Employee onboarding is a process that many companies overlook and don’t make a priority. However, for employees to achieve long-term success and benefit the organization, this process is critical. In fact, according to a Human Capital Institute study, up to 20% of new hires will leave within the first 45 days of their job. When employees receive poor onboarding, they lack the knowledge, organization, and resources to do their job and do it well. Unfortunately, implementing a strong onboarding process isn’t as simple as it sounds. If you find your employees leaving shortly after their first day on the job, ask yourself these questions before bringing on your next hire.
1. Was our employee onboarding period too short?
The Human Capital Institute study found that most companies only onboard and train employees within the first week. New hires are thrown into their responsibilities without receiving enough training to learn all the details of their job. In addition, only 40% of those surveyed said that their onboarding program is actually effective. You want your employee onboarding process to fully train your new hires on the workflow, responsibilities, processes, and policies implemented in your organization.
2. Did we properly welcome our new hires?
Onboarding requires more than just helping new hires understand the workflow, paperwork, and policies of the company. Onboarding is their first employee experience, and first impressions count! This experience should help new hires feel accepted into the work environment and the culture of the workplace.
While it is important that new hires are introduced to all team members on the first day, conduct other activities to make them feel welcome. Set up team lunches or team offsites. Assign employees a mentor to help them through their onboarding period. Don’t forget giving away some branded items like a company hat or t-shirt to welcome them to the team!
3. Did we think filling out paperwork was the same as onboarding?
Many companies believe the bulk of their onboarding process is for new hires to complete all required paperwork and go through orientation. Not true! Onboarding should help employees in their long term performance, not just sign them up for employee benefits. A study by Kronos and the HCI called “New Hire Momentum: Driving the Onboarding Experience” found that the following activities were the most important by HR leaders during the onboarding process:
- Reviewing rules and regulations
- Providing a company overview
- Conducting resource orientation events such as meeting team members and becoming familiar with company technology and internal communication tools.
The problem with the above list is it does not take into account strategies for long term employee engagement and success. Be sure your onboarding process includes future traning needs, peer mentoring and meetings with key stakeholders.
4. Did we check in and get feedback from our new hires?
You can’t expect new hires to understand all the information right away. Give employees ample time to ask questions, provide feedback, and receive clarification on information. According to a 2015 survey, only 39% of those surveyed understood what they were supposed to do after the first day of work. After being on the job for 90 days, only 56.5% of respondents were confident in their jobs and their responsibilities. Conduct regular reviews and get feedback from new hires to give them opportunities to talk to managers and receive additional training. You may also provide written feedback to help employees know where they can improve and how to better meet your expectations.
If you want your new hires to be engaged in their job and become a strong asset to the company, it is vital that you set them up to do so. Be aware of onboarding challenges and work to improve your company’s onboarding processes. You will see a difference in those employees that go through a well thought-out employee onboarding process vs. those that did not receive adequate guidance, training, and support.