How long does onboarding take new hires?

What it takes to get employees up to speed

Higher retention rates, engaged employees and effective communication are just a few of the advantages to having a seamless, effective onboarding process. Making the most of a new hire’s first few months can contribute immensely to their employee engagement and career development, especially now during a global pandemic. It also helps employers better understand what they’re doing right in the early stages of hiring, as well as identify where gaps may lie within their current onboarding process. But in terms of time, how long does onboarding take?

In a fast-paced, technological world, the standard 90-day onboarding period can seem like a lifetime for managers. It’s more realistic to recognize that not all companies will require the same amount of time to get an employee up to speed. Ensuring that new hires become assimilated in the appropriate timeframe with all the necessary skills and knowledge is crucial to their development and longevity with a company. So, managers should be mindful and take extra care to ensure new employees up to speed.

Make the experience personal

It’s important to show new employees they are welcome in their new organization. Preparing them a designated workspace gives them a place to call their own and shows them their team is thoughtful and inviting. Though they should be encouraged to begin learning as soon as possible, managers should be careful not to rush the process.

Expose new hires to company culture

Understanding the inner workings of the team is a great way to show a new employee they are valued. A major part of this process is to immerse them in the company culture. While it might make sense to assume money drives performance, peers and camaraderie are actually the #1 reason pushing employees to go the extra mile. This can be done simply by giving a tour of the facility and introducing them to everyone on the team, pointing out those who can be helpful to the employee’s professional growth. Encouraging new employees to take time asking team members questions gives them the chance to forge relationships and establish communication early on.

Clearly outline expectations

It’s easy for a new employee to feel overwhelmed on their first day so it helps to outline what the expectations for them are leading up to their first performance review. A lack of transparency will lead employees elsewhere. Managers should set measurable and attainable goals for the employee and then let them know which team members can be the most helpful to them as they learn the ropes of the job. A common approach to this is assigning a mentor to the new employee so they have an official and consistent contact.

Consistently provide feedback

Feedback is crucial to a new employee’s development, and oftentimes, leaders don’t realize how important this information is to a newly hired employee. In fact, 69% percent of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were recognized. That’s a substantial and concerning number which seems to indicate leaders have immense opportunity to provide more feedback, praise and recognition when possible.

Letting new employees know what they are doing right provides positive reinforcement and guides them to continue making those choices. This kind of feedback helps them understand that the things which were done incorrectly are just as important. However, it’s important to note that this should be done with care while they are still learning the processes necessary for the job. This interaction also gives managers the chance to get feedback from the employee on how the company is helping their development and whether or not anything in the onboarding process could have been done differently.

Check-in regularly

Once a new employee is settled in and left alone to do their job, managers should strive to check in regularly to establish lines of communication and determine if any unconscious mistakes are being made. If you find your new employees are struggling, do your best to help alleviate the pressure. One-on-one meetings are the perfect opportunity to offer empathy, support, advice and much more. It also provides new employees with interaction they may not have sought out themselves.

Consider integrating employee engagement surveys and pulse surveys into your onboarding plan to monitor how new hires feel throughout their journey. Surveys are an excellent way to check in on employees and see how they’re doing.

Recognize the wins, big & small

According to, the single most important motivator for new hires is employee recognition. When an employee feels valued and appreciated, they naturally do better work. How much better? A staggering 81% of employees say they feel motivated to work harder when a boss shows appreciation. So show a little appreciation! It’s a rewarding way to engage employees on all levels!

The time is takes to get a new employee up-to-speed will vary, but isn’t something to be rushed. Paying attention to details other than the tedious day-to-day processes can provide new employees with a supportive work environment, fueling their success and performance. If you’re looking to improve your onboarding processes, check out Click Boarding’s onboarding software.

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