The onboarding of new employees can set the tone for engagement, productivity, and whether they stay or go
A big part of the success of a business is its workforce. That’s why recruitment of top talent is a key factor. But once employees have been hired, it’s just as important to keep them — and nearly seven out of 10 workers are more likely to remain with their employer for three years if they were engaged by a robust onboarding experience, according to a survey by the U.S.-based Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so how things go for a new employee in the early stages of their employment can go a long way towards whether they stay for the long term or become just another turnover statistic.
Bringing an employee “on board” to be a valuable part of the team can be done with an impactful onboarding process that introduces company values and norms and helps integrate the new employee into the company culture, says Donna Koop, Executive HR Relationship Manager for ADP Canada — which has published a free guide entitled “The Complete Guide to Employee Onboarding.”
A new employee is going to feel more comfortable if they’re provided with the tools and information they need to do their job, including expectations, responsibilities, and objectives for their role with the company as well as introductions to team members and departments. Koop adds that assigning an approachable, knowledgeable mentor who can guide the employee through the onboarding process, coach them on an ongoing basis, and serve as a company ambassador of sorts will help ensure the new employee’s success.
“Onboarding should not be limited to the HR department,” says Koop. “It involves the new employee’s peers, supervisors, managers, and representatives of various departments of the company.”
In addition to providing a mentor for new employees, Koop’s list of essential tactics for a good onboarding process include:
- a new-hire checklist with clear tasks for the employee and their manager to complete
- a shared onboarding document that plans the onboarding process over time
- a welcome announcement to welcome the new employee and introduce them to team members
- regular check-ins to help ensure that the new employee understands their responsibilities and feels engaged right from the start.
New challenges and opportunities
While making new hires feel engaged and a part of the team quickly has always been important, the rise of the hybrid workplace in the wake of the pandemic has added a new challenge. Koop acknowledges that the pandemic has been a “game changer” affecting many business processes including employee onboarding. However, she believes that it has presented an opportunity for many employers to improve or revamp their onboarding processes, particularly to serve a new group of employees that has entered the equation — remote workers. This will likely result in many employers adopting a hybrid onboarding process customized to individual workers and including both in-person and remote onboarding practices, she says.
The need to adapt onboarding processes to the new reality of many workplaces reflects the important role onboarding plays in engagement and retention of employees.
“An effective onboarding strategy can have a positive impact on the entire organization,” says Koop. “It results in higher engagement and job satisfaction, increased productivity, and a lower stress level for all employees.”
That’s something with which many employers can get on board.
For more information on effective employee onboarding, download a free guide from ADP Canada here.