Evaluating Your Business's Onboarding Process for New Hires
According to LinkedIn, after a horrible first day, 4 percent of new hires leave a job and 22 percent of turnovers occur within the first 45 days. By their estimation, this costs a company at least three times the former employee’s salary. Statistics like these are driving companies to go from simple, new-hire orientations to a more comprehensive approach of onboarding.
“Onboarding plans are intended to make new employees familiar with the overall goals of a company and support them as they embark on early projects all in an effort to achieve the perception of success and productivity quickly,” say inc.com writer Peter Vanden Bos. “The ultimate payoff is to reduce turnover and encourage workers to stay with an organization for a longer tenure.”
Forbes Coaches Council agrees. In the publication’s Community Voice blog the council states: “Truly welcoming a new staff member to your organization requires more than a brief orientation and a copy of the employee handbook. To be effective, you need to get creative with your onboarding process and find ways to speak to the new hire as an individual and as a new member of the larger team.”
Vanden Bos says a new hire plan should begin earlier in the hiring process than you might guess. “Think onboarding begins on an employee’s first day?”, he asks. “Wrong. A successful onboarding program actually begins during the recruitment and hiring process.”
He says in many ways your organization’s website starts the new hire process. Does it give the job candidate a clear understanding of your mission and goals … of what you do? Can you get a feel for the company’s culture? Does your website branding match the brand you project in your office space?
A comprehensive onboarding process takes planning. In fact, an important component is an onboarding checklist showing everything that needs to be accomplished before, during and after a job candidate is hired. Assign a staff member’s name to every step so that your team knows who is responsible for what portion of the plan.
Although you’ll want to tailor your onboarding checklist to your particular company’s culture, here are a few general ideas to consider:
Make sure the new employee’s work area is ready
Nothing is less welcoming than seeing your new workspace, but wait … do I get a chair? A pen? Maybe an employee phone extension list? Maybe a phone? A new hire’s work area should have all the basic office needs and a welcome card. Think about adding a little plant or a cupcake as a personable touch.
Gather together important cultural items
In addition to items like an employee handbook and a map of your organization’s layout, create a welcome packet that helps the new hire get a feel for your culture; some company swag, a calendar showing fun employee events or a t-shirt sporting your company logo.
Illustrate what you do
It’s one thing to know what your company makes or the service it provides; it’s another to understand how your product or service impacts a family, a community or even another industry. Knowing the ultimate goal provides a sense of pride to an employee no matter the position.
Provide a mentor or support group
Sometimes a week or two after a new employee is on the job, he or she may have questions but may feel uncomfortable going to a supervisor or co-worker. A mentor from another department can quickly build a relationship with the new hire giving him or her much-needed support along the way.
These are just a few ideas for your plan. To get started with an onboarding plan right away, check out LinkedIn’s Onboarding in a Box, a complete guide to the new hire process.