Employee onboarding refers to the process of welcoming and training new employees. This includes setting up their details in the HR system, providing them with security clearances, training them in the company’s policies and the duties, and integrating them into the social life of the company.
Survey after survey shows that effective onboarding is crucial to employee retention and company reputation, but few organizations set up a well-planned, data-based system.
A good onboarding system keeps employees working for their companies—and keeps them working productively. Proper training also saves manager and other employee time by ensuring they don’t have to go back over employee work when they were not properly taught something in the first place.
In contrast, an ineffective or negative onboarding experience can push new hires away, and lead to the organization having a poor reputation among potential new hires and partners.
Naturally, a good onboarding system uses employee data. However, it does not just use new hire data. Surveys and feedback from existing employees about their onboarding experience or what they consider new hires should be taught to do should be considered.
Some organizations also use employee psychological data to pair established employees with new hires so that someone a new employee likely gets along with can show them how to work effectively.
Employee onboarding must also use surveys and business review data from employees. Numerous studies and anonymous forums can tell companies how they can improve new hire training or retention. In fact, companies don’t even need to read their own reviews to take in this information; reviews from competitors can also provide important data about how to attract and keep employees.
Other important data may include services that the company could potentially offer. Many employees surveyed state that they leave or join new companies because they offer better parental leave or skills training. Companies may consider offering industry-relevant skills training throughout the employee lifecycle as an incentive for new hires.
The greatest challenge of employee onboarding, prior to Covid-19, has been changing company focus on onboarding from a single event to an ongoing one. New employees, even months into their new job, are helped by regular check-ups and training. This is particularly true if there is a lot for a new employee to learn.
Lately, of course, companies and employees struggle with lockdowns and remote working. Onboarding new employees when they cannot speak directly to coworkers or managers can be very difficult, especially as they are likely nervous and thus less likely to reach out first when they encounter difficulties. The solution here, once again, is checking in with them regularly.
In the remote age, onboarding employees is still a critical business function. Establishing culture and expectations, coordinating delivery of technology and other tools, and delivering and completing paperwork can’t be skipped.
“Onboarding has been especially difficult for companies that are antiquated in their processes,” said Maria Clyde, SHRM-SCP, director of human resources for BHI
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