First Impressions ….. Getting a new employee Onboard

Onboarding is fundamentally the process to which an employee is welcomed into the business and where a lasting impact on the continuing working relationship is established. It should be viewed as an investment, it’s a bit more than a first…

Blog26th Oct 2022

Onboarding is fundamentally the process to which an employee is welcomed into the business and where a lasting impact on the continuing working relationship is established.

It should be viewed as an investment, it’s a bit more than a first day induction, it’s not a one size fits all, and will look slightly different for every business.

The current recruiting market is challenging, and with average cost of talent acquisition rising, it has naturally raised the priority of effectively onboarding new employees. This process needs to be not just uncomplicated and value adding, but primarily a positive experience, for the long-term focus, with all elements being considered.

Just simple organisation in advance can ensure a new starter immediately feels valued and will be keen to deliver for any organisation, its great PR too! It will give the impression that the business is professional, organised and that its people are important to them, all things that translate to loyal, effective, and retained employees.

Varying factors have accelerated more flexibility around our working lives, with the most significant changes seen around hours and location, and when adding these elements into an onboarding programme, it may need a little more up-front organising, therefore, incorporating a plan around what onboarding in your business looks like, will benefit all involved.

Statistics can always be interpreted in varying fashions however within this subject the evidence is clear, that an employee that has a positive ‘onboarding’ experience is more likely to stay in a role longer than one who has a negative experience, and this process starts as soon as a job offer is made… its important to remember people love to feel part of something and connected!

Quite often notice periods can delay start dates, therefore after all the hard work and cost that has been involved to select and secure new talent it’s then crucial to stay in close contact.

Things to consider before the first day, could be;

  • Sending a company branded gift with a personalised message
  • Including your new starter in an event before the joining date
  • In its simplest form an email to say ‘hello’ with a small business update
  • These are all things that help with staying connected but also start to build a strong foundation up to the first day.

Earlier this year we discussed the relevant documentation for new employees, but what about the operational elements? these can consist of (to name a few!)

  • Will a uniform be required?
  • Are there any reasonable adjustments to be considered?
  • What equipment does the role need?
  • and what colleagues is it important to set up introductions with early on?

Research suggests that not only is retention supported, in fact, the professional body for people development have researched that 42% of UK businesses are improving their Onboarding processes to improve retention, however, productivity is also generally 50% higher for new employees that were well onboarded well against those that were not.

Every new starter will need to know slightly differing information but once you have your process in place that incorporates who does what, and when, it will make expectations clear as well as help manage any single points of failures that can occur in any business big or small.

Sharing the orientation responsibilities is a great idea too, one way to approach this is by introducing a buddy system. This process joins up the new starter with an established existing employee who is available in a more informal format who can empower and in turn drive faster productivity. Not every workplace has the capacity to support this, however there are many ways this can be implemented successfully even in the busiest or smallest environment.

A programme for onboarding will see a new starter past the first day and builds a great foundation for starting work in a new business which follows nicely into the first review meetings and makes those processes for an employer much easier to prepare for, ultimately setting the scene for all round success.

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