the North America Mercer Survey for 2019. Because firms pay between one-half and two times an employee’s annual salary to replace them, this is an expensive trend.


According to an HR poll, 31 percent of new hires are likely to depart in the first six months of their employment. Onboarding helps ensure that the new recruit feels like a valuable member of the team which motivates them to stay.


Make the new hire feel special with a warm welcome


Orientation and onboarding can be one and the same for some companies. In contrast to onboarding, which is a multi-step process that should span at least 90 days, orientation is supposed to be a one-time event. More than merely filling out paperwork and talking about perks, onboarding should include a wide range of activities. If your business is large or small, an effective onboarding programme may involve orientation, job-specific training, introductions to colleagues, cultural acclimatisation and follow-ups. And it all begins the moment a new employee accepts the position.

Onboarding should ideally begin before an employee’s first day of work and continue for months after the individual has joined the organisation.  Having a short-lived onboarding procedure will cause employees to feel overwhelmed and burnt out soon, she explains. HR professionals should compile a list of what they can do to help employees succeed in order to design a customised programme. Among the possibilities:


  • New employees should be sent an email and a welcome packet prior to their start date.
  • Figuring out what kind of technologies the new employee will need.
  • Assembling the incoming employee’s workstation before his or her first day.
  • Announcing the addition of a new employee to the group.
  • Choosing the person who will welcome the new employee on their first day on the job.
  • Assisting the new employee in finding a buddy.
  • Human Resources paperwork that needs to be completed should be allocated.
  • Meetings and events that need to be set up in advance.
  • Regular meetings with the new hire for the first three months of their employment.


With the aid of company leaders and managers as well as a budget, time, and tools (such as training programmes and orientation videos), HR practitioners may build a great onboarding experience for their new employees. They may have to persuade the company’s top executives to accept the benefits of a more extensive program.


Keep it going


To ensure that new hires continue to thrive, onboarding may include regular progress reports or check-ins following organised training and orientation.


As long as you show that you’re concerned and care about people, they’ll be more likely to engage with your brand than if you ignore them or think they’re doing OK. As part of a high-quality onboarding, it’s important to keep in touch with your new hires on a regular basis, ask them about their experience, or even just remember their name and say hello when you pass by in the corridor.


There’s always space for improvement in each new programme, just like there is in any other. Only 12% of employees strongly agree, according to Gallup, that their companies do an excellent job onboarding new employees. When you receive feedback, act on it. If you show your employees that you take their comments seriously, they will be more likely to share constructive criticism that can improve your onboarding process.


When onboarding is done right, everyone benefits from a simpler transfer and training process.  For many managers, time is at a premium, so they don’t have time to deal with all of the onboarding tasks.


HR experts may free up managers to focus on building rapport and integrating the new employee into the team by creating a formal onboarding programme that does the heavy lifting. A quality onboarding programme not only helps the new employee but the manager and the entire organisation.

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