Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into your business. With the decline of ‘a job for life’ and the average UK worker now moving employers every five years*; it’s more important than ever to ensure that your onboarding process is working effectively for your business.
Your onboarding process for new starters should generate immediate integration within their team, affiliation to their role, and create job satisfaction and engagement. Effective onboarding should reduce the risk of performance issues, turnover and absences in those essential first few months of employment.
Employees will decide whether they have made the right career move and if they want to stay with their new employer in the first six months. Cezanne HR found that 41% of full-time office workers had quit one of their jobs within the first six months of employment, with 15% saying it was because they didn’t feel welcomed to the company.
Our top tips for creating an effective onboarding process are:
- There’s no one size fits all approach. The best inductions will be bespoke to each individual organisation
- Induction content should be varied dependent on the worker type to ensure relevance e.g. contractors, work experience, temporary staff, remote workers
- Phase the onboarding process over a prolonged period rather than the first few days only – it’s hard to take in so much information when you are new – start with the essentials (health and safety and security) on day one and phase other elements so starters can learn them as and when needed (system demonstrations)
- Think bigger picture to help the employee identify with the company longer term – ensure your induction includes the mission, culture, values and strategy of the company as well as how their individual job fits into the departmental/company strategy and direction. This helps a starter feel needed and important in the bigger plan
- Get starters immersed into the company’s culture as soon as possible, e.g. business communication platforms like Yammer, team socials, company communications etc. to increase their inclusion
- Make the wider company accountable for the onboarding process – team members, line managers, IT department etc. It isn’t just a ‘HR process’. Having different owners for each induction section means it will be delivered by the most appropriate person. It also allows the starter to meet more people around the organisation
- Develop an induction pack – having an ‘onboarding bible ‘for new starters to refer to can be helpful so they don’t feel they are constantly asking questions, it may also save your other staff time by having FAQs and information readily available
- Some of the smartest companies give new starters goody bags and company branded merchandise on their first day
- Onboarding doesn’t start from day one of employment, it should begin before this. Think about onboarding from a pre-employment perspective – communications, joining instructions, company literature, meeting the team before starting, etc.
In summary, the benefits of a good induction process will mean new starters are more quickly integrated into their new teams and jobs. Meaning productivity will be better sooner, as will their engagement. By factoring in bigger picture elements into the onboarding process, new starters will have a better understanding of company strategy, empathy for company values and greater commitment.
Organisations that fail to implement an effective onboarding process will undoubtedly see increased turnover through resignations, performance issues (with possible dismissals) and higher absences. Companies should also expect to waste time and money re-recruiting, not to mention impacting the morale of the remaining team and a damaged company reputation.
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* LV= research: Goodbye to the job for life – we take nine jobs over 50 years