Onboarding has become a popular process to get new hires acclimated to a company, and for good reason. A recent Gallup survey showed that just 32 percent of workers are engaged in their work, which is a big concern for employers who know that one of the keys to improving employee engagement is making sure new hires get off to a strong start.
The best onboarding programs are well planned and efficient, and have a long-term impact on employee retention.
We’ve found strong correlation between structured onboarding processes and employee retention. When new hires take part in a structured onboarding process, 66% of them are likely to remain with a company for longer than three years. Onboarding becomes even more important when you factor in that 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.
Keep in mind that streamlining doesn’t equate to skimping on training and other steps, or being like the 34 percent of HR managers who told Accountemps they don’t even have a formal orientation program, let alone a longer-term onboarding initiative. Instead, it means looking for cumbersome or ineffective processes and introducing better strategies.
The Right Way to Streamline
Here are four easy ways to update your onboarding and make it more efficient:
1) Turn to technology–Technological advances have made it easier than ever to improve the process. Rather than inundating new hires with a large stack of human resources forms on day one, managers can email paperwork in advance and have it returned with digitized signatures. There are also software applications out there that guide you through onboarding, giving you the ability to quickly track progress.
2) Ask for feedback–Sometimes the best ideas for streamlining come from taking a look at the past. How effective has your onboarding process been historically? Soliciting input from employees and managers can be key. Those in the trenches actually following onboarding practices are in greatest position to know what is and isn’t working at a company.
3) Set common standards–Onboarding programs should be consistent throughout an organization. Certain modifications are obviously necessary based on the unique circumstances in each group–for instance, the onboarding of a marketing professional may have some differences from that of a receptionist–but overall standards should be the same. Consider a checklist or onboarding application to ensure everyone is following the same key steps.
4) Pre-determine training needs–To be efficient, it’s also beneficial to take into account the individual strengths and weaknesses of each new hire. Before employees arrive on their first day, you should have a plan of action in place for the most appropriate training. Managers in charge of hiring should lead the way in determining the necessary needs, since they are most familiar with each new hire’s skill gaps.