Why Should I Care About Employee Onboarding?

Posted in People & Culture | by Jiehui Kwa on 23 January 2017

Last updated on 2 November 2018

If you don’t believe that an employee onboarding program is critical to your business, think again. Believe it or not, employee onboarding is linked directly to employee turnover.

 

Employee turnover is expensive. You can estimate that replacing an employee costs 30% to 50% of an entry level salary. That’s money your business is losing every time an employee walks out the door.

 

According to a 2007 study by the Wynhurst Group, employees who go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to stay with a company for three years. These are statistics that your company can’t afford to ignore.

 

 

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding is not training. It’s not sitting your employee down in new hire orientation for four hours while you go about your day. Onboarding is about welcoming your new employee into the organization, getting them acquainted, and starting them off on the right foot.

 

We have all had this experience in our career. You arrive for your first day and the manager you’re supposed to meet is nowhere to be found. Your new teammates have no idea you were starting today and there’s no office space for you, let alone a working computer.  Feeling welcomed yet?

 

If this was the picture on day one, it’s hard to imagine that the next three months will get any better. That’s why an estimated 25% of new hires leave within their first 90 days.

 

If you lose a quarter of your new hires within the first three months, what happens to your productivity, your staff’s productivity and the morale of your organization? They all suffer.

 

 

What Does an Onboarding Program Look Like?  

Don’t let talented people leave because of your employee onboarding program – or lack of. Take the time to add a few simple tasks to your new hire process to help welcome your newest, most valuable asset.

 

 

Before the Start Date

Send A Welcome Letter

Start the onboarding process before your new hire shows up at the door.  Send the new hire a welcoming letter with some details of the job – location, directions, hours of work. Include any information that the new hire will need on the first day of work.

 

Take Care of Paperwork Ahead of Time

Hate to waste time filling out forms? Send all of the new hire forms electronically before the start date. Give the new hire the opportunity to complete them prior to the 1st day, and you won’t have to watch him fill out his name on each and every form.

 

Prepare the Space

Work with your internal team to make sure all of the necessary space, equipment and supplies are set up and available for the 1st day. Don’t wait until the day before (or the day of) to think about the physical requirements for the new hire.

 

 

On the First Day

Adjust the Start Time

This is a hectic day for both you and the new hire. Give yourself some breathing room by having the new hire start 30 minutes after the regular starting time. Don’t make him wait around while everyone settle down and get coffee.

 

Give the Tour

Give the new hire the grand tour of the department and the building. Introduce the new hire to as many people as you can. He won’t remember everyone’s name and title, but everyone will have an opportunity to personally welcome the new team member.

 

Review Policies

This is also a good time to have him look over the employee handbook and policy manual – you know, the big book that’s collecting dust in the office.  Be careful not to overwhelm him with too much policy information, but he can at least start to get an idea of how the organization operates.

 

Assign Tasks

Assign the new hire productive work for the day. Even when you think you can’t throw him into the line of fire immediately, you can ask him to set up his email signature, log onto the company’s intranet site, and start creating necessary software accounts.

 

 

Through the Next 90 Days

Follow up

Onboarding doesn’t stop on day two. Over the next few weeks, make sure your new hire gets regular check-ins from the manager and other leadership. Checking in doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. A few minutes out of every day will go a long way to help the employee get acclimated.

 

Get Feedback

Ask for feedback from the new hire. Find out not only how the employee is doing, but how the company is doing in meeting the new hire’s expectations. Look for clues from the employee on how well they are getting accustomed to the new job.

 

 

The Bottom Line

Don’t let your new hire feel like you forgot that it was his first day. Implement an employee onboarding program that makes your new employees feel welcomed into the new organization. Employees who have a good onboarding experience are more likely to stay with the organization. And if they stay, you won’t have to repeat the onboarding too often. That’s good for business and good for your bottom line.

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