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What is Employee Onboarding?

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Organizations are always on the lookout for talented employees, and the need is greater than ever. Most enterprises are changing; they need intelligent and adaptable people who can fit with their culture and add value to it. 

But the supply and demand in the job market are uneven; this results in the company shelling out a lot of money to get a talented hire onboard. But getting a nod from a great talent is just the first step in the right direction; you need to onboard and make them comfortable. 

Sometimes new hires commit to joining, but they back off at the last minute or, in some cases, leave the company after a couple of months for a better opportunity. It ruins all the work that went into hiring the right candidate.  

Some may advise increasing the facilities, and maybe they are right but will it solve the problem? 

Maybe not. 

We live in an era of experience, and it is important to keep the new hire engaged from the time you send them the offer letter until they complete their first year with the organization.  

An employee onboarding structured around engagement can help you reduce the churn rate and motivate the employees to stay for a longer haul. 

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of involving a new hire in the organization’s culture and values. It is also a process through which new employees acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to become active contributing members of the organization.

The onboarding process may vary from one company to another. However, the basic onboarding program should ensure that new hire achieves their potential in the shortest time. 

If you love the horror genre, then search for the term ’employee onboarding horror stories.’ You will read instances that may look unreal, but you might find them closer to reality in retrospect. 

One such horror story from the internet-  

“When I got to the office, my supervisor told me I needed to go all the way to another office within a different building to visit HR and get my benefits paperwork. 

“When I arrived in the HR office, they didn’t have my name on file, and they handed me a generic packet of information and told me to fill it out in the next few weeks. It was my first professional job with benefits, so I asked if they could sit down with me and talk about my options. They seemed very annoyed and told me they couldn’t suggest anything because that was the law. No one in my department seemed to know any more information either.” 

It shows that onboarding is just not about completing paperwork; rather, it is to make the new hire comfortable and make them a part of your thriving culture. 

It is important to collaborate with department managers, IT, and Finance team to create a process that can make employees understand the organization better within the first 90 days. Create a feedback loop to gather the input from the new hires about their experience and improvement. 

Important questions to ask before creating employee onboarding 

Before you start creating the employee onboarding program, it is important to understand the struggle the employees face.  

You can get your first step right by asking the right questions. 

Questions to ask

Create the set of questions and try to find the answers either by interviewing the employees or using tools that can help you uncover the employee behavior during the onboarding phase. 

1. What is the current state of the employee onboarding program?

This question helps you learn about where the current program stands and its impact on the employees. 

2. Where do we start with the onboarding program?

You could be swamped with opinions, and it could be difficult to draft the first iteration of the employee onboarding program. So, it is important to decide on the first step of the training program based on the available data. 

3. How do we provide important information to employees?

Many projects fail because of poor communication, and it is especially true when you are onboarding a new hire. Check the communication channels that the organization is using currently and analyze whether they are enough. 

4. How do we guide the employees during and after the onboarding process?

The first week is merely the beginning of onboarding. The HR team must plan an end-to-end onboarding experience for employees to drive long-term success. 

5. How to provide knowledge to a newly onboarded employee?

Organizations usually want their employees to be productive within a week, but at times it could add pressure on a new hire. It is important to find the right training methods that can immediately help them get started while ensuring that they aren’t overwhelmed. 

By now, we know it is important to ask the right questions but to get the right answers, it is crucial to use the right set of tools and methods.  

Delve deep- Get answers for 8 critical employee onboarding questions 

Create a perfect employee onboarding process 

Designing a flawless employee onboarding process is impossible but should it stop you from striving for one? 

perfect employee onboarding process

Creating an employee onboarding process takes time as there are many ifs and buts involved for which you may or may not have answers. But continuous analysis and regular optimization can help you to improve the process to create an incredible onboarding experience. 

  • Send the offer letter- The onboarding process must kickstart the moment an employee gets selected for an interview. The organization should assist the new hire and address their queries to make them feel comfortable during the process.  
  • The First Day- In some organizations, employees are on their own, and they may feel out of place and confused. It could even lead to frustration; it is important to give a warm welcome to the new hire and help them understand the new environment. 
  • Show potential for growth- Everyone wants to grow in their career; it is important to show what lies ahead and how they can achieve it. This will motivate them to stay longer with the organization and put the effort in the right direction. 
  • Regular checks- HR Managers must interview the new hire regularly to quantify their success. It will help them to identify the gaps in their existing employee onboarding program and improve it. 

Related Read- Design a perfect employee onboarding to drive organizational success 

A quick employee onboarding checklist  

A well-designed employee onboarding process can be challenging to follow. The HR Manager should create an onboarding checklist to track the progress and ensure that the onboarding is sequentially executed. 

Here are the quick to-do list-  

  • complete the paperwork before time 
  • immediately initiate the background check 
  • prepare to give a warm welcome  
  • schedule orientation session  
  • set the right expectations  
  • structure a training program 
  • set performance goals   

Now that we understand that employee onboarding is the backbone of any organization as it helps employees to achieve success. 

But the question remains- What is employee onboarding? 

There is no clear answer to this question, perhaps a case of different strokes for different folks. 

Organizations must create customized onboarding processes based on job roles, departments, and locations. This will help make onboarding real and palpable to the people who are joining the organization. It adds value to your employee onboarding program. 

However, use both qualitative and quantitative data to your advantage. It will assist you in taking the insights into the real and visceral. And that’s where a solution like the Digital Adoption Platform comes to play that helps to convert insights into actionable steps and set employees for success. 

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Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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