When it comes to distributing time and money in HR, it’s often Recruitment that receives the lion’s share with Training not far behind. The employee experience after recruitment and before development often receives the least attention or is forgotten altogether i.e. successful onboarding of new employees.
This onboarding stage can become a bit of limbo for employees. It’s not surprising then that so many choose to leave their new job within the year or even the first month of employment. Companies that don’t give employees the warm welcome they’re looking for are at risk of turning these new hires into bad hires.
Transitioning new hires to productive employees doesn’t happen overnight, yet many companies treat it as such. Often this means information overload on day one and little to no follow up. While it may seem time-consuming, Onboarding of new employees should be a complete experience for them.
From setting them on their career path armed with everything they need to be successful to integrating them into your company culture, Onboarding new hires need to be a consistent ongoing process that fits seamlessly from recruitment to development.
To start putting the employee at the centre of a successful onboarding experience, take a look at these top tips:
Believe it or not, you can and should start your new employee onboarding process before the first day on the job. With so much else to deal with, handing over all the information an employee might need on their first day is guaranteed to lead to information overload. At best this means they might quickly forget where their break room is, at worst they could end up confused about their goals and responsibilities for their first few weeks. While one of these scenarios is more directly detrimental to employee productivity and therefore your company, both of them could lead to new hires looking elsewhere very early on.
Instead, provide small but regular packs of information to new hires in the time between them signing their contract and starting their first day. This is much easier with an onboarding platform giving employees access to their own portal that they can access at a time and place convenient for them. Focus on basic orientation information at this stage such as maps of the building, names of line managers or team members and other essential but fairly basic information. This will keep employees engaged in the run-up to their first day as well as build confidence. Plus, with the basic information at the fingertips, they’ll be ready to take on the serious work that much faster.
As well as helping you keep employees engaged before their first day and away from the office, an onboarding platform can help you make your onboarding process more efficient. With tools like DocuSign, you can get contracts and other important paperwork exchanged and signed off effortlessly. As well as having obvious efficiency and cost benefits to your business, a paperless experience makes a great impression on employees and makes for a more engaging experience.
A self-service platform can also help to keep new hires informed and give them control over their own onboarding experience. Combined with providing information on training and growth opportunities, a self-service onboarding process can give them the power to choose their own career path right from the beginning.
Successful onboarding of new employees is hugely important but it shouldn’t stand alone. Your employee experience is only as strong as your weakest HR link so while you strengthen your onboarding process you also need to be ensuring it fits seamlessly with your recruitment, development and other HR initiatives. Development, in particular, can be successfully leveraged during the onboarding stage. Learning opportunities is the number one reason employees choose to accept and stay with a company, so making sure they know this is a priority for you as much as it is for them right from the outset.
Use the new employee onboarding process as an opportunity to introduce relevant training courses and other learning opportunities for their job role. These can be standalone training opportunities, for example, compliance training for regulated industries or even soft skills learning as part of an ongoing learning program for their chosen career path. Learning is highly engaging for employees and invests in productivity from day one.
You should also consider connecting them with mentors who can help nurture their talent in a more informal capacity. It gives new hires the opportunity to meet someone relevant to their job role who can not only help them get settled but help them develop into one of your companies top talent.
Communication is vital to the onboarding experience, from communication between your new hire and their line manager to the opportunity to communicate and connect with colleagues from all over the business. Again, a self-service portal could help with this. Internal social networks can help employees reach out to managers, team members and the company as a whole. Keeping employees updated on company news such as team building days and events means they can start participating from day one and can be even more quickly integrated into the company culture.
Looking at metrics such as first-month turnover and first-year turnover can help you assess the success of your onboarding strategy, but remember that you should seek reviews from employees themselves. It’s their experience, so they should be the ones to tell you where your onboarding process hit the mark and where the waters got murky. Employee feedback combined with powerful analytics should help you identify areas for improvement within your onboarding process. Continue to assess and refine over time to improve your onboarding.
Ready to make your new employee onboarding experience better? Find out more about SuccessFactors Onboarding here or contact us today to discover the rest of the SuccessFactors suite and how it could help transform your HR.