When most companies think about new hires, they think about paperwork and being ready for the employee’s first day - better known as orientation. Sure, new hires will need to know about their benefits and the company safety regulations; however, we want to talk about onboarding. It goes deeper, beyond all the paperwork. And it certainly doesn’t last a single day or even a week. Onboarding is about your culture, your people and what makes your organization great. Without properly onboarding your new hires, the cost of turnover can damage your bottom line.
Successful onboarding programs stretch out across the new employees’ first year. That’s right, we believe you need to have a vested interest in the employee from day through year one and beyond. With 22% of staff turnover happening within the first 45 days of employment, that’s a short period of time to for you to show a new employee they're valued and important to the organization. How you handle the first day and coming months tells them just how much you appreciate your employees.
Onboarding is also about celebrating and recognizing your new employee. Best practices include using celebratory emails and monthly check-ins along the way to ensure new employees stay on track and engaged. If employees feel they are thriving in your organization, they will be less likely to leave your organization.
These simple actions reinforce the value you place on employees and can help with improving employee performance. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity. And, of those companies, the ones with the longest onboarding programs gain full employee proficiency 34% faster than those with shorter programs, a difference of 4 months!
Often overlooked yet equally important in the onboarding process is building work relationships. Plan time for social connections early on and give the new employee opportunities to meet, socialize and build a support network with other colleagues. Strong onboarding programs help new employees engage with others and understand how their roles work together. When 70% of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy work life, office partnerships can have a positive impact on productivity and overall satisfaction.
Integrating a new employee should start the day the person accepts the job offer, not their first day on the job. An effective onboarding program builds a solid base for your new employees’ career while keeping them motivated and engaged. Your new hires will applaud you for setting them up on the path to success, and your organization will be on its way to growing those recruits into seasoned employees.