Onboarding: The Stage after Hiring That’s Grossly Underestimated
What is onboarding? A formal onboarding definition could be a handshake that happens after a successful hiring process and the very first day of the new hire. Onboarding is the process of providing a nurturing environment to the new hires who might be vulnerable, out of their element, and stressed in the new job. This is a chance for recruiters to make a good first impression and get the new employees on track with a perfect employee onboarding program.
Recruiters must use this opportunity to introduce the company culture along with expectations from the job and the skills required to do so. It can comprise of concise training and team-building exercises as well. The real purpose of an HR onboarding process is to make every new hire an effective organizational member who is aligned with its objectives.
Let us see what some of the best practices are after the hiring process is over and onboarding starts:
1. Make it customized for each individual
It is surely less time consuming and also easy on money if you put a bunch of new hires in the onboarding program but it could turn out to be counterproductive at times. This is so because each person comes with a different background and their own intrinsic weaknesses and strengths so tailoring the process to leverage that aspect of individuality by incorporating the types of interactions the new employees have will make the onboarding process more effective and also help in expediting it. Another thing that happens when you are trying to deal with the entire group of new hires at once is that catering to individual needs becomes impossible and it also leads to issues with interpersonal attitudes which can have long-lasting effects.
2. Use AI tools to optimize and keep it interactive
A report from UrbanBound says that 20% of employees leave within 45 days of joining. while organizations who have a standard onboarding process have shown 54% more productivity of new employees. In order to get your new hires to acquire a baseline, operational knowledge companies must employ highly engaging, interactive, and absolutely personalized instructions. There are many advanced AI-enabled tutoring systems which could provide a solution to the problem of one-size-fits-all training. Tools like Oracle HCM (human capital management) are being used by many tech companies to enable learning of professionals. It uses personalized content, adaptive learning, and real-time algorithm, based on how the user is going through the material, to assess and predict learner’s progress.
3. Use and reiterate data to track the progress of new employees
If you use technology in the onboarding then data collection is happening in the background. With new and enhanced reporting systems one can collect and integrate data from their learning systems across HR processes. This can be used to track how employees are progressing and responding to the training program. With such a system it is easy for the organization to see how their investments in the training plan are paying off in organizational readiness and goal achievement. The data can be revisited to tweak and optimize the process.
4. Determine the right onboarding period
Once you spend so much time in recruiting top talent, losing them within 2 years of joining would be a painful affair and a major loss. So recruiters need to change their old viewpoint of 1-day or a 1-week onboarding period. It is important to have a pre-boarding program, even before the first day. Pre-boarding happens after the acceptance of the offer and the first day at the job. It is an informal way of engaging with the new employee informally. One also needs to have many onboarding touchpoints for 1st month, 1st quarter, 6 months and one-year completion to connect and evaluate how the new hire is faring and adjusting.
An outdated and short “orientation” program is now a passé. Just a few hours of training will not get your new hire to perform at their best. With 21% of Millenials shifting jobs within a year, there is a constant flux hence having a solid employee onboarding program is crucial in retaining quality employees.
The Hidden Costs of Onboarding New Employees
Employees who do not have a clear picture of their roles or have not been trained for their job tend to be less productive and are a liability to the company. Inadequate onboarding can also be expensive and can go out of hand if not managed properly. Here is an outlook on the hidden cost involved while onboarding employees.
Before we consider the costs, it is essential to comprehend what establishes inadequate onboarding. This emerges from an inability to recognize the different sides to business profitability – understanding the goals of the functions from the employer and the employees’ end.
From the viewpoint of the employer, onboarding incorporates satisfactory correspondence of the jobs and obligations of the employee alongside updating them with the workflow and culture of the organisation. Other than work-related errands, this additionally helps to prepare the employee for the company’s internal environment.
From the employee’s side, it is significant for onboarding to be personalized based on his or her abilities and expectations. Always remember that one size doesn’t fit everybody. So it is consequently essential to understand the learning retention of the onboarded employee. What’s more, onboarding ought to likewise incorporate tests that can enable the employee to test their learning skills to ensure that they are prepared for the job they have been employed for.
Deficiency in Productivity
Loss in productivity is the most common impact of inadequate onboarding. Mostly this loss remains apparent to the management without proper validation systems. A structured onboarding is the only solution for this problem. The employee productivity should be benchmarked with competitors to measure it properly. One other way to fix this loss is by arranging third-party consultants or experts to validate your onboarding process and employee productivity.
Higher Attrition Rates
Poorly on boarded employees do not have transparency of their roles and responsibilities. Inadequate onboarding will bring their productivity levels down, and also impacts their morale and job security. A recent survey revealed that nearly a third of all new hires who were poorly onboarded look for a different job within the first six months while about a quarter of them quit before a year on the job.
This reflects negatively on employee productivity and results in higher hiring cost. Loss of time is also another aftereffect for the same since it takes weeks or even months to hire a replacement and speed up the business process accordingly.
Managers or respective authorities must conduct monthly or bi-monthly feedback sessions to understand an employee’s views on their organization. The feedback can also be anonymous to ensure reliability. Surveys like this help authorities understand employee morale and truthful reactions.
Loyalty and Culture
In a work environment with poor onboarding and higher attrition, the employer might not be able to establish a moral work culture.
Creating a brand image among employees and infusing a sense of satisfaction or pride can only happen when your employees stay with your organization for years. Uniformly high attrition across departments even kills the enthusiasm in new hires.
A culture only evolves when there are enough loyal employees. So the easiest way to build a work culture is by constructing one from the top levels of the organization. In order to create a company-wide transformation in loyalty and perception of employer brand, onboarding practices should be improved at the lower management levels.