With the approach of the new year and new budgets, many companies will be bringing new hires onboard. Do you have an onboarding process?
The problem for many organizations, however, is that they commit common mistakes when bringing new employees into the fold. This is often because too many companies relegate the entire process to one or two of staff members. In addition, this process is often quite unstructured.
This approach not only greatly diminishes the experience for the new employee, but it can also set the stage for potential issues down the road. Because this is a process that is often seen as simply a series of forms to filled out for the HR department, it's either grossly disregarded or badly managed, at best.
However, great organizations take a far more intentional and organized approach to onboarding.
Seven Tips for Onboarding Best Practices
An ideal onboarding process actually begins even before you hire your new employee. In practice, this means having the right employee in the first place. Beyond this, there are a number of elements that make up an effective process for bringing new hires on board!
Here are seven best practices for a successful onboarding process:
1. Have a structured and documented recruiting and hiring process
While this might seem fairly basic and even obvious, the fact is that many businesses do not have a documented process. This often results in many new hires that are a poor fit for the position they were hired for, or a poor fit for the culture and values of the company that has hired them.
A lack of a structured process fosters common hiring mistakes such as hiring friends or family, or hiring simply for alleged skill sets. However, a comprehensive recruiting (interviewing and screening) and hiring process will minimize making poor hiring decisions, while helping companies find and keep great employees.
2. Vet your candidates through background checks and/or testing
This practice is part of the larger category of recruiting and hiring. Conducting extensive background checks and using established skill and personality tests should be a mandatory part of your hiring process. Testing can be a highly valuable tool for vetting prospects.
For example, a popular personality evaluations, the Meyers-Briggs test, determines whether the candidates has tendencies toward extroversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. Tests such as this can help make the difference between a great hire and a potential HR issue.
3. Have a structured and documented onboarding process
This approach is similar to having an established recruiting and hiring process. It is essential to develop and use a structured and documented process for onboarding new hires. You need to have a strategic plan for successfully assimilating and integrating your new staff member, otherwise the process will be arbitrary, haphazard and incomplete.
However, with a documented procedure, every manager and employee involved will be able to implement the process the same way each time, every time, with the same results. In addition, a consistent and documented approach allows your organization to monitor and improve the process over time.
4. Introduce and include the employee's new co-workers
While this may be natural for many organizations, it is easy to overlook. When that happens, new hires find themselves having to navigate their own way among their new colleagues. By purposely including fellow co-workers in the onboarding process you will avoid an unintended atmosphere of isolation.
An effective onboarding process focuses on the concerns and comfort of the new hire. This is also a critical period of time when a business can present itself as thoughtful and considerate. Remember that new hires are people in a stressful situation and, because of this, they need to feel welcomed and included.
5. Provide sufficient and complete information
Because communication can be a challenge for many businesses it is often evident in the onboarding process. New employee often require a great deal of information, but too many managers provide only what they feel is necessary for the moment. This often leaves the new employee unable to move forward in their new role confidently.
New hires should be thoroughly familiar, not only their their job functions, but with the layout of the workplace, relevant company wide functions, and even where and when people eat, or socialize as co-workers. Providing too much information is better than unintentionally depriving a new staff member of critical knowledge.
6. Intentionally assimilate the new hire into the company culture
This task is usually left to the new hire and his or her new co-workers. However, it can be a challenge to navigate an unknown environment and, along with the normal stress of starting a new job, this process can be overwhelming.
Every company has a culture and a good company has clear values and a common mission. Unfortunately, in many businesses, assimilation into the company culture is accomplished largely with company gossip and uninformed opinion. A better practice is to intentionally assimilate new employees into your company's culture by focusing on your company's shared values and ideals.
7. Provide lengthy and structured follow-up
Finally, it is important to know that the onboarding process does not end after a few weeks, or even after the first month. In fact, studies have shown that a large proportion of staff turnover happens within the first 45 days. According to one survey, over 50 percent felt their onboarding was done in less than a month, while 46 percent took two to six months for their program.
Part of this long-term onboarding process includes eliciting feedback from new hires. Communicating with your new employee about their onboarding experience doesn't end once they're "up to speed". Feedback is essential for assessing your own onboarding efforts and communicating is essential for the successful transition of the employee.
Your Onboarding Process is a Vital Investment
It's never too late to make improvements to your onboarding process - or creating one! In fact, the new year is also a great time to review your current recruiting and hiring processes with the goal of upgrading and optimizing them before looking for your new hires for 2018.
In addition to a growing and demanding role in recruiting, hiring, and continually training employees, the HR staff is responsible for other functions they are typically tasked with such as payroll management, tax filings, employee records compliance, and so forth.
Considering alternatives such as outsourcing is increasingly becoming a cost-effective and strategic option. Accuchex can help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands.