7 Ways to Deliver the Best Onboarding Experience for New Hires
5min read / 25 Aug 2022
20% of staff turnover happens during the first 45 days of employment. When your new hires start leaving, it takes a toll on your business costs, which directly impacts your revenue. The average time to fill an open position is 42 days, with opportunity costs between $2700-$4425 for each employee. That’s why an effective onboarding experience is so important for talent engagement and retention.
How to Deliver the Best Onboarding Experience for New Hires
These seven tactics improve your current onboarding process and deliver memorable experiences that make your new hires want to stay with your company.
1. Embrace a digital onboarding process
Digital onboarding ensures all employees will have the same experience, which creates a cohesive experience across teams. Using digital tools in your onboarding process streamlines administrative tasks, automates communication, and saves considerable time and resources. Digital onboarding:
- Eliminates the need for printing paper documents
- Encryption ensures air-tight security for sensitive documents
- 24/7 access to online resources and support
- Seamless integration of videos, images, and digital publications for streamlined onboarding
- Ideal for fully remote or hybrid employees
2. Engage new hires in the process
The level of engagement you have with a new hire is directly proportional to their interest in your company. Make sure to keep engaging with new hires and encourage them to ask questions. This is especially important for digital onboarding. You can also use gamification, microlearning, all-hands meetings, and team lunches to increase engagement and build rapport within teams.
3. Document the entire onboarding process
Documenting the onboarding process simplifies everything not just for the new hires but also for their managers. It is also important for a smooth digital onboarding experience. Meticulous documentation takes care of any gaps in context or knowledge exchange. Documentation knocks down barriers and allows new managers or remote teams to all have the same information. If the current hiring manager leaves your company, their knowledge and approach are safely documented.
How you document the onboarding process is completely up to you. Percolate uses an 18-page Day 1 document covering the company’s history, culture, values, and practical advice on effective meetings or strong passwords. Trello uses an onboarding template that includes step-by-step instructions on activities for the first week and month.
No matter the format, make sure that your documentation covers all the essential information, including a calendar of onboarding events and processes.
4. Roll out the red carpet
Small gestures can go a long way during the onboarding process, especially for remote workers. Ask current team members to reach out to new hires and learn their names. Another simple gesture is pairing the new hires with a buddy or team member for lunch so that they aren’t left wondering where they’ll eat lunch. Some companies send welcome baskets or letters welcoming new hires to the team.
Such gestures might sound small, but they aren’t trivial. They help break the ice and remove minor obstacles in the way of new hires, and such efforts don’t go unnoticed as they reflect a degree of thoughtfulness that most companies don’t show.
5. Do frequent check-ins
Initial days at a new company can be overwhelming for anyone. Frequent check-ins to know how your new hires are doing can help you make their lives easier, and show that you care. These check-ins also allow new hires to form mentorships and friendships with their co-workers.
Check-ins also provide excellent feedback on the effectiveness of your onboarding process and identify aspects to improve. They also help managers detect problems (disengagement, low morale, low engagement, manage expectations) at the workplace and take steps to fix them before it’s too late.
6. Follow up on the post-onboarding process
As they get used to working at your company, send new hires surveys after the first week, month, and year to understand if they:
- Enjoy their job role and work environment
- Feel prepared to assume all of their responsibilities
- Have all the support and resources needed to do their job well
- Feel the onboarding process and experience were successful
Since new hires have a fresh perspective on everything, gathering and incorporating their feedback is one of the best ways to improve your internal processes.
7. Automate the mundane
HR isn’t just for hiring, but also for adding business value. However, most administrative tasks such as paperwork, scheduling meetings, follow-ups, and answering questions on company policies are draining and time-consuming.
That’s where automation can come in handy. If the onboarding workflows are automated, HR doesn’t have to chase after managers or new hires to ensure that they’ve completed all their tasks. Automated systems take care of all those hassles.
Similarly, automated notifications act as reminders for employees on everything from updating documents and leave policies to filling up Pulse surveys.
As a result, HR has more time to focus on the strategic, and human aspects of HR, such as:
- Doing periodic check-ins
- Designing personalized onboarding and learning experiences
- Performing regular assessments of the onboarding process and new hires to spot red flags
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