Your employees are your most valuable assets and should be your greatest investment. Unfortunately, too many organizations give little thought or effort to the effective onboarding of new hires.
Statistics have shown that the quality and depth of the new hire onboarding experience has a direct correlation to both employee loyalty and performance. From a purely financial perspective, this means higher employee retention rates along with lower acquisition costs, and a stronger ROI from employee productivity.
In fact, according to the HR professional society SHRM.org,
Beyond the short-term issues related to employees’ initial adjustments, many long-term outcomes of onboarding affect a firm’s bottom line. When surveyed, organizations perceive effective onboarding as improving retention rates, time to productivity and overall customer satisfaction.
For employees, long-term outcomes of good onboarding include job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
New employee onboarding, when done correctly, it can lead to greater job satisfaction lower turnover, higher performance levels, and lowered stress.
Onboarding Should Be a Priority
SHRM also noted that onboarding is an overlooked or underutilized opportunity for most companies. This was determined by a recent study conducted by Kronos Inc., a workforce management technology provider, and the Human Capital Institute (HCI), a talent management association based in Cincinnati.
SHRM pointed out that,
The survey of 350 HR leaders in the U.S. found that organizations are not effectively onboarding their new hires at 76 percent of respondents' workplaces. Slightly less than half (47 percent) said their onboarding program successfully retains new hires. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said that they have no onboarding program at all.
According to many staffing and HR experts the onboarding of new hires should be conducted and planned as a strategic process that lasts at least 6 to 12 months. This is because how employers manage the first few days and months of a new employee's experience is critical to ensuring high retention.
While this may seem a bit excessive for some smaller businesses, the ideal approach is the longer the better. But, the reality is that too many businesses invest far too little time with onboarding in general, or not at all.
Be Clear With Onboarding Best Practices
While the specifics will differ for every business best practices for new employee onboarding can vastly improve and optimize your overall process. Here are effective onboarding tactics employers can benefit from:
Have a Documented Recruiting and Hiring Process Structure
All successful hires begin before they are hired. Unfortunately, many businesses are lacking in this operational area with the result that far too many new hires are already a poor fit for the position they were hired to fill. In addition, they are often a poor fit for the culture and values of the company.
Common hiring mistakes include hiring on initial impressions, and hiring strictly based on alleged skill sets. A comprehensive recruiting, interviewing and screening, and hiring process will minimize the prospects of poor hires and maximize the potential for finding and keeping superb employees.
Qualify Candidates Through Background Checks and Testing.
This should be a standard component of an effective recruiting and hiring process. Extensive background checks and established skill tests and personality tests should be considered a mandatory step in your hiring process.
One of the most popular personality evaluations, the Meyers-Briggs test, can determine whether a candidate has tendencies toward extroversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. Tests such as these can help you decide between a good hire or a potential HR issue.
Have a Structured and Documented Onboarding Process
Just like your recruiting and hiring process, you need to have a structured and documented process for onboarding new hires, as well. Having a strategic plan for successfully assimilating and integrating your new staff member will prevent the process from being arbitrary, haphazard and incomplete.
With documented procedures, every manager and employee involved will be able to carry out this essential process the same way each time, every time, with the same results. Having a consistent and documented approach will also allow an organization to monitor and improve the process over time.
Include the New Employee's Co-Workers
Unfortunately, many new hires find themselves navigating their own way among their new colleagues. By failing to include fellow co-workers in the onboarding process, employers can reinforce an unintended atmosphere of isolation.
Keep in mind that effective onboarding centers on the needs of the new hire. This critical period is where a business can take measures that are thoughtful and personable. New hires are people, and as such they need to feel welcome and included.
Provide Sufficient or Complete Information
Communication is often a challenge for most businesses, and especially during the onboarding process. New employees require a great deal of information, but too many managers only provide what they think is necessary for the moment.
New employees should be thoroughly familiarized with not only their job functions, but with the layout of the workplace, relevant company wide functions, including non-work topics such as where and when people eat, or socialize as co-workers. Better to provide too much information than to leave a new staff member without critical knowledge.
Intentionally Assimilate the New Hire into Your Company Culture
While this is often left to the new hires and their new co-workers, the challenge of an new environment combined with the normal stress of starting a new job can be overwhelming.
In addition, depending on the msyitr of your company's culture, much of the assimilation provided by fellow employees may consist largely of gossip and uninformed opinion. Intentionally assimilating a new employee into your organization's culture also means knowing what that culture is. A great place to start is by focusing on your company's shared values and ideals.
Provide Follow-Up After the Initial Onboarding Process
Remember that the onboarding process does not end after a few days or weeks, or even after the first month. Studies have shown that a large proportion of staff turnover happen within the first 45 days.
For this reason, a structured process for eliciting feedback from your new employees is critical. 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.
Employee Onboarding is an Investment in Your Business
If you feel your onboarding process is lacking, it's not too late to begin making adjustments or improvements. Now is a perfect time to review your recruiting and hiring processes with the goal of upgrading and optimizing them before looking for your new hires.
In addition to the demanding role in recruiting, hiring, and continually training employees, your HR staff is responsible for other functions 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. Get your Free Download: Payroll Outsourcing Guide to help you make an informed decision or call Accuchex Payroll Management Services at 877-422-2824.