It’s not easy being a new hire. Those first few critical months on the job are laced with pressure and anxiety. There are tons of new people to meet, things to learn, and protocols to follow. Then the nerves kick in.
Hey, we’ve all been there.
The pressure’s on for employees, but they’re not alone. Companies have to step up and make the new hire experience as stress-free as possible, too.
Organizations spend a lot of time developing onboarding programs to address concerns like these. Why? Because sky-high turnover rates aren’t a good look. More importantly, effective onboarding can boost employees’ confidence and turn them into productive workers right from the start.
What is employee onboarding, exactly?
In brief, it’s the process of integrating new employees into an organization’s culture.
Wikipedia refers to it as “organizational socialization,” and the Society for Human Resources Development (SHRM) further describes it as the “process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”
New hire onboarding starts after a job candidate becomes an official employee. It ends when the employee is fully settled into his or her role. It’s a structured process that’s designed to set new workers up for success.
What does an employee onboarding process look like?
No two companies are the same. Each one has different goals and objectives that it wants to achieve. Accordingly, the onboarding process varies between different organizations.
However, most employers ask themselves these important questions before starting an onboarding program:
When will it begin and end?
What’s the main takeaway of the onboarding program? What should employees remember from it?
Which aspects of the company's work culture should employees know about on day one?
Which goals should new hires focus on?
Program managers can then appropriate the right staff (usually HR professionals or upper management) and formulate a plan to help new hires familiarize themselves with workplace norms, policies, and procedures. Here’s what that usually looks like:
Prepare all necessary paperwork a couple of weeks before the new hire’s first day (W-2 and W-4 forms, direct deposit forms, non-disclosure agreements, etc.). It’s also important to set up any online accounts and office equipment that he or she will be using.
Create a new hire welcome package. You can send one to the employee before his or her first day or leave it on their desk as a nice surprise. A welcome kit can set the stage for a successful first day. Include a welcome letter, company t-shirts or merchandise, new hire paperwork, and office supplies.
On the big first day, welcome new hires to the office and provide a comprehensive tour. Arrange welcome meetings between them and their managers. Ensure all necessary paperwork is completed. Take new hires out to lunch with the rest of the team. Conduct a meeting and review key details of workplace policies, including benefits and holidays.
Schedule one-on-one meetings and set clear, attainable objectives during the new hire’s first week of employment. Set goals for every 3 months and up to a year. Discuss important projects that s/he will be working on and provide regular feedback. Gain a clearer understanding of the employee's progress by checking in on them regularly. Promptly address any questions or concerns they have.
Continue holding regular 1:1 meetings with the employee throughout the first 3 months of his or her employment. Check in after the first month, then check in again after the 90-day probation period is over.
Tip: Use new hire portals to sidestep tedious paperwork. These online resources include dashboards that help HR teams track, organize, and manage important tasks that need to be completed.
Why is efficient employee onboarding so important?
4% of new hires decide if they’re going to stay with a company after the first day. Around 33% will look for a new job within their first 6 months of employment, and 22% will do the same within the first 45 days. However, the United States Department of Labor reported that 66% of employees are more likely to stay with a business for three years or more if a structured orientation process is in place.
Onboarding is crucial to team development. Research suggests that it’s also the most critical time in an employee's experience at a company. With it, employees know exactly what to do and how to do it. Companies are also much more productive overall (about 54% more).
There’s nothing more stress-inducing than being completely lost and confused at work. Onboarding can help by providing the information new hires need to fulfill their roles. A strong onboarding plan creates a happier, more synergistic work environment as well. Employees build important relationships, understand how their roles align with the company’s vision, and make new friends along the way (that’s really, really important).
Other benefits of onboarding include improved performance, boosted productivity, reduced turnover, more engagement, and more confidence.
Building a world-class onboarding experience? Here’s some free help.
Boosting onboarding efficiency with interactive content
Let’s face it: traditional onboarding is a forgettable experience that most new hires don’t look forward to. Why? Because it’s crammed with paperwork and boring orientation videos.
”This is going to be fun,” said no employee ever.
A strong onboarding program focuses on three things: culture, connection, and content. That last one’s important; without the right content, your onboarding program won’t engage new hires and they might end up second-guessing their decision to stay with the company. Choose an onboarding strategy that’s interactive and participatory instead.
Interactive videos, for example, are powerful storytelling tools that keep employees engaged and improve retention. Build stories around your company’s transformation throughout the years. Spotlight key milestones and employee journeys to facilitate the learning process.
Onboarding can (and should) go mobile, too. “Offering smartphone or tablet access has numerous advantages for your onboarding course,” says eLearning Industry. “It facilitates pre-boarding, as well as off-site training. New hires can continue their orientation at home, during their commute, or even while running work errands.”
Joomag’s digital solutions for training and education
With interactive content, new hires can learn at their own pace. Without it, they’ll have a hard time keeping up with demands and achieving personal goals.
Joomag can help. It’s the all-in-one solution that lets businesses create, distribute, and track interactive content from one platform. Create a comprehensive onboarding document, for example, and add rich layers of interactivity to it. Include videos to break up chunks of text, set the perfect tone with embeddable audio files, or collect important feedback from interactive plugins. There’s so much more we can’t wait to show you, so start your free 14-day trial today!