How effective is your onboarding process?
If you’re not sure, then you may fall into the 36 percent of businesses that don’t have a formal, new employee onboarding process in place. Or maybe you’ve put together a simple onboarding process that involves the basics: signing HR and benefits paperwork, assigning technology and desk space, and putting new hires to sleep with dull presentations about company culture.
To attract, engage and retain top talent, you need an onboarding program that is on-going.
In most companies, the onboarding process is limited to one to 90 days, a time often called the “honeymoon period.” But what happens when the honeymoon is over? According to a study conducted by Careerbuilders, companies without a structure onboarding process are seeing a negative impact on the company. This resulting in lower productivity, higher inefficiencies, more employee turnover, lower employee morale, decrease level of employee engagement, less confidence among employees, lack of trust within the organization and revenue targets aren’t met. Of the employees who choose to stay, they are typically less engaged—increasing the chance that their presence will negatively affect morale, productivity, and culture.
Top-performing companies recognize the value of engaging employees well before and beyond their first day of employment.
You’ve already invested time, money and resources in sourcing, interviewing, vetting, and hiring candidates—probably as much as twice the employee’s annual salary. It makes sense to design a comprehensive onboarding program to get people engaged and motivated to perform well. The faster new hires successfully transition to their new roles, the faster they are able to hit their quotas, make a direct impact on the business, and contribute to the bottom line.
What does a successful new hire look like in six months? 12 months? You should know the answer before you begin recruiting for open positions.
Set a strong foundation with pre-boarding
Most companies think onboarding begins on the first day of employment, but in reality, the process begins with the first interview. That first touch-point is an opportunity for employee-employer expectations to align. Alignment happens when companies are clear about the competencies that are needed for an employee to be successful.
“Always start with what ‘good’ looks like [in an employee],” advises Chief Strategy Officer Jim Ninivaggi of Strategy to Revenue, “Know the competencies that you will hire, train, and develop.” Ninivaggi suggests creating a competency map that outlines what employees need to do, know and think to be successful in phases—on day one, in the first month, the first quarter, the first year and beyond.
Pre-boarding isn’t only about employee competencies. It’s also about communicating your company’s employer brand—a unique combination of your culture, mission and values expressed in a way that emotionally connects candidates and employees to your corporate identity. In this way, pre-boarding becomes a way to stand out, differentiate and engage before day one.
Make onboarding a priority by being strategic about how you interact with employees—communicating your value as an employer and aligning expectations—before their first day.
Did you know?
Job descriptions are part of your onboarding toolkit. Be sure your job descriptions are comprehensive and engaging. Don’t simply offer a mundane list of responsibilities. Rather, describe the activities and initiatives the new hire will be participating in, along with a glimpse into your corporate culture.