According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “Onboarding is the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”
Onboarding takes training and orientation programs to the next level. Unlike a traditional orientation program, onboarding is a systematic process that extends well beyond the first day of employment. The goal of the onboarding process is to cultivate a long-term relationship between the employer and the employee while fostering a feeling of belonging and an affirmation of making the right choice.
Why is Onboarding Important?
Without an onboarding program, employee turnover costs can be devastating to your company. Take a look at these scary turnover statistics:
As much as 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days
Replacing the average employee can cost between $3,000 and $18,000
Half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months
It takes new hires 8-12 months to become as proficient as a tenured employee
Proper onboarding can shorten the timeline for getting new hires up to speed, increase their loyalty and commitment to your company, and improve job satisfaction levels for management staff.
A study published in the Academy of Management Journal found that the first 90 days of employment is a pivotal time period for employees to build rapport with a company, its management and their co-workers. According to a study by the Wynhurst Group, when employees go through structured onboarding, they are 58 percent more likely to remain with the organization after three years. When you share your company’s goals and values with your employees while simultaneously showing them how to do their jobs, everyone benefits.
How Employers Can Incorporate Onboarding
Now is the time to evaluate your existing new-hire training and onboarding program. You may find that it’s easier to start from scratch than to try to update an existing plan that’s outdated or weak. The following five basic considerations will help you lay the foundation for a comprehensive new program:
Pre-board new hires by alleviating any stress that accompanies first-day jitters. Send a welcome letter or email along with essential HR forms, information about the company and any other useful first-day information.
Be realistic about the job description. Companies that are more honest about their job descriptions have 50 percent less turnover than those that aren’t so forthcoming.
Foster the manager/employee relationship from Day 1. Successful employees trust their managers and feel comfortable asking them for guidance. The first day is a good opportunity for managers to meet with their new hires, introduce them to other team members, take them out to lunch and make them feel comfortable.
Consider a mentoring program. Assigning mentors to new hires can be highly advantageous to both parties. New hires know who to contact with questions, and mentors develop confidence and pride in their jobs.
Communicate management expectations early on. It is important for the manager to communicate the department’s goals, as well as how the goals are tracked. This ensures that new hires feel like they are set up for success.
Don’t underestimate the power of technology when developing your onboarding program. Videos, webinars, e-learning programs, survey tools, social networking sites, and mobile-friendly apps are just a few of the emerging technology tools that you should consider, especially when hiring younger workers.
Once you have your program in place, you need to establish a process of continuous evaluation and improvement. If you don’t measure your results and make adjustments accordingly, your new program may not be as successful as it could be. You need to be able to respond to trends in your industry and candidate pool, which requires constant monitoring and evaluation of your onboarding methods.
Benefits of Onboarding
An effective onboarding program provides employers with a solid starting point during which they can communicate their values to their employees and explain why they do what they do. It also helps new hires easily assimilate into company culture. An employee who has gone through a positive onboarding experience helps build a positive reputation for his or her company among talented job seekers.
Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to handle the onboarding of new hires. Create a process that works best for your organization. Contact Thams Agency for additional onboarding information.