If you’ve ever hired a new employee and been unprepared for their arrival particularly during busy periods… or surprised that they didn’t hit the ground running after their orientation… or frustrated when they quit within 90 days and you were faced with quickly finding and training yet another replacement and coping with the instability of a high-turnover team… then your onboarding process may be at fault.
Korn Ferry’s Future step division conducted a survey of over 1,800 executives. Findings showed that:
90% of surveyed executives said that new-employee retention was an ongoing issue
10-25% of new employees quit within the first 6 months
While executives lament the difficulty of retaining quality employees, not all optimise the concepts of onboarding.
98% of surveyed executives stated that onboarding programs were central in retaining employees; however…
Only 69% reported their organisation has formal onboarding programs for all employees
23% said that their onboarding programs lasted one day
30% said that their onboarding program lasted one week
That means that 31% of organisations have no formal on-boarding programs, and of those that do, just over half are confusing onboarding with orientation.
Onboarding is not the same as orientation.
Orientation provides basic information about the position and employer, and is done over a short period of time. Orientation does not encourage employee longevity because it often leaves them feeling like they’ve just been dumped into a tank full of sharks and they have to figure out how to survive on their own.
Onboarding, however, is a structured approach of providing personal, professional and social support intended to assimilate new hires, empower them and maximise their productivity in the long run.
This approach involves a significant time and energy investment – and an “investment” it is. An investment in helping a new hire integrate quickly into the company results in higher employee retention, productivity and satisfaction by encouraging each new employee to thrive.
Onboarding can involve:
Communication with the new hire before they start work so they can learn about the company and the company culture including dress codes, logistics such as parking, self-development opportunities within the organisation, and a “who’s who” will make them feel welcome on Day 1
Offering welcome gifts make new hires feel appreciated and valued
Creating a welcoming work space, for example providing a fully-stocked workstation, ID badges, email and/or phone accounts set up
Making their first day memorable and positive
Scheduling their first several weeks to prevent overwhelm, self-doubt and frustration; this time includes orientation/onboarding
Providing a smooth paperwork process
Setting clear expectations including job responsibilities, short-term milestones and long-term goals, performance metrics, and company policies and guidelines
Allowing for the learning curve: while the loss of productivity with a new hire can be frustrating, the first 3 months should be viewed as a training period that will pay off in the long run
Forming an onboarding team of the new hire and a buddy or mentor, including job shadowing (if applicable, mentors both within the department and in other departments will help create a powerful sense of collaboration and help the new hire feel like they’re part of the big picture)
Promoting socialization: making a new hire feel like part of a friendly team is vital for motivation and dedication
Encouraging feedback and open communication and conducting a review within the critical first 90 days
Effective onboarding programs support both new employees and hiring managers. On average, new employees don’t become optimally productive for about 6 months. On-the-job learning curves, as well as the social aspects of learning how to fit into an existing social structure, can cause fear and overwhelm. Much of this can be avoided with a thorough and structured onboarding process. The outcome is that 69% of new hires are more likely to remain with the company if they have been inducted into the company within a structured onboarding program, and managers can focus on work instead of a revolving door of employees.
If you take the time now to create an onboarding process checklist for new hires, you will:
Accelerate a new hire’s assimilation into the organisation, allowing them to contribute and become optimally productive much sooner
Minimise the risk of premature departure
Promote role clarity and key competencies
Positively impact the organisation by engaging and retaining top-performing, enthusiastic, dedicated and satisfied employees.
Let CareerSupport365 design a customised onboarding process for your organisation so you can focus on what you do best and create a thriving team of engaged employees!
Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.