The purpose of onboarding should be to help new hires prepare for their new role and be productive from day one. This can be achieved only if onboarding processes are built strategically with a clear goal in mind. But onboarding has become even more challenging with the rise of remote and hybrid work. In a 2020 survey, respondents in HR reported remote onboarding or training as the biggest hiring challenge during the pandemic.

More than a third of businesses lacked a formal onboarding procedure, whether it was remote or not, even before the virtual shift. The time it takes for a new employee to become proficient in their job is often underestimated. Gallup’s “Creating an Exceptional Onboarding Journey for New Employees” research states that it normally takes new employees 12 months to realise their full performance potential. The standard onboarding programme lasts only 90 days.

Poor foundations don’t make for strong partnerships. If you want to increase employee retention, you must improve the onboarding experience of new employees. A Gallup survey shows that only 12% of employees believe their firm does a good job of onboarding new team members, leaving 88% of employees with a poor onboarding experience.. According to Principles, 94 percent of HR professionals who replied to a 2021 study claimed that personnel they employed during the epidemic had only connected with the firm virtually and that 31 percent of those respondents said employees were struggling to connect with colleagues. In fact, 10% had no idea how well new employees were integrating into the new company culture.

As these figures show, a lacklustre onboarding can lead to employees losing faith in their new positions, poorer engagement, and a higher likelihood that they’ll leave your company in search of a better opportunity.

A good onboarding programme can increase employee retention by 50 percent and productivity by 62 percent in the same set of new hires, according to a recent study. As Gallup’s onboarding survey shows, employees who have a favourable onboarding experience are almost three times more likely to feel prepared and supported in their role, which boosts both their confidence and performance.

Keys to a Successful New Employee Onboarding Process

Your new employees’ experiences aren’t just impacted by a short onboarding programme. New employees also require time to build relationships with their supervisors, coworkers, and other key players in the company. According to Gallup, employees are three times more likely to strongly agree that they had an amazing onboarding experience if their managers were actively involved in the process. Many managers, on the other hand, lack the resources and expertise necessary to effectively support and implement new employee orientation programmes. In addition, mentorship programmes are rare in businesses of all sizes. In the absence of mentorship opportunities, new employees are denied the opportunity to build relationships that will help them flourish in their new workplace.

Designing a good onboarding strategy can feel burdensome for managers, but it’s your job to make sure every new employee has a positive experience at the workplace. The following three steps can help managers build impactful onboarding processes that set up new hires for success and improve employee retention.

  • Set measurable goals and benchmarks for success.

The first step in creating a new onboarding programme is to evaluate your current onboarding objectives. Check for the four Cs: conformity, clarify, culture, and connection when revising objectives. What questions should you ask?

What are the rules, policies, and procedures that must be followed by all employees?

  • Have you clearly defined your employees’ work responsibilities and tied them to real, time-bound goals?
  • Will employees have a thorough awareness of your company’s culture and the support they need to develop all the connections necessary for their success after completing the programme?
  • In what areas does your organization’s ability to carry out this new initiative need to be improved?
  • How will you continue to improve and sustain the work-life balance of new hires after the completion of the onboarding programme?

It’s time to figure out how you’re going to measure your progress toward your goals. In order to achieve your objectives, you should use a combination of quantitative and qualitative measurements, such as the percentage of new hires who remain working at your company for a year (like feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience). Make time to speak with your company’s leaders before moving forward with these goals and measures, so you can get their advice.

  • Set up a multi-department onboarding team.

Creating an onboarding process that extends beyond HR and includes the necessary teams, key stakeholders, and the CEO is essential if you want to improve the employee experience in the workplace.

Managers benefit much from integrating new workers into their teams as soon as possible. Before introducing a new employee, make sure the team understands why they were hired and what their responsibilities would be in the team or the business. Even while it may take some time to build excellent team relationships, it can have a positive impact on staff productivity and performance.

Keeping in mind that new personnel will interact with stakeholders outside their immediate team is vital. However, new hires may not be aware of the best methods for interacting with or dealing with these individuals right from the beginning of their tenure with the company. This can be done by creating a list of names, with notes about who they are and how essential they are to the company. Schedule a time to check in with stakeholders and make sure that new hires’ networking is coming together as part of your responsibilities as a manager.

Your new hire’s first meeting with your company’s CEO should include an introduction that should not be neglected. Organize a one-on-one or group coffee meeting with your company’s leader and any new employees if your business is tiny. As a last resort, you may arrange a town hall meeting or a special party for the new staff, the executive team, and your CEO. Introducing new employees to the CEO will help them feel a part of the company and reinforce the concept that the growth they represent is significant.

Furthermore, meeting the CEO provides employees with a clear picture of the company’s culture and the type of employee experience they may expect. Employees’ sense of belonging and dedication are greatly impacted by a wonderful first encounter with the CEO, which, in turn, leads to higher retention and performance.

  • Assist with the onboarding process at all times.

Managers should prioritise performance coaching and building relationships with new hires over administrative tasks during the onboarding process. HR should have provided you with a technology platform that can perform these important responsibilities for you already. Onboarding best practices can be implemented and tracked in real-time using these tools, such as the following:

Your company’s onboarding portal allows new employees to view a welcome video, fill out their initial paperwork, and receive their day-one schedule and a personalised onboarding programme before they begin work. You can also check to see if all the relevant parties have been informed of the new hire’s arrival.

It’s possible to see if a new hire has done their day’s tasks on the first day, including being introduced to key stakeholders, setting up their workstation, receiving their company supplies, and completing their day-one training programme. Employees can provide feedback on their first day of work, which can help you make adjustments.

Monitor if new hires have read vital corporate information and completed and passed e-learning modules throughout the rest of the onboarding process. You can also assess how the onboarding experience affects individual and cohort goals at an individual and group level. To help you see what’s working and what needs improvement in your onboarding process, you’ll receive a detailed dashboard at the end of the course.

As a final consideration, you’ll want to make sure that this new platform is compatible with your HR management system. Your onboarding programme will have an effect on new hires’ ability to function in the workplace and their overall contentment with their jobs.

Companies that don’t have a strong onboarding procedure for new workers risk losing talented employees. The trust of new employees can be built, engagement can be improved, and a work climate can be created that retains employees for years to come by establishing a comprehensive onboarding programme.