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How Important Is the Employee Onboarding Journey to New Hires?

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The last couple of years have seen a lot of changes on a global scale. We have crossed a lot of hurdles and the aftermath can be noticed especially in the job market. The talk of the town is, of course, what is called the Great Resignation.

Nobody can deny that around the globe companies suffer from labor shortages. The global pandemic has led to some restructuring in terms of how potential employees view their roles. They have different expectations than before and their requirements can make life difficult for companies. With remote work gaining momentum on a daily basis, labor market turbulence is a given.

Amidst all these changes, companies have an opportunity. To invest in employment practices and place greater value on employees. As such, the key to attracting new talent and ensuring employee retention starts with accepting to create an onboarding experience like no other.  

This is why we want to discuss the employee onboarding journey. Specifically, to show how important it can be to new hires. After all, a structured onboarding process can lead to an increase of 50% in employee retention.

For us, employee experience is a key factor in connecting a business with the people that drive it forward. We firmly believe that strong relationships aren’t built on poor foundations. So, let’s have a look and see why you should pay attention to the onboarding process and how it can affect the well-being of new employees. 

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about employee onboarding. From what it is and why is it important to how it benefits new hires and what are the effects of an exceptional onboarding journey in practice. 

Employee Onboarding — What Is It and Why Is It So Important?

At its simplest level, a formal onboarding program is the first step in the process of relationship building between a new hire and your business. It represents the induction of said employee into the universe of your company. 

Team spirit, values, processes, and overall company culture are what will come to the fore throughout the onboarding period of a new employee. They will, essentially, get to grips with: 

  • Their role and responsibilities 

  • Their new work environment 

  • Their managers and team members 

  • Company policies, platforms, and procedures

The core objectives throughout this period should be to help new employees to acclimatize socially and culturally and receive the right support to get to peak productivity as quickly as possible. 

Why Is Employee Onboarding So Important? 

Sometimes, the easiest way to put across the significance of an idea is through the use of statistics. In this case, subpar employee engagement in their onboarding stage is one logical reason why 28% of people leave a new job within their first 90 days in the role. 

These early days in the life of a new hire can set the tone for their future engagement in the company, impact their motivation to do the job they were hired to do, and even influence the chances of them staying on after the end of their probation period. 

The onboarding process is your chance, as a business, to deliver on the promises made during the hiring process, strengthen their belief that they have made the right choice to join the company, and help them connect and contribute in a way they can anticipate.

How Do New Hires Benefit From Employee Onboarding?

It goes without saying that the successful onboarding of a new employee isn’t beneficial just for your business but also for your new hire. Having structure and support in the early days of a new role means everything to someone who is already anxious about a new start. Let’s have a look then and see exactly what are the benefits felt by new hires once they go through an onboarding program. 

Clearly Defined Role Responsibilities and Expectations

Armed with a clear understanding of how their role is structured will ensure new employees can hit the ground running. Onboarding is your opportunity to make sure expectations, goals, and work processes are communicated clearly and there is no ambiguity as to what is expected.

Ensuring all these aspects are covered will create role clarity and transparency. These two in combination will help you build trust among existing employees and new hires, reinforce team spirit and increase the level of accountability all around. 

A Grounded Understanding of How the Business Operates

This is essential for a great employee experience from day one. The reason why a grounded understanding of your overall operation is so important? Well, how can a new hire be expected to adjust quickly if they do not have a proper appreciation of what you are trying to do?

How your business operates reflects your company values, ethics, and mission. Understanding it will help any newcomer appreciate the type of business they have joined and what is expected of them in order to succeed. 

Uninterrupted Support Throughout the Onboarding Process

A lot of information will be thrown at your new hire. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed is to be expected. That is unless you develop a structured onboarding process. 

Part of the onboarding experience implies having someone to mentor and help any newcomers. This way, the onboarding journey can move at a pace suitable to the learning capabilities of the trainee. 

Having a mentor to gauge their knowledge and offer support throughout the onboarding period can make for a successful integration into the role and daily life as an employee in your company.

A Clear Understanding of Compliance and Rules They Need to Follow

Depending on the industry your business operates, new hires will need to understand the rules and regulations governing it. 

Having them discussed and reinforced in your onboarding process will ensure new employees understand that they are necessary but also why they need to follow them. It is not ideal to have someone blindly following compliance without understanding the reasoning behind it. 

The goal here is to make new employees realize how misconduct can disrupt the workflow and place your company at regulatory risk. 

Employee Onboarding to Suit Your Needs 

Having gone through all the basics of employee onboarding, you might be asking yourself — it’s all well and good but how do I put this into practice while at the same time ensuring it reflects my company ethos and guarantees success? 

This is where we come into play. Having spent years in the training industry, we have developed two core services focused on a technique promising the results expected from the businesses of today. What we, in partnership with you, will work on are: 

  • Implementing the principles of design thinking

  • Organizing design thinking workshops to enable you to follow the design thinking mantra across your business

So, how do these services help you with developing your own employee onboarding journey? Well, by researching your business inside out we can then employ the principles of design thinking. Going down this route will allow us to implement the right processes to help you plan for an onboarding experience specifically tailored to your company.

How does this work specifically you might ask? Let’s have a look at how we helped the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross improve their volunteer experience and develop an iterative onboarding experience benefitting both the organization and its “employees”.

The challenge

The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross had two distinct challenges looming on the horizon. They had an aging volunteer base that presented an immediate need of attracting a younger generation of volunteers. 

This meant looking at existing processes and developing an onboarding journey based on project-based training. 

The how  

We were brought in to implement our project-based design thinking approach and conduct design training workshops for the organization’s Volunteer Services team. The aim was to revitalize the existing volunteer onboarding experience and use it as a context for project-based training. 

The result 

We have helped the organization obtain an iterative experience map that succinctly highlights any challenges and opportunities in their volunteer onboarding journey. More so, we were able to give the organization the capability of ensuring new volunteers are trained with their values in mind. This way, they can interact with customers in a truly people-centered way. 

Bottom Line

Amid all the changes brought about by the events of recent years, businesses have lost focus of what is important. By focusing on increasing their customer base, they forgot about also investing in the people that connect them with their customers — their employees. 

Nowadays, investing in your employment practices is as crucial as acquiring new clients. With shortages in a skilled workforce, making sure new hires perform in their roles is vital. 

Having a structured employee onboarding process will allow you to give newcomers the best chance to succeed in your company and hit the ground running. 

However, tailoring your onboarding program to suit the specific needs of your business can be a daunting task to undertake on your own. Why not give us a chance to support you? Book a consultation today and let’s see how we can help. 

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