Onboarding, or the process of new employee orientation and mainstreaming, is often a dry affair consisting of paperwork and a few hours of training on company policies and job-specific instructions. Not only is this type of onboarding relatively boring for the employee, it fails to make use of some important opportunities, namely making a positive first impression about the company and making the new employee feel welcome.
Your company can create an onboarding experience that sets a positive tone for new employees. Improved onboarding also leads to better overall retention as employees develop a positive outlook on both the company and the job.
Preparation Lessens Frustration
Onboarding can be overwhelming for new employees, who may feel like they are expected to learn and remember everything from detailed corporate policies to the names of all their new co-workers, all while mastering new job responsibilities. Companies can make this much easier on employees and lessen the stress and frustration many feel, by making this information available on the company intranet so that new employees can access it before the first day and refer back to it as needed.
Similarly, spending time organizing position-related onboarding into a step-by-step process will help new employees acclimate to the new responsibilities better than piling a lot of information on them and expecting them to sort it out into something that makes sense.
The Inside Track
All companies have particulars that are well known to employees who have been at the company for a while, but these may confuse new employees who don't have the same inside knowledge. HR professionals can do new employees a great service by letting them know about aspects of company culture like casual Friday, the company softball league, and other insider information right away, rather than letting them discover these things on their own.
Within the department or position itself, letting new employees know the particulars of how things are done will also help the transition from "outsider" to "insider." There are always nuances about meeting etiquette, job procedures and scheduling that those inside know but a new employee does not. Appointing a mentor to a new employee is a good way to get them up to speed on these nuances.
Another way for new employees to get "inside" faster is to arrange a welcome event or at least a few strategic coffee breaks designed to introduce the new employee to key colleagues and help them break the ice. If a new employee continues to feel like an outsider after the onboarding process, they are far less likely to stay with your company for a long period.
An effective onboarding process takes some time and preparation, but can significantly improve the productivity and retention of new employees. New employees will be more likely to develop a positive conception of the company if onboarding is simple, interesting and includes valuable information that they need to know. GDH Consulting is a top staffing services company that can help you find the talent you need for your organization's growth and productivity. Contact us for more information about how we can help you find the right people at the right time for your needs.