Employee onboarding best practices defined
Hiring, firing and everything in between. The area between talent acquisition and talent management. The candidate to applicant experience. Each of these onboarding best practices contribute to what the best of the best organizations do when it comes to bringing new employees onboard.
We talk about all these things but rarely talk about onboarding at length, and it’s a darn shame because onboarding is the thing that actually fits in all the above categories. It completes the candidate experience and starts off employee engagement the right way. It’s the thing that comes after hiring and hopefully way before firing. It’s also an intrinsic part of talent acquisition and talent management. Get the picture? Onboarding best practices are important!
Perhaps because the onboarding process is frequently thought to be between 30-90 days (when studies show it should be closer to a year) we assume that a short process has less importance in the scheme of the total employee lifecycle. But that’s a poor comparison, especially since, according to the Aberdeen Group, 90% of employees make their decision to stay at a company within the first six months.
So how can you make your onboarding experience memorable, exciting and even favorable? Let’s take a few excerpts from the playbooks of companies who’ve gotten employee onboarding best practices right:
1. They have an onboarding system in place.
Onboarding is more than paperwork and goal setting, but you’d never know it looking at most onboarding software solutions. That’s because the solution is there to take care of the admin work: the filling out of forms, paperwork and the things that when not done, will get you a bad rap from the compliance department. When you have a system to take care of these things for you, it allows you to focus on the onboarding work that matters. So step one, find a system to take care of the onboarding basics.
2. They start the onboarding process at the offer acceptance.
Whether it’s company swag, a card with a team picture, a celebratory lunch or a special gift that underscores your company values, make sure the candidate receives something tangible and experiential that says “Welcome.” Percolate gives all of the above, including a Kindle, for the following reason:
“It’s linked to the core idea that we are a learning organization. It’s our responsibility to help encourage people to continue to read and make themselves better. They can read whatever they want, but personally I find the Kindle to be a pretty amazing device for continuing to find new ideas in the world.”
3. They provide opportunities to bond with the team ahead of time.
Whether it’s the aforementioned celebratory lunch or a video bonding session, your new hire needs to meet his or her team ahead of time. And it’s a great time to be a manager or the new hire facilitator, because even if flying out your newest employee to meet the team isn’t a possibility, we have all the technology these days. Use Skype or Slack or even GoToMeeting to introduce your new hire to the company and schedule time into your current team’s day to make it a priority.
Getting pushback on the time it takes? Just use these handy statistics to justify establishing employee onboarding best practices at your company:
- For entry-level employees, it costs between 30-50% of their annual salary to replace them.
- For mid-level employees, it costs upwards of 150% of their annual salary to replace them.
- For high-level or highly specialized employees, you’re looking at 400% of their annual salary.
4. They know how make a new hire’s day the best first day ever.
Email, intranet, message boards, schedule and phone number, these are the tools of the modern workplace. No matter what your best first day looks like, everyone, even spontaneous new hires, will be thrilled to know what’s in store.
By setting this up ahead of time and notifying them of logins and anticipated agenda, you also let them subtly know you are thinking about their first day with anticipation. That is flattering to a nervous new employee. Find a way to make it as organized, streamlined and welcoming as possible. It’s a great idea to start this on the Friday before their first Monday. You can also introduce them to a mentor you’ve selected to show them around and make their first days and weeks a little easier.
5. They explain to new hires about unwritten rules.
Every company has them. For some, it might be CCing the manager on client emails; for others it could be no food in a certain trash can and others it could be “no shorts allowed.” The point is, new employees often fall afoul of these rules because they never knew about them in the first place. Companies who over-inform their new employees rarely have this issue. Poll your existing employees to find out what they wish they’d known on their first day, and you’ll find out everything you need to know to fill up your “Day 1 Document.”
6. They accelerate the hard meetings.
Some companies will avoid difficult meetings until the new hire is acclimated. But it might be a better idea to supplement these meetings with deep-dive meetings so the new hire has a great idea of exactly what everyone in her department does. A brand new employee will find his feet much faster when he knows who does what and how they do it. So follow this employee onboarding best practice and do your best to have these types of meetings in the first week, rather than avoid them.
7. They start from the top down.
While it might not be possible for your CEO to meet with all new hires, you can build out management who give even the most entry-level of new hires some face time. Along with a mentor to show them the ins and outs of the company, this employee onboarding best practice can really make a new employee feel valued, listened to and excited about their future.
Also not a secret is our compliant, ever-engaging employee journey platform. It excites HR, new hires and employees by blending engagement with digital workflow into smooth, flexible solutions. We deliver rich employee lifecycle experiences for instant and long-lasting impressions to transition employees in, through and out of the organization at scale and with ease.
If you’re ready to take the next step of focusing on your people and letting the process run itself, Click’s team of employee journey experts is here for you.