7 Best Practices for an Effective Onboarding Process

7 Best Practices for an Effective Onboarding Process
Reading Time: 7 minutes

In today’s highly competitive job market, finding and hiring good talent has become a challenge for the HR department. Hence, it has become crucial to retain and develop loyal employees. As a result, interest has renewed in developing and implementing an effective onboarding process for helping the candidates become accustomed to the company and its culture.

 

With ‘The Great Resignation’, the HR department has intensified its efforts to retain its employees. If you are looking for innovative ways to improve the effectiveness of the onboarding process, follow the seven best practices given in this article.

 

Importance of the Employee Onboarding Process

Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires to the company. It is an essential part of overall employee engagement. It is the candidate’s first experience after becoming a part of the company since it starts even before their first day as an employee. The adage ‘first impression is the best impression’ proves true in the case of onboarding.

 

Let us dig a bit deeper to understand the importance of the new employee onboarding process.

 

Foster Company Culture

With the help of an onboarding process, the new employees can understand and appreciate the company culture better. They would be able to identify with your company’s vision and mission, as well as realise the significance of its values if they have a pleasant onboarding experience.

 

Increased Retention & Loyalty

Since onboarding is the first step of the employee experience, new employees are bound to stay longer with their company if they have an effective onboarding experience. Due to the enhanced perception of the company, the employee would also remain loyal to the organization for longer.

 

Enhance Productivity

During the new employee onboarding process, the employee can realize their actual KPIs and KRAs. Hence, they would be better positioned to undertake their tasks effectively, as expected from their company.

 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Improve Onboarding Process for New Hires

 

Develop Inclusion

An effective onboarding process improves the sense of belonging to the organization. It helps them ease into their new position, reduce their anxiety, and enhance their feeling of inclusivity within the company.

 

Attract Talent

In the modern digital landscape, employees can directly influence a company’s employer branding. Hence, you must provide the best onboarding experience to your new employees as they would share the same on company review platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, etc.

 

Key Factors of Effective Onboarding Process Flow

There are several factors that affect the onboarding experience. Some of the key factors that contribute to an effective employee onboarding process are:

 

Clarity of Goals

Setting a clear goal for onboarding is crucial for implementing an effective onboarding process flow. It helps you set specific goals that ensure a good experience for the new hire while they join your organization.

 

For example, consider that a company is trying to expand into a new region. In this scenario, the company’s onboarding tactics should also include some region-specific sections to appeal to the local candidates. It helps them connect with their new company on a subtle level that is impossible to accomplish with a generic employee onboarding process.

 

Flexibility

Flexibility is a crucial factor in deciding the effectiveness of the onboarding process. With the recent pandemic, companies have realized the importance of remote onboarding. Hence, they have started implementing onboarding programs that your new hire can undertake at their convenience.

 

Such flexibility in the onboarding process ensures that the program is successful since the employee would be eager to understand their new company better. Additionally, the added convenience of completing the employee onboarding process at their location and at their chosen time ensures that the onboarding is highly effective.

 

Patience

The training period is a duration for the new hires to make mistakes. It might even lead to losses in some cases. However, one needs to be patient with them and understand that making mistakes is a part of the process. The new hires are still getting used to their new company and their daily roles and responsibilities.

 

As a result, the companies should have enough patience to understand that they are taking their first steps to become adept at their jobs. The companies should also ensure an environment of mutual growth to help the new employees feel that they are being taken care of. It would enable them to concentrate harder on their work and learn the processes faster.

 

No surprises for the new hire

Another critical aspect of a great onboarding experience is to minimize surprises. One should ensure that the new hires are being provided with every bit of information that would help them become better employees of the company. The new employees would be better equipped to handle their onboarding and documentation duties effectively with correct information.

 

It is difficult for any individual to walk into a situation outside of their comfort zone. When an employee joins a new company, they are also out of their comfort zone in a completely new environment. Hence, the company should not surprise them with any further information that might startle them.

 

Resources

When helping the new hires orient with the company, you should provide all the necessary resources to help them understand and appreciate the company culture. A new employee would not have any clue about the company’s rules and policies. Hence, they should be provided with the links and materials that would help them understand their new company better.

 

The new hires can also be provided with videos or interactive sessions to ensure they are engaged with their onboarding duties. They will be interested in knowing their company if their sessions are conducted interactively. It will even help retain them for longer.

 

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Best Practices for Effective Onboarding

Since we have gained a robust understanding of the importance of onboarding and learnt the key factors that result in a practical onboarding experience, let us look at seven best practices that ensure it.

