Congratulations! A qualified candidate that you are very excited to have join your team has accepted your employment offer. Now the onboarding process begins.
Onboarding is the process of introducing the new hire to your company, the team, the role and the corporate culture. You get one opportunity to make a first impression—there are no do-overs. A positive experience, which sets the colleague up for success on day one, starts with the new hire feeling welcome and comfortable. After the first day, the roadmap for colleague success continues by providing training resources and consistent feedback for the new hire.
The result of taking the time to support the new colleague will be a productive, valued and an engaged member of your team. A positive onboarding experience delivers very tangible results. According to a 2013 study from the Aberdeen Group, companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91% of their first-year workers. Conversely, nearly 33% of new hires actively search for a new job within six months when they have a poor onboarding experience, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Here are a few suggestions to create a positive onboarding experience.
The benefits of investing time to properly introduce a new staff member into your department are immediate and substantial. It lays the groundwork for a long and rewarding professional relationship with the manager and ensures the employee has the tools needed for success. If possible, give them an assignment so they can feel like they’re making an immediate contribution.
As training is conducted, incorporate the following:
Analyze data collected and continually assess the impact of the training. Make changes to training and the onboarding process as deemed necessary to provide the greatest benefit to the new hire.
A new hire who is dissatisfied with the onboarding experience may share their displeasure through negative word of mouth in the workplace or on social media, become disengaged with the process and ultimately decide to leave. The negativity could deteriorate employee morale and tarnish your marketplace reputation; potentially affecting productivity and profits. If the new hire was the right fit for the company but became disenchanted during the onboarding process, the risk of the new hire leaving quickly or potential for failure is increased. Consider that 22% of all employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment.
A positive onboarding experience is critical to set the new hire up for success, accelerate the learning curve, initiate engagement, reduce possible turnover and develop leaders of tomorrow. People are the most valuable resource. Providing the best first impression possible will lead to an increase on the return in investment for all involved.
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Remote work means a bigger talent pool. Here’s how to find and keep the people you want. Discover best practices in our eGuide, An SMB’s Guide to Recruiting and Onboarding in a Virtual World.