8 Things Every Great Employee Onboarding Experience Includes

June 28, 2017 Kim Schollick No Comments

From generous travel credits to engineering boot camps, the onboarding processes of best-in-class firms like Airbnb and Facebook have so much ‘wow’ factor that they’ve gone viral.

And according to Aberdeen, they’re onto something. Newbie inauguration plays a pivotal role in employee retention, with 86% of new hires making the decision to stay or leave within their first six months. Sobering statistics indeed. But the good news is that you don’t have to have a multi-billion-dollar bank account to woo your new hires with a Forbes worthy onboarding experience.

On the contrary, it’s as easy as adhering to these basic guidelines. They apply to any workplace, which means all you need to do is interpret them in your niche industry, and incorporate them into your onboarding process.

A meaningful company tour

Nobody wants to start their first day on the job with a mountain of paperwork. So don’t subject your new recruit to this kind of headache. Instead, spend the first hour or so making them feel comfortable with a meaningful company tour. And no, whirlwinds sweeps of the office don’t count! Take the time to walk your new recruit around the building, and introduce them to every team member along the way. Feel free to invest a little more time chatting with managers, and the people that your new recruit will be engaging with the most. Remember, effective onboarding strategies prioritise the social experience. This means you do everything you can to help your new employee spark meaningful relationships, from day one.

A mentorship programme

Just like a first day at school, assigning your new recruit a buddy will provide both professional and social support. Whether you work in finance or fast food, buddies are a concept that can be applied to any workplace. IBM is one company that knows the value of mentorship, and offers all new recruits 30 days of mentorship under its Royal Blue Ambassador Program. Not only do mentors serve as teachers, but their casual connotations also play an important role in getting new employees up to speed with workplace culture, and providing that all-important sense of comradeship.

Ongoing development

Even the most strategic of onboarding programs will fall short if you fail to offer continued development. The proof is in the stats, with top performing firms 2.54 x more likely to track new hire progress during the onboarding process. So, regardless of how fast your employee learns, or how straightforward their role, onboarding should always span for weeks, if not months.

Depending on your industry, you can keep things as casual or as complex as you like. Aim for weekly or bi-weekly check-ins, and never underestimate the importance of sourcing feedback from the employee themselves. Elevate your onboarding process beyond traditional timeframes, and you’ll be able to support your new recruit with a genuine sense of purpose.

An ‘order of service’

From weddings to business conferences, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as not knowing what to expect. As well as offering your new hires an enriching onboarding experience, you should also keep them in the loop.

Take the time to draft up a document that outlines their journey, and pinpoints milestones they’ll hit along the way. Let them know when to expect meetings, when they’ll be asked for feedback and any specific progress they need to make. Ultimately this will minimise frustration and make them feel like a part of the process.

A friendly approach

Onboarding can be frustrating, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the red tape. But if you want to rise above the formality of it all, bring a sense of fun and friendliness to your onboarding procedure.

One of the best ways to do this is by offering your employees cultural training. This means that beyond operational basics, you take the time to verse your employee in the core values of your organisation. This will help to give them an in-depth understanding of what they represent, and how to become a valuable member of the team. Given that only 32% of organisations successfully communicate their core values to candidates and new employees, chances are you’ve probably got room to improve.

An automated experience

Piles of paperwork can be overwhelming, especially if you bombard your new hire from day one. Instead, why not modernise your approach by adopting a paperless onboarding system? Or if you don’t have the resources to completely veto paper, try automating parts of the onboarding experience. Easy and engaging, automation simplifies the onboarding process and makes it easier to assign, track and store important documents. Not only will this streamline the experience for your employee, but it will also save your business time and cash.

And yes, it really does work. According to the Aberdeen Group, best-in-class companies are 1.6x more likely to use a digital portal when issuing new hires with documents, forms and policies. This allows them to get paperwork out the way, and shine the spotlight on other aspects of the employee assimilation process.

Unsure where to start? Try revamping your onboarding process from the bottom up with purpose built workforce management software from Ento. All wrapped up in one seriously smart platform, Ento empowers businesses with the tools to build a supportive and intuitive onboarding process. The result? Employees are engaged, performance is optimised and onboarding is on point.

Tech friendly elements

Chances are, your new hire is going to be run off their feet in their first few days. Building on the benefits of automation that were explored above, you can help to ease stress and streamline the learning experience by incorporating tech friendly elements into your onboarding process. Mobile is a great place to start, as it empowers employees with the chance to learn, engage and assimilate, on-the-go.

Get organised in advance

Turns out, day one shouldn’t technically be day one. On the contrary, every great onboarding process should include some form of contact prior to the first day on the job. This helps to mentally prepare your employee, and minimise the admin you’ll need to deal with on day one. You don’t need to overload your new hire with homework, but shooting them through basic paperwork, setting up log-in accounts and briefing them on what to expect is definitely a proactive move.

The final verdict

After channelling a huge amount of time and money selecting top talent, the last thing you want to do is let your efforts fall flat with a lacklustre onboarding process. So, rather than wing it and hope for the best why not take the time to design an onboarding experience that’s underpinned by the needs of your employees? This includes both professional development and administrative formalities, as well as emotional support and cultural immersion. Ultimately, a holistic approach will help to smooth out the learning curve, and set your new hire up for ongoing success.

Ready to put your people first? Get in touch with Ento today to chat about how our custom-built workforce management could help you take your employee onboarding to the next level.

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