3 Keys to Successful Onboarding

Many organizations confuse “onboarding” with “new hire orientation”. Orientation is an important and fundamental part of the new hire process. It takes care of introducing the new employee to the organization and the new position, and takes care of the essentials of employment. But it isn’t the same as onboarding.

Half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first few months. Considering that the cost of turnover is between ½ and 2 times the employee’s salary, that lost productivity can cost you 1 – 2.5% of total revenue. Onboarding is an opportunity to integrate a new employee into the culture of your organization. It turns a great hire into a great employee, right from the beginning.

An effective onboarding program has positive impacts on employee retention, job satisfaction, and job performance. It creates an encouraging, positive environment and gives your new hire clear indicators of how to fit in and contribute. Here are the three keys to a successful onboarding process.

Onboarding Key 1: Connection

Interpersonal relationships are vital to new employees. As a result, the first key to a successful onboarding program is connection. Introducing a new employee to their team members is very important, but connection goes beyond that. Connection creates a welcoming and supportive environment and provides the tools and resources the employee needs to feel comfortable in a new organization.

One way to foster connection and improve a new employee’s commitment to their job is to assign each new hire a go-to person or mentor who can help them learn the ropes of the new job and organization culture. The mentor should be a positive, contributing team member or leader. When a new employee has someone to go to who can answer questions, help them with difficult situations, and empower them in their new position, they will be less likely to leave in the first few months. If you don’t yet have a mentoring program, start one – it will have a positive impact.

Onboarding Key 2: Culture

Every organization has a unique culture. Helping new hires navigate the culture and find their place within it is essential to providing a solid employee connection.

It’s important to understand that a new employee shouldn’t be pushed to conform to the norms within the organization simply to fit in. Instead, familiarize the new hire with the existing culture of the organization. Provide insights into their role in the organization and how it aligns with the mission of your organization and the culture of the team.

As part of this, it’s important for leadership at all levels to foster a positive culture of learning and support. Organizations with cliquish or toxic cultures find they face high turnover, lower productivity, a tarnished reputation, and ultimately stunt their overall growth.

Onboarding Key 3: Communication

Communication can be a sticking point at any level of an organization. Having clear communication right away with new hires is essential to making them feel comfortable and confident in their new role. Employees should understand their job and all related expectations.  Training and support play a significant role in setting the tone of the new hire experience.

There are several things that should be clearly communicated to every new hire as part of the onboarding process. These elements create a positive new hire experience and encourage your new employee to bond with the organization and their coworkers. Communication with employees should include:

  • Clarifying department goals and objectives and how their work ties in with them
  • Discussing and setting career goals for the new employee
  • Actively managing the new hire and providing constructive feedback
  • Consistently recognizing and rewarding great work
  • Offering ongoing education and support for career goals

The outcome of a well-designed onboarding plan positively impacts both the organization’s employees and overall bottom line. Effective onboarding encourages positive employee relationships, improves retention, and reduces the time to productivity.

Your Human Resources department has a significant opportunity to impact culture of your organization. By encouraging the development and implementation of an onboarding process that creates connection, culture, and communication, you can make a huge difference in the happiness of your employees, Tribe and community.

Successful onboarding is one of many effective strategies used to minimize unnecessary costs in the Employee Lifecycle.  To learn more about this or other aspects of Employee Lifecycle Risk Management, contact S3 Management Group today.