In today’s tight labor market, employers are under pressure to fill numerous job openings—and keep them filled. Hoping to encourage new hires to remain with their companies for longer periods of time, many HR departments are improving their onboarding processes.
Onboarding, an extended orientation period, is an opportunity to fully integrate employees into a company’s ecosystem. After a quality onboarding process, employees will feel as though they have all the tools they need to succeed in their jobs, including full knowledge of their company’s offerings and their role in promoting them. In fact, employees who participate in a structured onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with an organization for up to 3 years.
Read on to learn how your company can successfully provide your new hires with the tools they need to thrive.
1. Maintain regular communications.
Communication is just as important for new hires as it is for job candidates.
Remain in close contact with your new hires, ensuring they are following your onboarding schedule. Ensure you check in before paperwork or administrative deadlines, as new employees are often overwhelmed and tend to forget minutiae. For the first month or so of their employment, circle in weekly to address any of their questions or concerns.
2. Facilitate introductions to key stakeholders.
Transparency and equality are important to today’s employees. To show your new hires that their opinions are valued, set up informal introductions with company leadership. This will encourage your employees to share any good ideas they have in the future and make them feel as though they, too, are important to your company.
Don’t forget to introduce your employees to their coworkers, too, especially those who might have similar interests. Seventy-six percent of new hires say socialization is the most important part of onboarding, and 56% of new employees want a buddy or mentor.
3. Outline expectations and job duties.
Twenty-three percent of professionals who said they quit their jobs shortly after their first day said that they might have stayed if they had received clear guidelines regarding their responsibilities.
While this seems like a simple task, many managers do not provide their employees with explicit expectations. Ensure your new hires’ managers create clear lists of:
- Daily responsibilities
- Weekly responsibilities
- Monthly responsibilities
- One-off responsibilities
These initial task lists might change, but by the time they do, your employees should feel comfortable enough to adjust.
4. Explain any unwritten rules or company jargon.
Maybe ping pong is encouraged, but not until after four. Maybe sports talk is off-limits because of the Great Sports Argument of 2017. Maybe software engineers like to be called ninjas.
Regardless, it’s important that your new hires know all these intricacies of your company culture. Letting them in on these unwritten rules during a casual coffee or lunch will make them feel like a bonafide member of your team.
5. Provide (and receive) feedback.
You’ll want to provide feedback to new hires fairly quickly and in an informal setting. Focus on what they’ve done well so they feel encouraged, but mention areas for improvement, too.
Don’t forget to ask for feedback about your onboarding program: 15% of employees said the lack of an effective onboarding program aided in their decision to quit. It’s important to learn how well your onboarding process works so you can improve it for future new hires.
By implementing a successful onboarding program, you empower your new employees with the tools they need to flourish. Your employees will be more productive—and more likely to remain with your company for a longer period of time.