Improving the employee onboarding process has recently become a high priority for many organizations and it is not surprising if you consider the benefits. Quality onboarding can lead to significant improvements in employee performance and employee retention rates. These also happen to be two common challenges modern organizations deal with today. However, not all onboarding programs are effective and provide these kinds of results.

In this article we will share with you 5 different strategies you can use to improve your employee onboarding process. These strategies also have a direct impact on both employee performance and retention.

Utilize a new employee onboarding checklist

One of the best ways you can set your team members up for success is by providing them with an onboarding checklist. Providing a carefully laid out plan will leave new hires feeling prepared long before their start date.

This list should include all upcoming onboarding activities. It should also include any other tasks that need to be completed such as hr paperwork, training or employee orientation. You may also consider providing additional materials such as a welcome email or an employee handbook.

Providing a checklist sets clear expectations, lets employees prepare for their first day and helps to leave a lasting positive impression. According to a recent article by Forbes, sharing a structured onboarding plan with new hires can significantly reduce new hire stress (1). Continuing engagement and building excitement after the hiring process is completed is just one effective way you can improve the employee onboarding experience.

Spend more time onboarding employees

Although, you probably already know that your employee onboarding process can have a huge impact on the new hire experience and your employee retention rates, you might be surprised to hear that the amount of time spent on onboarding is also a large factor. It typically takes at least 8 months for new employees to gain full proficiency in their new roles. Oddly enough, most employee onboarding programs don’t extend past the first 90 days. What is even more interesting is that 23% of new employees leave a new position before the completion of their first year (2). This data suggests that the lack of onboarding support throughout a new hires first year could play a big role in high turnover rates.

Recent studies have also found that longer onboarding programs help speed up the time it takes for employees to become fully productive team members. In fact in a recent study it was found that employees whose organizations had longer onboarding programs reached competency 34% faster than those with shorter programs (3).Implementing a long term onboarding plan will help you improve both employee retention rates and increase new hire productivity.

Streamline the process with automation

Another way you can improve your employee onboarding process is by utilizing automation. A high quality onboarding process involves many tasks and steps. This can be difficult for human resources to track. It can also be overwhelming for new hires. Fortunately, there is a wide range of onboarding software hr professionals can use to automate many of these required tasks.

For example much of the hr paperwork that new hires must complete can be digitized. This makes it easier for new hires to fill out this paperwork online before their first day. Automation can also be used to assign training courses for new employees and to send welcome emails or notifications. Many HR departments also use HR chatbots that can answer employee questions 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This speeds up the amount of time it takes to get answers to important questions new hires may have.

Effective onboarding includes social elements

Integrating social elements into your employee onboarding process can also greatly improve your employee retention rates. Harvard business review recently shared that 40% of adults feel lonely (3). The social isolation of being a new person on the team can lead employees to feel like they don’t belong.

However, integrating social elements whether it is a welcome lunch, a buddy system or providing new hires with a mentor, can help new employee adapt to the company culture and connect with their new team members. Adding social elements to your onboarding process can also improve productivity. In a recent survey, 87% of organizations shared that a buddy system helped them to boost new ire proficiency (4).

Schedule regular check-ins

96% of employees in a LinkedIn survey reported that more one-on-one time with their direct supervisor was crucial to a positive onboarding experience (5). This is a fact that should not be overlooked when you are looking for ways to improve your employee onboarding process.

Final Note

Implementing a high quality onboarding program isn’t just great for your employees , it is also good for your entire organization. High turnover and low levels of engagement are bad for business. They can lead to a significant drop in profits and create a number of complications. Organizations with high quality onboarding programs tend to get much better results.

A high quality onboarding program can improve employee retention rates by as much as 82% (6). Putting a standardized onboarding process for new hires in place can also improve productivity. Learn more about employee onboarding read the eBook The Definitive Guide to Onboarding Programs.

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