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What is onboarding?



What is onboarding?


Onboarding is the process of bringing a new employee into an organization. You might occasionally hear it referred to as organizational socialisation.

Onboarding is more than completing paperwork, telling new employees where their desk is and their manager – that’s employee orientation. Onboarding is a series of activities that can last anywhere from a few weeks up to a couple of years and helps employee retention by pushing new hires become more productive.

Onboarding is conducted so new employees feel welcomed, appreciated, and part of the team. The onboarding program also provides opportunities for newcomers to learn about both the organization's history and its future goals.

Although, onboarding is often thought of as an “administrative” process that ensures compliance with federal/state requirements related to the employment relationship. The employee onboarding process also plays a crucial role in employee retention by helping new hires build connections within the organization, form important relationships and create mentors.


Why is onboarding important?


Onboarding plays an important role in helping you integrate new hires into your organization. More than just teaching employees what’s involved in their new roles, onboarding plays an essential part in communicating your company culture and establishing the norms and behaviors you expect new employees to respect.

Onboarding is intended to combine the new hires’ cultural knowledge with the company’s values. Onboarding programs provide employees with an understanding of how their individual role fits into the organization's overall mission and goals for success. The onboarding experience also creates feelings of belonging among new hires, which can help reduce attrition rates and improve employee satisfaction.

An effective onboarding process helps to set new employees up for success and continues to be a valuable tool during the first six months on the job – a period often marked by high attrition rates. A strong onboarding process is also an essential part of your new hire's induction, which includes formal orientation and general information about the company.

Effective onboarding has been shown to improve employee retention. But according to Gallup, only 12% of employees believe their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees. In fact, the SHRM found that employee turnover can be as much as 50% during the first 18 months of employment – proof of the importance of a good onboarding.

Onboarding increases job satisfaction; reduces stress that inevitably accompanies the transition into a new role; creates more outstanding organizational commitment; helps develop strong relationships with co-workers, and minimizes relationships with negative stakeholders. It helps new employees establish a sense of purpose, build confidence in their abilities, learn about shared organizational goals, and understand their new job expectations.


What is the goal of a good onboarding?


A good employee onboarding process will help new hires settle into their new working lives comfortably and confidently. Onboardings are important in their ability to affect job satisfaction, increase productivity and reduce turnover. Incredibly, it can take up to two years for a new hire to reach full productivity. Good onboarding will help employees get to maximum productivity as quickly as possible.

An onboarding program can influence an employee’s overall job satisfaction by creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment. The onboarding experience is about more than just getting a new hire into the office: it’s also about making them feel valued and appreciated.


What are the steps to a good Onboarding?


Onboarding is an ongoing process - not just something that happens during the first couple of weeks of employment. Onboarding should be built into each stage of your new hires' first year with you. On top of this, there are some integral parts to every onboarding program.

The new employee orientation process is the first step in providing new employees with information on company policies, procedures, and benefits. Onboarding can also be considered a type of orientation that provides more specific information about the company's history, operations, future goals, and general information about what to expect from their job. Onboarding should include a welcome to the new team member from a company leader, a facility tour, and a benefits review.

The employee onboarding should also include communications from both the hiring managers as well as other members of management. Onboardings can be conducted in person or virtually by using phone calls, webinars, or email correspondence. It's designed to make new employees feel welcomed, so as a human resources manager be sure to include ample opportunities for questions and feedback throughout all parts of the onboarding process.

An effective employee onboarding provides a crucial link between new hires and the company culture that shapes their day-to-day work activities. Moreover, onboarding helps employees acclimate to an organization’s work environment by providing training, tools, and guidance. Onboarding is not just about learning how to do the job itself; it's also about learning about the company culture and how the new hire can be a part of it.

The onboarding experience helps new hires feel more confident about their abilities, establishes camaraderie among co-workers and increases feelings of purpose.


Examples of onboarding best practice


Here are some ways to implement a high-quality onboarding:


Stay in touch with your new hire

Remember that onboarding begins before a new hire’s first day. Stay in touch with your new hire and give them an information pack or welcome pack to make them feel excited about joining you and reinforce their decision to join your organization.


Give your new hire a tour of the office

On the first day, new hires should be greeted and given a tour around their new working environment and introduced to everyone. Onboarding should continue throughout their first year with regular calls or visits from managers and/or mentors. It should include an induction program that ensures they understand what is expected of them through clear job responsibilities, descriptions, performance metrics, and company expectations in a professional and social capacity.


Introduce your new hire

Walk your new hire around the team and wider company on their first few days.This way they can see the full business at work. Crucially, other team members will see they are new and be able to welcome them. If your employee is remote you should make sure they’re introduced to the team on your messaging channels, webinars and Zoom meetings.


Prepare a welcome pack for new hires

A new employee onboarding is also about sending information to the new employee. As well as making sure they have everything they need physically, you should send clear company guidelines and FAQs through to them on their first day. Onboarding should be underway before the onboarding process even begins with your welcome pack for new hires.


Set up a full training programme

To help new employees learn everything they need to know – from what your business purpose is to how to book leave. Onboarding should be about showing them the ropes, not just in terms of their job requirements but also how to work with other team members.


Make sure their tech is in place

By having a desk or workstation fully set up with all the necessary tech lets them get started as soon as they’re ready. Onboarding is about making sure they have everything they need to succeed, not just for their first day but also every day.

Onboarding programs are an integral part of new hire success. New hires need to be oriented into the organization, its culture, and its values before being expected to perform effectively on the job.

The new employee onboarding is much more than getting your new hire to know their way around the office. Onboarding focuses on getting your new employee to understand what they need to do to succeed after being hired.


How to implement an onboarding process in a company?


To implement a full onboarding process, first establish what you want employees to achieve by the end of the period. You’ll need to establish how long you want it to take, who you want to lead the process and how you’ll track the process.

Onboarding is a journey, not an event. On average, it takes about six months to become fully productive in a new role. On the first day itself, your new employee should know what you’re trying to accomplish with them and how they fit into the overall picture. They shouldn’t be left wondering what their job will entail every day. They should be fully productive and ready to keep performing in their new job on the last day.

Ensure that the employee onboarding is holistic and integrated into your company’s overall human resources function. The onboarding program starts before a person joins and continues for as long as they work at your organization.

Many employers use a self-guided onboarding process using HRIS to help new hires tick off the tasks they need to complete to be fully onboarded. Onboarding can then be integrated into an employee’s training and development plan for a seamless transition into rookie employee to old-timer. 

The onboarding program is an integral part of the employee life cycle. On average, new hires who go through a great onboarding process find their work more fulfilling and stay longer in their jobs than those whose onboarding is not up to the mark.

The employee onboarding allow organizations to develop strong relationships with each new employee and play a pivotal role in creating outstanding organizational cultures. Onboarding processes allow organizations to create a positive first impression and increase engagement with the organization by showing new employees how they fit into the bigger picture.

The Onboarding process is now recognized as a key tool for maximizing employee engagement, productivity, and retention, helping pave the way for your company’s future success.

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