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How to Uplevel Your Onboarding

Onboarding – not to be confused with “orientation” – is the process by which new hires acclimate to your organization through its structure, culture, vision, mission, and values. The onboarding process can vary across companies from one or two days to one month or longer.

Onboarding plays an integral role in positive employee experiences, as well as high engagement and retention rates.

  • A majority of employers (93%) believe that the onboarding experience plays a critical role in an employees’ choice to remain with the organization.
  • Newly-hired employees only operate at one-quarter of complete productivity potential in the first 30 days of employment and need anywhere from eight to 12 months to become as adept as established colleagues.
  • A strong onboarding program can produce 82% higher retention rates. It also increases productivity by 70%.

With those numbers, it is imperative to develop a well-thought-out onboarding process that includes the expectation that new hires should not be contributing to their full potential within the first few weeks.

Instead, focus on these three tips to uplevel your onboarding process.

Three Tips to Uplevel Your Onboarding

1. Company Culture Is Paramount

The first step in creating a company culture is being open to change, especially processes that don’t work.

But did you know that more than half of companies do not have a way to measure their onboarding’s success? And roughly two-thirds of companies do not include leadership in the onboarding experience.
So how can a business improve and develop a successful onboarding process if leadership isn’t involved and there’s no way of measuring and analyzing what works and what doesn’t?

Onboarding is all about understanding the organizational goals and mission. Without leadership input and a means for employees to provide feedback, your onboarding process will likely fail.

Set yourself up for success by asking for leadership participation in planning and executing onboarding processes. Add a platform for feedback and review what went well, what could be improved, and any additional resources you might need to support a stronger onboarding experience.

2. Onboarding Starts Before Day One

Most organizations believe onboarding starts on day one for the new employee. That is a myth. Onboarding needs to start before day one.

Pre-board your new team member between the time they accept their offer and their first day. This can include:

  • Assigning an onboarding buddy to your new hire to guide them through their first 30 days.
  • Sending them informational documents and links to explore the company’s culture, processes, and policies.
  • Providing your social media handles so the new hire can follow, add connections, and get to know the company as a whole.
  • Setting up a lunch (virtual or in-person) on their first day and one-on-one meetings with individual team members so they can get to know each other.
  • Creating checkpoints throughout the process to ensure your new hire isn’t feeling overwhelmed, unwelcomed, or doubting their choice to join your organization.

Top organizations are more likely to interact with new hires before day one than their competitors. Join the best of the best businesses by engaging your new hires as soon as they accept your offer.

3. Virtual Onboarding Is the Future

Though many organizations have shifted to remote onboarding, 37% identified it as a top challenge.

Onboarding itself can be challenging, but limited face-to-face interactions and distance learning can add a layer of complexity to the process. That’s why the most important step in successful virtual onboarding is investing in the right tools.

Robust software that simplifies onboarding through interactive, user-friendly systems can ensure remote employees receive the same quality onboarding experience as in-person workers. Automating tasks is one great way technology can simplify and streamline the onboarding process. Automation can result in 18% improvement in initial performance and 16% increase in new hire retention rates.

In addition to obtaining reliable technology to support onboarding, it is important to establish expectations both from an organizational standpoint and the employees’ perspective. Setting explicit expectations from the beginning can help clear the air about how employees will be evaluated, which work products the company places the highest value on, and ensure your remote employees reach the same level of success as in-person workers.

Lastly, create opportunities for remote employees to interact and bond with your team. Almost half of employees (41%) do not feel connected to peers when working remotely. For example, implements monthly or semi-monthly start dates so that new employees are grouped together to feel connected with peers across the organization. Don’t let your new hire feel so far away: help remote employees feel connected.

Onboarding doesn’t have to be as complex or overwhelming as it seems. Read Namely’s guide on How to Uplevel Your Onboarding in 2023 for our lessons learned from 2022, trends for the new year, and setting your employees up for greater success.

Source: HR Chief

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