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December 10, 2015
Human Resources  |  4 min read

3 Ways to Improve Your Employee Onboarding Map

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Christine Marino

Is your employee onboarding out of order? Because the failures of onboarding aren’t immediately apparent, it can take time to find the cracks in the plan. An employee’s first day is always busy with paperwork, training, meeting new people, seeing their new workspace and everything else that comes with a new job. What you may not realize is that onboarding becomes even more confusing with poor planning. With turnover such a high concern for many employers, you don’t want poor onboarding practices to drive new employees away. If your onboarding map isn’t accurate, you may need to find a few new directions to head in.

Ease them in before the first day

The first landmark on your employee onboarding map should be a pre-onboarded employee; don’t wait until your new hire’s already in the door to onboard them. There’s often an anxious waiting period for candidates between accepting the offer and their first day. So why not fill that void with some of the onboarding ahead of time, so their first day is more than just paperwork? Shawn Rogers (@shawnjrogers), Talent Attraction Specialist at Halogen Software, makes a good case for why you should.

“Most companies wait until Day 1 and have the new hire complete the required forms between orientation sessions. Since technology allows us to easily transmit electronic ‘paperwork,’ there is no reason to wait until Day 1 to get the ball rolling on getting these requirements filled out and completed. In the ideal situation, the new hire will have already scanned and emailed all required paperwork prior to Day 1 and can spend that day meeting their new team members and learning about the company…”

Think long-term

Contrary to popular belief, onboarding isn’t just the paperwork you have to file before you’re legally allowed bring on a new teammate. Onboarding is the process of integrating them into the new environment. Employees don’t learn how to do their jobs on their first day In fact, most professionals take more than 26 weeks to reach full productivity.

With that in mind, think of your onboarding not as a sprint to the end of the first week, but as a marathon heading towards great performance. Have a program planned so your new hires start with a manageable workload that develops the skills to tackle more and more work. Set milestones for the first few months and have regular conversations about their productivity. Onboarding is the entire process of combining the legalities of hiring a new employee with the cultural and functional learning.

Hire with retention in mind

Employee onboarding is a big factor in employee retention, so start onboarding with that in mind. According to a recent survey, 73 percent of organizations say the biggest reason they revamp onboarding is to improve their new hires’ performance, retention and loyalty. Many companies know the link between onboarding and retention and are restructuring their onboarding programs in order encourage employees to stay with them longer.

Retaining employees long enough to see a real ROI keeps many employers up at night. This is especially true in a job market that favors employees who make the switch every few years over those who remain loyal. Onboarding is the key to solving this problem. A good first impression is one of the best ways to ensure your employees stick around for the long haul, so its importance can’t be overstated.

With good onboarding, you can get the message across that you’re a great place to work, know how to take care of your employees, and will provide a challenging work environment for your employees for years to come. And with a great start, there’s no reason the journey and the destination can’t both be worth the trip.

 

This article was written by Christine Marino from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

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