Onboarding is the most essential process for getting your new hires acclimated to your company and prepared to take on the challenges of their new role. A 2017 Gallup survey showed that just 15 percent of workers are engaged in their work — a number that has been exacerbated by the pandemic — 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.
There’s a strong correlation between structured onboarding processes and employee retention. When new hires take part in a structured onboarding process, retention improves by 82 percent and productivity improves by over 70 percent. Onboarding becomes even more important when you factor in that as much as 20 percent of staff turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment.
Streamlining doesn’t equate to skimping on training and other steps, or being like the 35 percent of companies that don’t even have a formal onboarding program. Instead, it means looking for cumbersome or ineffective processes and introducing better strategies.
Here are four easy ways to update your onboarding and make it more efficient.
The right way to streamline
1. Turn to technology
Technological advances have made it easier than ever to improve your processes — including how you hire and onboard your new employees. Automating your onboarding process saves your HR team time, and allows your employees to focus on learning the ropes of your company and their new position.
Rather than inundating new hires with a large stack of human resources forms on day one, managers can use software to send paperwork in advance that can be stored in-system. There are also software applications out there that guide you through onboarding, giving you the ability to quickly track progress. Additionally, you can enlist a platform that fully integrates with your payroll and scheduling software to remove even more friction, making the process run smoothly from beginning to end.
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 the greatest position to know what is and isn’t working at your company.
Create an employee survey covering the entire process, and once an employee has completed onboarding, have them fill out the survey about their experience. Ask if there are areas that need improvement, if they feel equipped to handle their day-to-day responsibilities, and if they see a clear growth path for their career.
Additionally, request feedback from your managers and HR team on where they think improvements can be made on the administrative side of the process. Are there any holes or knowledge gaps? Is there missing information or should more team members be involved? Is there a part of the process that could be more automated?
Find out from those who are in charge of the process. Then, host brainstorming sessions to see how any process kinks can be ironed out and implement the changes with your next round of hires.
3. Set common standards
Onboarding programs should be consistent throughout an organization and each of your new employees — regardless of level. Certain adjustments 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.
The onboarding process should give employees a basic understanding of the company history and culture, provide new hires with a sense of belonging, and of course prepare them for their role. Consider creating a checklist or onboarding application to ensure these elements are achieved and everyone is following the same key steps.
4. Predetermine 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.
Have managers create a 30/60/90 day plan and schedule weekly or bi-weekly chats with their new hires. Managers can use this personalized plan to track employee progress and outline exactly what’s expected of their new team members. This will create an avenue of trust between manager and employee, allow new hires to better understand how they’re performing, and ask any questions that arise during the process.
Because the onboarding process is so important to your employee retention and overall bottom-line, doing it right is of the utmost importance. Streamlining your process will get your employees up to speed faster with fewer hiccups, and save your team a great deal of time. Want to see how Hireology can help you with employee onboarding? Schedule a demo here.