 

Studies have shown that a bad onboarding experience results in the workers leaving their organization within a year as they are unable to cope with the daily demands of their jobs.

 

Had these employees undergone an effective onboarding program, they would have been better equipped to handle the daily tasks of their job role.

 

Hence, it is imperative to provide a good onboarding experience and good training for retaining good talent in your organization. These techniques ensure the smooth induction of the employee into the company. Let us understand the seven best practices for effective onboarding.

 

1. Pre-boarding Sessions

A practical onboarding session begins even before the employee’s onboarding! Your onboarding efforts should start from the day your employee receive their offer letter. Many HR personnel make the mistake of not contacting the employee during this period. As a result, it sends a wrong message to the candidate that you are not interested in gaining a new employee.

 

Hence, your employee must be kept warm during this crucial period. You could send emails informing them of the updates concerning their designation. You may also provide an overview of the company in these emails.

 

You may even set up the online onboarding portal and provide the new hires access to it to ensure that they engage with the company before their onboarding. Such engagement will lead to a desirable long-term relationship with the company.

 

2. ‘Wow’ Factor

It is imperative to create a ‘wow’ factor in anything you do to create a lasting impression. The same is true with onboarding candidates. It would be best if you showed them a special appreciation for joining your organization, and sending a care package will not gain you any brownie points as it has become the norm nowadays.

 

On the other hand, you can develop innovative ways to make the new hire feel special by providing them with a pre-set-up desk, having a team lunch with them, or even sending out an email blast with their details and welcoming them into the organization.

 

Additionally, you may even make a welcome call to ensure that the new hire is as eager to start working at your organization as you are to welcome them.

 

3. Buddy Mentor

For a seasoned HR reading this article, this might seem like a no-brainer. However, seeing a new employee paired up with a seasoned employee is still a rarity. Having an ‘office buddy’ to turn to will help the new hire alleviate any awkwardness they might feel in clearing their doubts with their manager.

 

By assigning a ‘buddy mentor’, you are showing the employee that you are ready to invest time in helping them adjust to their new role and the associated responsibilities. One should also ensure that this buddy is not the direct manager since the employee may not be comfortable sharing their concerns with their immediate supervisor.

 

4. Paperless Onboarding

When we refer to ‘paperless onboarding’, we mean that the employee should not be tasked with filling the same old forms again. Instead, modern companies should leverage the power of technology to auto-fill the data from the candidate’s details and resume. The new joiner can fill in the remaining information within one week or a month.

 

Spreading out the paperwork over some time is an excellent strategy as it prevents the new joiner from feeling overwhelmed with all the paperwork. You can also use a dedicated onboarding application to ensure that the candidate can fill in the details at their convenience.

 

5. Regular Feedback

It is known that regular feedback enhances a process eventually, and the same applies to onboarding efforts. You can have regular ‘check-ins’ with the newly appointed teammates to develop a relationship with them and understand their feedback on their onboarding experience.

 

With the help of onboarding software, you can also have surveys, which would let the new employee provide honest feedback anonymously. Additionally, they would also be observing the changes in the onboarding efforts and understand that their feedback was responsible for making the changes happen. It would improve their perception of the company, thereby helping you retain loyal employees.

 

6. Diversified Onboarding

An onboarding process should be tailored to each designation instead of the current industry practice of having a standard onboarding program. Diversified onboarding helps the candidates appreciate their company better since they view their new organization from a tailored perspective.

 

On the other hand, one need not deviate much from the standard onboarding practice to ensure that the onboarding process is diverse as per the roles and responsibilities. Additionally, you can customize the onboarding program based on several other factors for added advantage.

 

These factors could include whether the employee is hired internally, working remotely, whether they are at different locations, etc.

 

7. Team-bonding

The key to having good retention rates is team bonding. Hence, it is essential to build long-lasting relationships among team members with regular team-building activities. You may even introduce your senior management and CEO to the new employee to break down the invisible barriers between the teams.

 

While the candidate is undergoing your onboarding process, you can have introductory meetings to help them get acquainted with their teammates. Additionally, you can host a team lunch to create an informal environment for the new employee to know their team members.

 

Conclusion

These seven practices ensure that your onboarding process is effective. Having an effective onboarding process also helps retain loyal and talented employees who would eventually prove an asset to your company.

 

You would have realized by now that it is not a single technique but an array of strategies that help you plan and implement a successful onboarding process that provides the new hires with a ‘wow’ experience and helps the company retain them for longer.

 

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