Comprehensive Guide for a Successful Employee Onboarding Process
Employee onboarding is the process whereby new employees are introduced to their role and acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to become effective organizational members. The onboarding process is also critical in employee retention and overall performance.
If done successfully, the staff onboarding process will help in the following:
- Increases optimum productivity quicker.
- Helps organization to scale and better meet growth goals.
- Skill gaps within the workforce are filled quicker.
- Boosts employee’s confidence in how well they perform in their job.
Planning for the Onboarding Process
It is estimated that:
- 50% of companies with a standard onboarding experience greater new hire productivity.
- 77% of new hires who hit their first performance goal within their probation period had formal employee onboarding training.
- 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.
However, despite the statistics above, an estimated 22% of companies still lack formal employee onboarding processes. This represents a lack of planning and perhaps a grave misunderstanding of the value of the onboarding process.
In order to plan for onboarding procedures, it is recommended to designate one or two Human Resources member (depending on the size of the company) to take care of the entire process. They will need to formulate proper coordination and communication with respective managers and the IT team in order to facilitate both technical and the specific job role’s needs.
It is also important to have an employee onboarding checklist which can be tailored to a specific department and company (see below for a step-by-step guide). This checklist should be known by all sides who may deal with the staff onboarding process in order for things to progress efficiently.
In planning the duration for an onboarding process, it is important to determine how much time is necessary to prepare an employee with the right tools or framework for success. It is hence recommended that the onboarding process should last a minimum of one month, accompanied by frequent (monthly or quarterly) catch-ups after that.
Here is a guide on how an onboarding checklist may look like:
Prepare all the tools and list of information that the new employee will need
This may include:
- Paperwork for an employment contract and a form for contact and bank details.
- Typical information on sick leave, public holidays, and benefits package.
- Wi-Fi password, staff contact information, company email and phone number.
- Required reading and specific list of responsibilities for the role.
- Preparing the employees workstation with a proper chair and desk, it is also recommended to include the company’s brand merchandise to help them feel welcome.
- Ensuring the IT team has prepared the work laptop/computer and other essential software.
Dedicate some time to welcome them on their first day
This may include:
- Showing them the office and relevant common areas such as the pantry/locker/reception.
- Introducing them to their colleagues and what they do.
- Breaking the ice by arranging for a lunch outing with their colleagues.
- Providing them with a rough idea of what their schedule will be like for the first week.
- Explaining other arrangements such as car parking or employee access system for the office building.
Conduct a newcomers orientation to help them understand the company and internal processes better
A company orientation is typically a presentation from Human Resources and sometimes other members of different departments to help newcomers familiarize themselves with the company, its members, and its policies.
The company orientation should include the following information
- Introduction to the company’s history and their development progress.
- Hierarchy of the company’s internal departments.
- Key members of each department and their specific job roles and titles.
- Contact information of key departments such as Human Resources, Finance, IT.
Arrange for regular catch-up sessions every week or month to ensure the employee can voice out any concerns
Once most of the onboarding process is done, there should be an arrangement for the employee to have regular catch-up sessions with their manager in order to create regular opportunities for the employee to voice out concerns.
This can help to alleviate a newcomer’s anxiety and also helps to improve the relationship between them and their manager by having regular interactions beyond just work.
Conducting anonymous new employee surveys to find out what can be improved
This helps a company identify which areas to improve, which procedures to keep while helping to ensure that the onboarding process is achieving its full value. It is recommended that surveys are kept anonymous in order to allow employees a safe space to speak freely and truthfully.
It is also rewarding for HR members to be able to see the fruits of their work and receive gratitude from employees who found the experience pleasant and even enlightening.
There is a continuous development of digital tools to help with the onboarding process. This includes training video platforms, automated 24/7 chatbots, live webcasts, video conferencing, and etc. This may be helpful for larger companies or during a pandemic when physical contact is not desired.
Investing in digital onboarding will help to streamline procedures while reducing the amount of manual work required. The use of digital onboarding will ensure consistency and accuracy in the information shared with new hires across the organization. There is also increased flexibility for members of the hiring team such as HR and the hiring manager to structure the overall onboarding process more efficiently.