It’s common to hear employers say they want new hires to ‘hit the ground running.’ The reality, though, is that even the most experienced professionals need some guidance over their initial months on the job. They may possess the right skills to make an immediate impact, but won’t be familiar with your way of doing business. This makes onboarding programs, which include formal training, mentoring and management meetings, essential.
The Dangers of No Onboarding
Not having an onboarding process puts your company at a disadvantage for the following reasons:
1. It suggests you don’t care
Imagine starting a job to find no one has prepared for your arrival. The receptionist doesn’t know who you are, the workspace isn’t ready and you’re told just to ‘follow Andrea’ on your first day. Even worse, there is no structured training or support in the following months. You’re likely to think the employer is not only disorganized but is also disinterested in your success.
Turnover is greatly affected by the presence or lack of onboarding. According to a survey by the Aberdeen Group, 86 percent of new hires decide to stay or leave a company within their first six months and new employees are 69 percent more likely to stay longer than three years if they experience well-structured onboarding.
2. You fail to generate excitement
Onboarding programs are a great way to build enthusiasm for your company and brand. Starting with the first welcome letter, all the way through the messaging given during training, lets new hires know why your team is special. Onboarding gives you an opportunity to share your vision for the future, as well as share the positive aspects of working for your company. New hires may figure this out on their own over time, but why not spell it out and build excitement?
3. New hires take longer to make an impact
When people aren’t given initial support on the job, they’re left to wing it. What is the right procedure for handling customer complaints? Who knows, so they guess. Plenty of time can be wasted with mistakes, when they could have been avoided with sufficient training and guidance.
4. It’s harder to measure initial job performance
When there’s no onboarding, managers also have less information to work with when evaluating new hires. It’s hard to know if people aren’t meeting expectations because they’re incompetent or simply haven’t had enough training. With formal onboarding, managers can refer to the tracking system that’s in place to see if milestones in the process were met. Managers can provide additional support early on when they recognize problems in meeting those milestones.
5. People are less likely to succeed in the long run
Without onboarding, new hires not only struggle during their initial weeks on the job, but they also won’t have the tools to excel over time. If they haven’t mastered best practices, they won’t be in a position to make a great impact at your company through advancement.
Remember, lax onboarding means lax employees. You can’t expect new hires to make a real impact if you’re not making an impact on them. Use onboarding to your advantage and you’ll be more likely to have a team of motivated, loyal employees.