Onboarding New Employees: 8 Processes You Should Adopt Right Now

December 5, 2017
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It’s smart to prep employees for success from the start of their tenure, right? Seems like common sense. However, tons of companies fail to invest in strong onboarding processes, and they tend to suffer because of it.

Employee turnover can be as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. Whether this is due to a shift in the workforce’s mentality or a lack of attention on behalf of the employer, we’re at a point where it’s indisputable that something’s got to give.

Surprise 🎉: Onboarding reduces turnover

Onboarding employees is a process meant to seamlessly transition a new hire into an organization. So it's not a big shocker that 69% of employees are more likely to stay at the same company for 3-years if the onboarding structure is a good one. This doesn't take 1-2 weeks, either--it can take anywhere from 6-months to 2-years.

Invest the time (and 💰) in the following 8 best practices for onboarding new employees. Your employees and your organization will thank you.

1. Catch up prior to the start date

If there’s been any dead space between accepting the position and the start date, you’re already off on the wrong foot. Utilize whichever medium you’d like—a quick email, a call from the manager, whatever—just reach out and let the employee know she's top of mind.

2. Make the first day memorable

Make employees feel welcome from the minute they step into their new space. Have ID badges, forms, etc. ready on their desk, schedule a lunch with a coworker (make sure the company fronts the bill!), and send a company-wide introduction email.

3. Create a structured schedule for the first week or two

The first few weeks of a new job are some of the most overwhelming, hands down. Lighten up the stress and provide structure for your new employees. Construct a somewhat tight schedule that includes things as small and specific as setting up a computer, to sitting with individuals in various departments.

4. Explain performance expectations clearly on the first day

These days, job descriptions are hugely unrealistic. A laundry list of maybe-responsibilities and expectations clutter the realistic ones, and it often leads to a misunderstanding… which then leads to a resignation.

If you’re guilty of writing messy job descriptions, just make sure that your new employees start off on the right foot when they’re actually hired. Discuss realistic benchmarks and performance objectives immediately. As someone so close to the role or the company, sometimes it’s hard to explain these things in a way the employee will understand, so leave room for questions.

5. Implement a training program

A training program not only saves the employer time in the long-run, but it gives employees time to digest a large amount of information at their own pace (within reason). A training program could consist of various slides, videos, or even a text-based manual. To ensure the training is effective, be sure to include some quiz questions at the end of each section.

6. Develop a cross-departmental onboarding team

A training manual is meant to educate the employee on her department, role, the company’s mission/vision, and why her role, in particular, is important to the overarching goal of the company. What a training manual cannot (realistically) deliver are things like what to expect in the day-to-day, for example.

86% of employees blame a lack of collaboration as the demise of their workplace. Get everyone involved and develop a cross-departmental team to provide even more support during onboarding. Let it be known that the new employee can go to her team for any concerns or questions that extend beyond her own department.

7. Assign a mentor or buddy within the same department

56% of new hires say that a buddy or mentor is important to them when starting a new job. With that said, it’s not a bad idea to pair the new hire with an expert in the same department. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a manager and a mentor. Sometimes there’s overlap, but a mentor is supposed to act as a safe and objective counterpart to the employee.

8. Get them up to speed

Employees will be more likely to succeed when they aren’t scrambling to catch up. Inform employees of any current or urgent initiatives on the first day. The best way to do this is to hold an in-person meeting accompanied by an outline, for the employee to reference at a later time (because she’ll definitely need it).

Whatcha waiting for? 🤔

We don't claim to be process-making experts, but we have to say that we do have solid onboarding processes within our own organization. As a matter of fact, all of the processes we utilize at Qualigence churn out some pretty awesome employee and client retention. Take a look at some of our services to see how our recruitment research and recruiting processes can (and will) strengthen your organization 💪🏼.
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Sam Sandler
Sam Sandler
Sam is a copywriter and strategist at Qualigence International. She enjoys exercising, eating pizza, and long walks through her Netflix queue.

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