Employee onboarding is the process of fully integrating a new employee into the workplace. It includes more than simply filling out paperwork, teaching them how to do their job, or offering training on technological tools. It also involves helping them learn the workplace culture and integrate socially. While the idea of developing such a comprehensive program may seem overwhelming, it’s well worth it. In fact, you can’t afford to not do these things.
Why Employee Onboarding Matters
Ninety percent of new hires make up their minds about whether to stay or leave an organization within the first six months of employment. If they opt to leave - it costs you. How much varies widely, but accounting for recruiting and hiring expenses, decreased productivity, missed business opportunities, management and staff time, and training costs for a new employee to replace a lost worker can be as much as twice their annual salary.
Your best hedge against employee turnover is a well-designed and comprehensive employee onboarding process. This simple strategy often increases retention by up to 82% and boosts productivity by up to 70%. To reap these benefits, you have to develop a program that encompasses the right things.
The Goals of Employee Onboarding
An effective employee onboarding program is multifaceted, with multiple goals and objectives. Rather than being linear, the many prongs of a successful onboarding program should be concurrent or even overlapping. Regardless of the exact design of your employee onboarding program, make sure to incorporate the following:
Make the New Employee Feel Welcome and Valued: A new employee needs to feel like an important part of the team before they walk through your door on their first day. The onboarding process begins the moment an employment offer is extended, continues through their first on-the-job interaction, and is reinforced throughout the entire onboarding process.
Complete all Necessary Paperwork: There is a lot of compliance-related paperwork that needs to be done as part of the employee onboarding process. This includes tax forms like the W-4 and I-9, insurance enrollment forms, background checks, and other employment-related forms. Consider giving the new employee these forms in advance so their first day on the job can be spent doing more meaningful tasks.
Help the Employee Understand Expectations: New employees experience a lot of uncertainty about both expected conduct and informal culture. To give clear company expectations, provide a handbook to help outline your company’s official policies and procedures. An effective onboarding process should go one step further and give the employee an understanding of the way the company operates on a day-to-day basis. Review things like the typical style of dress, whether employees tend to buy lunch or bring it from home, and how far in advance vacation should be requested. This helps the new employee integrate more seamlessly into the workplace culture.
Give the Employee the Tools to Feel Competent: Every employee needs to feel competent in their job. The more quickly this happens for a new employee, the more quickly you see increased productivity, improving the chance at retaining them long-term. New employees need a clear description of the scope of their work and require effective training on the processes and software they’ll be using in their new position.
Make Social Connections: Having a strong social network in the workplace is one of the biggest factors contributing to employee satisfaction, engagement, company loyalty, and long-term retention. As a part of the onboarding process, help your new hire make social connections by personally introducing them to other team members, assigning them a “buddy” to help acclimate them to the workplace social culture, and going over company-sponsored programs that help facilitate social interactions among employees.
Efficient & Effective Employee Onboarding
Apty can help streamline your onboarding process with tools that help your employees feel both confident and effective from their first day on the job, significantly reduce their time to full productivity. By offering on-screen real-time guidance for some of the most commonly-used software programs in business today, Apty Assist virtually eliminates the need for time-consuming training, tutorials, or detailed written manuals. Your new hires learn on the job, receive customized guidance in their exact moment of need, and feel comfortable navigating your platform almost immediately. Request a demo today!