What is onboarding and why does it matter to your business?

Onboarding new staff

It only takes six months for an employee to decide whether or not to stay with an organisation in the long run. So, it’s important to make the experience both memorable and positive. A planned out process, rather than a scrappy induction, can ensure that this is done right. Provide a great impression and your employees will be more inclined to stay.

First off, onboarding is the word to describe the journey that a new hire goes through; from receiving the job offer, to their first week, to the training and induction processes that introduce them to the business. This includes welcoming them to the culture that your company has and making sure that they know about the performance that is required in the role that they’ve taken.

Onboarding is something that every single employee will go through but is very different from company to company. It’s important to keep the experience that you provide consistent within the business so that you can be sure that no information is missed.

Here are five considerations to keep in mind to create a great onboarding experience:

  1. Start Early

There’s often a period that your new hire will go through when they’ve resigned from a previous role and are eagerly awaiting their start date. This can often be around a month in total and isn’t time that should be wasted. Instead, make use of the excitement that your new hire is feeling and provide them with some extra details.

More information about the company, its culture and the team, is a great way to show your commitment and exceed any expectations that they might have. Share some of the perks and the elements that make your workplace unique and special, so that your new hire can be prepared for the journey they’re about to embark on.

  1. Create A Smooth Transition

It’s these early moments that your new hire will experience your company processes for the first time, so make them count. Admin heavy, paper-based procedures can be clunky and disorganised. Create a smooth transition for your employees with paperless onboarding, utilising technology and the cloud to scream that your company is progressive.

  1. Think About the Long Term

First impressions count when it comes to keeping your employees engaged in the long term. So, think about your employee experience in the same way that you approach a customer’s experience with your company. Start with an efficient training program, get your employees up to speed so that they will become your company’s advocates in the long term.

  1. Remain Compliant

Make sure that you remain compliant, with structured policies and contracts ready for your new hires. The employment territory can be difficult to navigate alone and a software system with inbuilt HR documents can help to steer your business in the right direction. That way, you can keep peace of mind that you’re following the correct procedures throughout the onboarding experience.

  1. Show Your Innovative Side

Providing an online, paperless onboarding experience indicates to new employees that your company is both innovative and green. Get new hires excited to start working for the business and provide the flexibility to sign on the spot, using their smartphone, tablet or computer to sign contracts in minutes.

Keep communication channels open and check in on future staff members. Use video conferences and online meetings to keep in touch. If you’re not in the same office or travelling in the early stages of a staff member’s onboarding experience, it’s important to touch base and let them know that you’re there to answer any questions that they might have.

This early experience with your company is an essential point where new employees will make lasting impressions about your business and will determine the longevity that they will stick it out with you. So, make it count. Answer any questions that they might have and make sure that they feel like a welcomed new member of your team. With the foundations in place, you’ll have passionate employees ready to take you to the next level.

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About the author

Ari Kopoulos is CEO of EmployeeConnect His knowledge spans across brand strategy, sales leadership and digital innovation. Ari provides creative vision and leadership across a rapidly growing team, reinforcing EmployeeConnect as the premier employment thought leader in for employee engagement & workplace transformation. More blog posts by Ari Kopoulos ››
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