‘Your first impression of things sets up your subsequent beliefs.’ – Daniel Kahneman. 

Your company’s employee onboarding process marks the first impression for your new recruits; it is a reflection of your organizational values. Since most organizations only have a week-long onboarding process, it gives their new employees hardly enough time to acclimate. As per reports, organizations with a comprehensive and engaging onboarding process experienced 82% improvement in new hire retention

To capitalize your onboarding efforts, it is recommended to build an intuitive and engaging onboarding program that allows new employees to comprehend the intricacies of the organizational structure and place themselves in line with their responsibilities. 

As per the Retention Report by the Work Institute, inadequate employee development is the primary reason why employees leave an organization. Onboarding should place a strong emphasis on employee development prospects as a major pillar of the entire ecosystem. Doing so will help you increase the retention rate and facilitate growth in morale. As per Mercer’s report, 78% employees indicated long-term association with the organization if they were able to configure a career path during their onboarding. 

An efficient employee onboarding program can also fastrack the productivity of new hires, which usually takes about eight months to reach its peak. There should be a formal program to introduce new hires to the company’s tools, processes, products, and services while helping them understand their core role competencies. 

As easy it is to understand, it is that much harder to apply. So, we have put together the ultimate guide to help you build a comprehensive, efficient, and engaging onboarding process. 

Developing a comprehensive onboarding process

There’s much more to the onboarding process than first-day paperwork and orientation. It involves charting a path for your new hires to walk on that will enable them to reach their destination fully equipped. Let’s look at a few best practices for onboarding new employees. 

Preboarding:

The onboarding process for new employees starts as soon as they sign the offer letter. It is essential to stay in touch with them during the interval and use the opportunity to make them excited about their new role. Here are a few engaging preboarding activities you can start with: 

  • Sending a welcome kit of useful or fun items 
  • Inquiring about their tech needs such as laptop or desktop
  • Setting up their work email and essential accounts to ease their process of onboarding 
  • Assigning an onboarding buddy/facilitator 
  • Scheduling meetings with their manager and team members well in advance and sending calendar invites to the new hire
  • Get the learning process started by sharing credentials to their LMS
  • Ask for feedback on the recruitment process

The activities listed above may be simple but prove to be extremely helpful in facilitating a good employee experience. 

Induction:

After a successful preboarding experience, your new hire will be as excited to join as you are to welcome them. However, it is vital to keep them engaged and not let their spirits dip. You can start with a warm and enthusiastic welcome to help with their first-day nerves and give them a detailed overview of the company, its values, and services. Aligning them with the company culture from the very start will also motivate them to contribute to the company’s goals. As outlined by IBM in their Employee Experience Index, 80% of employees feel more engaged when their work aligns with the core values of their organization. Some people refer to this period as “drinking the company Kool-Aid”.

The next step would be to introduce them to their colleagues and managers. Once the introductions are finished, you can get on with the paperwork and close the day. Avoid overwhelming a new hire with too much information; you want to keep it light on their first day. 

The first week:

Once the employee is settled in and starts to get the hang of things, you must incorporate role-specific training into their schedule. It is essential to develop a training schedule that is easy-paced and defined. It’s also helpful to regularly check in with them to see if they require help with their training program or daily activities. This will help you build a relationship of trust and understanding with your new hire. 

The first three months: 

The last leg of the onboarding process for new employees should focus on learning and development, which require well-defined training plans. The two most critical aspects you need to consider before creating a training plan are- scalability and overall comprehensiveness. 

Your general training plan will remain more or less the same for each employee, so it is essential to include even the smallest details, such as how and where to apply for days off. To save time and increase productivity, you can employ an LMS and reproduce the training plan with a simple click for each new hire. 

For building role-specific learning and development courses, it is vital to define goals for each employee onboarding program. For instance, there will be separate training programs for career progression and leadership courses for each individual employee. An LMS will allow you to make changes to specific training plans and aid you in building self-serve learning courses as well. 

Looking at the statistics as per Zapier’s Data Report, 95% of Gen Z and 93% of Millennial employees are embracing automation as a solution. Since this bracket consists of most of your workforce, shouldn’t you too? An LMS delivers better engagement and retention, offers more flexibility, and significantly reduces employee turnover.  

Building a scalable employee onboarding process

Developing an employee onboarding process that is flexible, repeatable, and error-resistant is a challenge, but we are here to guide you through each step along the way. Let’s get started! 

Consistency:

Hiring happens simultaneously on all levels of the organization, making it hard to stay consistent with the onboarding process; however, consistency can help you achieve 50% greater productivity from new employees. Automating the initial onboarding process for new employees is recommended to standardize the onboarding of both learning-on-the-job roles and roles that require greater oversight. 

Onboarding facilitators:

To ensure your employees are learning in a supportive structure that enhances their understanding of workflows in the organization and defines their order of priorities, you must have onboarding facilitators. They also help bridge the gap between onboarding metrics and employee experience by establishing a personal connection and gamifying the experience. Their presence ensures guidance and support for the new hires whenever required. Additionally, the ‘fun’ element that onboarding facilitators bring to the table cannot be stressed enough. As per Anadea, 90% of employees are more productive with gamification involved, and 72% believe it inspires them to work harder. 

Contingencies:

When we talk about building a scalable onboarding process, we must remember that the future is uncertain, and we can expect the unexpected to happen. To ensure minimal impact on operations, it is advised to have contingency plans ready. For instance, remote onboarding was a foreign concept to most organizations until COVID shut down workspaces outside the home. Now almost every organization has shifted to a remote or hybrid onboarding process. Having your training plans and onboarding directories in the cloud is a smarter way to manage chaos. 

Integrated learning:

Not every role in an organization requires comprehensive training courses; some roles offer better results through on-the-job training. To offer your new hires a holistic learning experience, you can also have them participate in peer training sessions. This will prompt them to express concerns and questions while gaining a deeper understanding of their new role.  

Tracking productivity metrics:

It’s not just the new hires that need productivity checks but also your training programs and L&D teams. It is imperative to track how efficient your onboarding training programs are for the employees’ performance in the first three months. It is also essential to keep editing your training programs to sync with the changing values, society, and economy. 
Workplace learning is growing out of its niche and transforming into a domain of its own. A learning environment enables continuously improving processes in organizations, leading to rapid growth. If you are looking to incorporate best practices for onboarding new employees in your organization, Auzmor Learn is the perfect solution!