An effective onboarding program sets the foundation for a successful employee experience. Some companies may think that a short onboarding period is more productive. However, for an onboarding program to truly be useful, it should span throughout the first year of employment.Â An effective onboarding strategy will reduce burnout and increase employee engagement, both of which will impact not only employee retention but also customer satisfaction, which are crucial to a successful bottom line. So, how do you begin to build an onboarding program that will achieve these goals? Matt Thomas, president, WorkSmart Systems, answers this question.
An effective onboarding program will go a long way in ensuring a new hire starts on the right foot. From the nitty-gritty processes, such as filling out paperwork and registering for a new email address to the in-depth training sessions, a strong onboarding program has the potential to set up an employee for success if done correctly. This includes utilizing the right tools, tapping into existing resources and being overall sympathetic to the stress of starting in a new position. Luckily, there are plenty of ways companies can build out strong programs for their new employees.
Below are three ways companies can create strong, lasting onboarding programs for their HR professionals and their employees.
1. Give Employees a Low-Stress Environment To Learn Company Processes
The ultimate goal of an onboarding program is to give new employees the time and space to adjust to their roles at the company. Onboarding serves as a training ground, providing new hires with the best resources needed to succeed in their new position. If a company opts to skip onboarding and throw the new hire right into the mix, they risk the employee becoming overwhelmed and disorganized, feeling as if they are sinking with no lifeline. Onboarding gives employees the opportunity to learn how to meet the expectations of the company and properly function in their roles. Onboarding also encourages new employees to prioritize productivity from day one. It’s been shown that companies with a strong onboarding process improve new hire productivity by over 70%Opens a new window .
Create agendas for the first few days to give new hires an idea of what to expect moving forward. Not only will this help them feel more structured, but it will also provide them an opportunity to ask questions based on the tasks laid out within the agendas. Giving employees an idea of what to expect in the day-to-day role is a great way to set clear expectations and set up the new hire for success. Consider implementing online programs such as Talent LMS or Docebo to automate training courses, which employees can view at their own pace. This offers a way to learn company procedures without having to attend time-consuming training sessions.
2. Consider Streamlining Processes Through Technology
Onboarding creates a hefty workload for both HR professionals and new employees alike. The average HR team spends around 130 hours a month managing onboarding processes. However, by utilizing modern HR technology, teams can significantly cut back the amount of time filing paperwork and focus on acclimating the employee into their position.
From scanning submitted resumes to generating an offer letter, automated HR technology streamlines time-consuming processes. They also make the onboarding timeline easier for the employee, who, instead of worrying about providing a voided check, can now upload a photo that includes the necessary information in its place. Not only that, but HR technology is often safer than traditional onboarding strategies. Filling out digital paperwork is much more secure than trading a packet of sensitive documents back and forth.
3. Create a Feeling of Connection to the Company and Each Other
It’s proven that employees who feel a connection to their companies’ values are more productive, contributive, and often stay for longerOpens a new window than those who lack feeling toward the purpose of the work they’re doing. A greater reason for a robust onboarding process is to introduce new hires to company culture and give them a chance to find a place for themselves amongst the hustle and bustle of starting a new job.
Dedicated onboarding allows for the growth of connections between a new employee and the team. Most HR professionals recognize the fear that comes with starting in a new position, so be sure to provide an opportunity for a new employee to engage with others to reduce employee anxietyOpens a new window . There are plenty of tech tools available to connect employees. Implement a messaging system, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, so that teammates can reach each other easily. Schedule a time to play games together online or bring in a guest speaker over Zoom.
All in all, a strong onboarding experience can set the tone for the experience a new employee will have while with the company. Prioritizing learning, asking questions and getting to know teammates goes a long way in showing a new hire that the company cares about their wellbeing and wants them to have a positive experience. With strategic planning, useful HR technology and an adaptable approach, organizations can effectively onboard new hires to result in productive employees who feel comfortable contributing to the overall success of the company.