If you’re not familiar with the term ” onboarding,” it typically refers to the process of getting new employees up to speed and ready to hit the ground running. Good onboarding programs are essential for businesses of all sizes because they help new employees feel welcomed and invested in the company from the get-go.
To guarantee that every hired person is smoothly integrated into the company, managers, and HR must make sure that every step of this process is meticulously planned and carried out. By following this procedure, one may guarantee that staff members are not overburdened by the volume of documentation associated with new hires and improve the new hire orientation.
Not only does a good onboarding program reduce the chances of employee turnover, but it also helps to improve productivity and teamwork. In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly what a good onboarding program consists of and provide some tips for designing an effective one.
What Is An Effective Onboarding Program?
There’s no single recipe for an effective onboarding program, as the design of one will vary depending on the size and makeup of your company. However, there are a few key elements that all good onboarding programs have in common:
1. A welcoming environment
New hires come with a hundred anticipations. Your job as a manager is to ease them by providing a warm and welcoming environment where they can learn that they are in the right place. New employees should feel at ease from the start and be given plenty of information about what to expect working at your company. They must be attuned to the mission of the company and motivated to work for the same purpose. This will make them feel accepted in the organization and help them gel quickly with their co-workers. This can be done through useful introductory materials (such as an employee handbook), casual chats with coworkers, or workshops designed specifically for new hires.
2. A clear path to success
New employees should know exactly where they stand and what their responsibilities are within the company. This can be done through clearly laid out job descriptions, expectations, training programs designed specifically for new hires, or mentorship programs that pair experienced employees with newer ones. But do not overload them with information because that might cause them problems in understanding and personalizing what they have received. Make the path look clear and concise, but know that it can have nuances that may be discussed later on in the journey as the time comes.
3. Constant feedback
Onboarding is still a learning process for new employees where they get the opportunity to learn the ways and culture of your organization. You will be assigning your employees tasks and assignments that can be assessed to see their performance and where they stand. An effective onboarding program provides ongoing feedback on individual performance so that mistakes can be quickly identified and corrected. Onboarding provides them with an opportunity to improve their work styles. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as periodic reviews of work objectives and progress reports on key goals set during the onboarding process. Make sure the feedback is consistent and constructive.
4. Ongoing support
The first 90 days are where they learn the most and find a place for themselves in the organization. New employees should always feel welcome and supported, no matter what situation they find themselves in. This can be done through regular communication channels such as email or Slack messages, or by providing dedicated support staff who are available to answer any questions and provide guidance throughout the employee’s tenure with your company. You can also assign mentors or ‘buddies’ to new employees that can support them with immediacy and guide them in the right ways to work in your organization until they have settled well.
5. No one onboarding program is perfect
What works for one organization may not work for another. In fact, what might have worked this year, might not work next year. Trends and opportunities keep changing, and so should your onboarding program. Keep revising it to fit the present times better and adjust well with your new employees.
Additionally, following these four key guidelines will help you create a welcoming environment that encourages productivity and teamwork among your new hires.
Some Tips for Effective Onboarding Program
1. Start with a solid plan
Before you even begin drafting your onboarding program, make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s expected of new employees and what will help them integrate smoothly into the team.
This will allow you to create specific goals and milestones for each phase of the process, as well as provide resources (such as training materials or mentorship programs) that are tailored to specific needs. You might even want to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) if required by your company. Make sure your plan is covering everything your goals and milestones are directing towards and that by the end of the onboarding, your employee will be ready to take over the responsibilities fully.
2. Stay flexible
No two onboarding processes are exactly alike, so be prepared to adapt your approach based on individual employee feedback. For example, some workers may prefer more informal introductions, while others may require more dedicated support throughout the process. Also, use top-notch onboarding software to make adjustments to the program as you receive feedback. Check out some good onboarding software here.
3. Take your time
If you make your onboarding program a marathon that your employee has to complete, it will only lead to a backlash. Remember what the purpose of this process is. Don’t rush through the onboarding process in order to hit arbitrary deadlines; instead, focus on creating a comfortable and welcoming environment that will encourage employees to buy into your company culture from the start. Let them pick a comfortable pace for themselves, and learn all about their responsibilities and the company culture thoroughly.
4. Celebrate success
When new hires reach key milestones or achieve great results, there’s never too much incentive to celebrate (or pat themselves on the back). Instead, take pride in guiding these individuals along their career paths and thank them for their contributions. Appreciation goes a long way and builds loyalty in employees. They will be able to see their journey and acknowledge the company’s contribution to it. However, do not hesitate in giving feedback when performance is poor either. Support them in improving their performance and yielding better outputs.
It’s no secret that onboarding is integral to the success of a business. However, many new companies skip this step by just asking employees to join the team.
This often leads to low conversion rates and high churn rates as employees get lost in the sea of job options on the internet. In order to combat this, it’s crucial to have an effective onboarding system at your disposal.
By following some of the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that your employees not only convert but also don’t bounce out of your company before they’ve even started working.