Tips for Improving the Onboarding Process

Tips for Improving the Onboarding Process

Onboarding doesn't only relate to the question "Where do I sit?". This is a journey and a fundamental part of employee experience. During the recruitment process, you made a promise, which means preparing your team members to be overachievers and high performers.

If everything goes well, your employees will develop a sense of belonging and learn skills that define their success. Unfortunately, according to the last surveys, nearly 36% of organizations currently don't implement a structured onboarding process.

Definition of onboarding

The employee onboarding process implies different ways you can integrate employees into your company. The basic idea behind this concept is making new team members familiar with company culture, policies, and overall workplace.

A successful onboarding process aims to equip employees with techniques and tools that will increase their productivity. During this stage, they also learn how the company works and what's expected from them.

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However, onboarding doesn't stop here. Throughout the company, people will continuously evolve, switching to new jobs and assuming new roles. Therefore, the onboarding process plays an important role here as well. While your current employees know how your company works, they still require guidance to adapt to new employment.

You need to have a smooth employee onboarding process flow to avoid any delays, misunderstandings, or bad decisions.

Strategic onboarding

Strategic onboarding is different from the traditional one since it focuses more on employees' full lifecycle within an organization. Strategic onboarding focuses more on employee development by ensuring proper training and allowing career growth.

The majority of employees are concerned about their careers. But, with the help of strategic onboarding, companies set up a system that ensures their members are prepared for leadership roles.

Strategic onboarding keeps people engaged and interested in new activities, allowing you to create a lasting connection with your employees.

Steps in onboarding process

This process is designed to help new employees adjust to their new job's social culture and performance aspects as soon as possible. Remember that the onboarding process can be as simple as ensuring your employees have a place to sit and introduce them to others. It can be complex, like providing in-depth training on the company's procedures and software.

Get them familiar with policies, regulations, and basic rules that define your organization.

The next step would be to educate new hires about their performance expectations and job functions. Don't forget that culture plays a vital role within a company. Therefore, advising them on formal and informal company norms is paramount, for example, the proper dress code.

Last but not least, the onboarding process flow needs to include connection. It's your job to help new employees build interdepartmental and interpersonal relationships.

What makes a strong onboarding process?

No one can make a clear cut when it comes to a successful onboarding process. These programs significantly vary and mostly depend on the company, its size, and culture. Here are the essential elements that make a strong onboarding process.

  • Operational: new employees have the knowledge and proper materials to get the job done, like business jargon or clarity.
  • Social: new employees feel welcome, and it promotes valuable relationships with coworkers and managers to help them feel like they are part of an organization.
  • Strategic: makes newcomers feel familiar with the company's culture, goals, mission, vision, and structure, so they can identify with an organization easier.

Onboarding phases

Suppose your company is new to onboarding, and you are looking for ways to improve your HR processes. There are different phases of onboarding that will help you draft a clear strategy to engage new candidates and boost their hire retention.

Pre-onboarding: this phase starts as soon as your candidate accepts your offer until their first day of work. This is a crucial time since even minor misunderstandings or miscommunications can make them doubt their decision to join your company.

Welcoming new employees: the next phase includes welcoming new hires and providing different orientation practices to acclimate to a new environment.

Role-specific training: without formal training, your employees might not know what it takes to progress.

Facilitating transition: the last phase is helping your employees shift from a new hire to one of the company members.

How long does onboarding usually take?

Generally speaking, this process should last at least three months. Many hiring managers and HR professionals agree that three months is the minimum time to onboard and integrate a new employee.

However, the onboarding process shouldn't stop here. It should continuously happen within the first year of an employee's new role, helping them get to know the company's culture, ask questions if they have any, and simply settle into a new position.

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Keep in mind that one or two weeks isn't enough, even though many organizations assume this approach. Employees can learn a lot within six months, so if a year seems too long for you, consider that the onboarding program might be finished in the first six months, while the remaining time employees use to learn how to fly solo.

The essential elements of an effective onboarding

Onboarding process improvement leads to an increase in employee retention and engagement. Here are a couple of components that lead to an efficient onboarding program.

Defined goals – if you don't have defined goals, you have to agree that you can't accomplish much.

Team approach – The HR team isn't only responsible for hiring new employees, and company leadership should also join this process.

Explaining corporate culture, along with rules and job expectations – understating corporate culture means assimilating properly into the organization.

One-on-one mentoring – assigning a mentor to each new hire allows you to directly train your employees while enabling them to learn their job properly.

Career path – the retention rate will be significantly improved when employers show interest and guide their employees' careers.

Benefits of using an onboarding process flow

Bringing new employees on board might be a bit challenging. That's why many suggest building an onboarding process. The roles of managers, mentors, human resources, and new hires need to be clearly defined.

Here are the benefits of an onboarding process flow:

  • You have a clearly defined onboarding template
  • Minimizes paperwork
  • Shortens employees' onboarding lifecycle
  • Minimizes human errors and manual intervention
  • Facilitates the workflow of the HR team
  • Offers a consistent experience to new employees
  • Boosts transparency
  • Offers employees a better onboarding experience

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