What is onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into an organisation and with the goal of minimising turnover. To increase retention, productivity and cost savings, each company has to have an established on-boarding process.
What are some of the best practices in onboarding?
1. Communication before the first day
Now that the interview is over and the candidate got the job it is important that some communication until the starting date is kept. Information regarding what they can expect and the schedule for the first week can be provided. This way the new employee will be reassured, prepared for work and not left in the dark.
However, this communication should continue beyond the first week.
2. Plan the first day
The first day is the most nervous one with everything being unknown and unfamiliar. This day should include a tour of the office, an introduction to the other employees and the workstation where the new employee will work at.
Some companies also offer welcoming gifts such as a shirt, bag, coffee mug or anything that will make him/her welcome and appreciated from the start.
3. Provide a buddy
A ‘buddy’ is a team member who could show the new hire how things work and answer some of the questions he/she might have. This way, they will feel more comfortable asking questions rather than asking management.
4. Meeting with the manager in the first week
Setting up a meeting with the manager within the first week is an important step. This will allow the manager to know the new team member better, share the management style, inform about the current and future projects and explain what is expected from him/her.
The usefulness of this meeting was also reported in the Harvard Business Review. The results include: a 12% larger internal network in the first 90 days, participation in higher-quality meetings and three times as much time collaborating with their team as opposed to those who did not have the one-on-one meeting.
5. Provide a mentor
The reason behind the necessity of a mentor is to help the new hire become more knowledgeable and invested in the values of the organization. As such, it will become easier to accommodate to the work culture and their role.
6. Training and job shadowing
Initially, the productivity of a new worker will be great, and so this is the perfect opportunity to train them. Job shadowing can be one way of doing it. As he/she shadows other workers, your new employee will discover the ins and outs of the company. You can do this not only in the department they are a part of, but in others as well.
7. Ask for his/her feedback
After 90 days of the onboarding process try to find out what they think about the way they were integrated. Online surveys can be used, or another interview in which they can express their opinions and the ways in which the process can be improved. The data about job satisfaction can then be compared with the retention data to see if any improvements and progress has been made.
Some (final) thoughts
The onboarding process should not be static but continually improved over time from the feedback received and the data gathered. Additionally, the process should be made for more than three months as to maximise retention as much as possible.
The feedback forms and additional documents can be shared with the employees on Knolyx.