Data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that 20% of all employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. It is, therefore, critical that your onboarding process be designed to not only integrate new hires into your company culture but also improve employee engagement in order to retain star talent.
With that being said, here are some of the best ways in which you can create a seamless transition process for new hires, according to today’s top executive recruiters.
Think about all the things you need to accomplish for each new hire: training, information about your company culture, company ethics and corporate policies, and so on. These things all take time, so you shouldn’t restrict your onboarding process to only a few weeks or a month.
The best onboarding periods will last as long as 90 days, with touchpoints that extend beyond that initial period. Communicating the timeline to your new hires may alleviate some of their “first-day jitters” and provide a long-term plan for integrating them into your workplace culture.
According to a survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, roughly three-out-of-four employers (74%) offer some type of hybrid or fully-remote work option. Existing employees may love the flexibility, but it can be challenging for new hires to integrate into a company culture whose workers report to meetings over Zoom.
Company leaders can overcome that challenge by synchronizing their workers’ in-person days for better team collaboration.
Doing so also ensures that new hires have a chance to see how their coworkers mesh together, which makes it easier to understand the subtleties of their new workplace’s culture.
A structured onboarding process is especially important for technical professionals like IT team members or healthcare workers, but virtually any employee can benefit from one.
Employers and HR managers should define what they want to see from the employees within the first three to six months of employment, whether it be completing training programs or any additional forms, and department heads might help to define performance-based goals for new employees.
A welcome packet can be a simple but effective means of bringing your workers up to speed on general expectations.
Consider including aspects such as:
Don’t forget that some workers may be moving into the area for the first time, so your welcome packet might benefit from including information about housing, childcare, local attractions, and restaurants.
Assigning each new hire a mentor will help them come to grips with your company culture faster than any welcome packet can on its own, but working alongside another employee will also help your new hires to feel more connected to their coworkers and teams.
For clarity, the mentor should not have any direct supervisory authority. Their role should simply be to educate and guide new hires through company policies and workplace tasks. They should also act as a “safe place” and allow questions that new employees may not ask their supervisor or HR representative.
Before the new hire even arrives at the office, make sure you have the right resources in place, a process that starts by having an available workspace and any necessary equipment ready to go while also ensuring that you can provide your new employee with access to the necessary company software.
For technical roles, you might also offer additional training resources organized around their immediate job responsibilities. For instance, new workers might need additional training on how to use programs like CRM software or automated accounting tools. These sorts of training opportunities keep your staff operating at peak productivity, and they may even act as good refreshers for your legacy staff.
It’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and stranded when you’re first starting out at a company, and employers and managers should be aware of that, taking the time to check in with new employees to prevent friction in the onboarding experience.
These check-ins provide opportunities for preliminary feedback. You don’t have to perform a formal evaluation, but even small bits of feedback can affirm employees in their new role or correct small errors before they can become major hassles.
Sometimes the best way to learn about your current onboarding process is to ask those who have already been through it.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your employees about their experience to figure out what aspect was the most helpful and what could be improved.
Your most recent hires may be a good resource for talking about their experience, mainly because it’s fresh in their minds, but don’t neglect your long-term employees.
They may have suggestions that you hadn’t considered, as well as a unique, time-tested perspective on the most realistic portrayal of your company culture.
Many workplaces already provide some form of employee engagement surveys, but they can also be used to glean feedback from your new hires and their transition process.
Your goal here is to affirm the statement, “I feel welcomed here and know what’s expected of me.” If these surveys reveal any confusion about an employee’s role or their sense of inclusion, now is the time to address these issues before they lead to employee disengagement or turnover.
Automation can improve the new hire onboarding experience. Automating repetitive tasks like completing company forms can streamline what might otherwise be tedious processing and training protocols.
It doesn’t eliminate the need for other human elements during the onboarding phase, of course, but automation can accelerate certain tasks so that the employee can spend more time focusing on their job responsibilities and learning about the company.
The Harvard Business Review reports that companies that focus on their onboarding process see a 50% higher retention rate and a 62% increase in employee productivity. By implementing the above tips, you can transform your company culture and get the most out of your teams.
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