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Employee onboarding guide

Adrian Sita
8 Jul, 2020
3 m read

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is critical to the success of a company, it is a key factor in retaining top performers at an organization long-term. It is time that we see onboarding as more than just mandatory legal paperwork and take careful consideration in implementing work culture and developing skills.

Employee onboarding is defined as the process of familiarising a new employee with the organization, sounds simple but it actually entails a lot of factors if you want to do it right. The last thing you want as a new employee is to feel neglected and unwelcome with no resources or support system to help them.

A successful employee onboarding largely depends on how efficient the onboarding program is. This is related to how fast an employee will feel comfortable and confident they are in their workplace and how empowered they are to take on their tasks. From there they will become valuable assets to the company.

employee onboarding

Who is involved?

Employee onboarding not only involves the Human resources department and the new employee, but it is also the responsibility of the immediate manager to familiarize their role in their team and company, define performance expectations and introduce them to the company culture.

Also, when does it start? Onboarding can begin from the initial job interview, even before an offer is made to the employee, up until the employee becomes a productive member of the company. It could take as long as one whole year.

Companies with strong hiring processes will begin effective onboarding during the interview stage for the position. Here, they can define expectations for the role and promote their company culture, this will give them an idea of whether or not they will be a good fit for the job and the company.

Employee onboarding process

Set clear expectations

A job description should give a good overview of what is required of the employee. However, it is advisable to reiterate those expectations in greater detail once they have started work. This will align everyone’s expectations to avoid any misunderstanding.

Things to clarify would include the organizational structure and how each structure works to achieve goals. The company’s goals and vision are important to understand and what their company culture represents.

Within their role, they should understand what their tasks, responsibilities, and projects are and how it ties in with the company’s vision. Make sure they know what they will be accountable for, and let them know who they should contact for any questions or urgent assistance.

Plan out the process

Studies have shown that an employee onboarding process that takes six weeks to one year is more effective.

You should tailor the onboarding process dependent on the role and the size of the company. Some positions will include work tasks that require more support and training and larger organizations will have a higher risk of new employees feeling lost amidst the size of their team and the established hierarchy.

Make sure all the paperwork is sorted out for legal documentation first, followed by mandatory health and safety, ethics, and security protocols. Other priorities include workplace tour, meeting the team, supervisors, and management, setting up communications, and learning about company culture and goals.

Long term development can include classes and learning sessions structured around their performance needs. Mentoring programs can be a source of advice and support from a like-minded professional. Encourage social and networking events, this will help with integration and allow new employees to meet co-workers that are not in their team or department.

Listen to their goals or vision

This is a great way to engage with your employees. Once they have an understanding of how the company operates, maybe they have ideas that may add to the existing structure.

It is also important for managers to know what their goals and visions are. If they have high aspirations and drive, they will most likely be happy to take on more responsibilities to keep learning and developing to reach their goals. This helps with the future assignment of tasks.

Schedule performance reviews

Performance reviews are important dates to set. This way the employee will know when they are coming, so they can prepare and align their goals accordingly. It should also be used as an opportunity to give them to give feedback to the company. It forms an open communication channel which is vital for employee engagement.

Some (final) thoughts

The employee onboarding process is essential for every company that wants to ensure business progress. Learn how to make it efficient, adapted to the global context and business requirements.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Onboarding process

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