What is Employee Onboarding?
Simply, onboarding is introducing a newly hired employee into your organization. It can include everything from orienting the new hire to the company culture and values to providing training on company policies and procedures.
When bringing a new employee onboard, it’s essential to provide them with all the information and resources they need to be successful in their role. This includes a detailed job description, an introduction to the company’s culture and values, and any available training or development opportunities. By ensuring that your new hire has a smooth transition into the company, you can set them up for success from day one.
How Long Onboarding Should Take
The employee onboarding process is critical to the success of any new hire. You can make your onboarding process as long as necessary per the needs of new hires. New employees should feel comfortable and confident in their roles before fully integrating into the company. Generally, an effective onboarding procedure requires a minimum of two weeks.
However, many companies opt for different onboarding periods, going as long as one full year, with the beginning of onboarding having more meetings.
This article will give you all the details about effective onboarding processes. Effective onboarding can help new hires feel welcome and prepared to do their best work.
Why Efficient Employee Onboarding Matters
Employee onboarding is important for many reasons. The first of which is a good portrayal of your company in the eyes of the new hires. In fact, according to a study by Gallup, only 12% of employees think their company had a good onboarding process and there is only a 50% employee retention rate within the first 18 months. Onboarding is something can help with this. By orienting new employees to the company, they can hit the ground running and be productive members of your team.
Benefits of Employee Onboarding
Let’s go through the benefits to an effective employee onboarding procedure, many of which are seen as soon as the onboarding process starts.
Better Job Retention and Satisfaction
New hires are the lifeblood of any company. It is essential to have effective onboarding procedures to ensure new hires are happy and productive in their roles. A good onboarding program will help new employees feel welcome and integrated into the company culture. It will also provide them with the tools and information they need to be successful in their jobs. Ultimately, this leads to better job satisfaction and retention.
Reduced Learning Period
Onboarding is essential for new hires, as it helps them acclimate to the company and their roles more quickly. By providing a more robust and engaging onboarding process, new hires can learn the ins and outs of their roles faster and begin to contribute to the company’s bottom line more quickly.
Having this effective onboarding means the onboarding process can finish more quickly, and this helps to ensure a smooth transition from a confused new hire to a productive and engaged employee.
Promotes Communication Within the Company Ladder
An effective onboarding process can help foster communication and relationships between new hires and employees at all company levels. These relationships are essential for new hires as they can provide insights into their career progression and identify people they can rely on for support.
Maintain a Healthy Company Culture
You need to do more than attract talent to your company; you need to attract the right talent that fits within your company’s culture and ethics. An effective onboarding process will set the precedence for your company culture and help ensure that the right people stay at your company.
The onboarding process is the first view the new hire gets into your company. It lets them learn how things are run and how people communicate and gives them a feeling of the overall environment.
When your company onboards new employees effectively, it promotes the existing culture that is present at your company and allows the employee to better adapt to the current culture.
As the first step in a new employee’s journey in your company, onboarding is critical to setting the tone for engagement and ensuring a smooth transition into the organization. When done effectively, onboarding can lead to higher levels of engagement and commitment from employees.
It’s no secret that a strong onboarding program leads to increased productivity. When new hires are given the tools and information they need to be successful from day one, they are more likely to be engaged and productive employees.
An effective onboarding program provides employees with the resources they need to be successful, such as training materials, company policies and contact information for key personnel.
By taking the time to set new hires up for success, companies can see a significant increase in productivity.
The Employee Onboarding Process
Employee onboarding is handled through an onboarding process. Now let’s discuss the procedure and provide an example in more details.
What is an Onboarding Process?
The onboarding process facilitates the integration of new employees in a company. There are different processes and methodologies you can take. The way you onboard your employees is entirely up to the HR staff and managers, and various techniques work well for different companies.
Let’s go through a typical employee onboarding process flow that you can follow from start to finish, including the hiring process. Of course, this is just a baseline process that you can modify to create your memorable onboarding experience.
Before Onboarding: Pre-boarding
The pre-boarding process is a critical part of onboarding and ensures new hires have the information they need to be successful in their role.
It includes sending new hires information about the company and their role before their start date and completing any necessary paperwork. This process helps to set new hires up for success and makes the transition into their new role smoother.
1. Sending an Offer
If you think you have found the right candidate, feel free to send them an offer. The HR team should welcome the candidate with the necessary documentation and official onboarding forms such as an offer letter, company policies, hiring paperwork, non-disclosure agreement, employee information and a warm welcome.
The offer must include critical information such as salary, benefits and start date. The official company representatives should also sign it.
2. Waiting Period and Planning Ahead
Just because you sent an offer does not mean the candidate will accept. You should plan ahead if the candidate decides to negotiate or rejects the offer outright. This planning can include preparing to send offers to other candidates or returning to the recruitment process.
Even if a candidate rejects your offer, your company should stay on good terms. In this way, you can survey the candidate for additional information, and you don’t burn any bridges. In today’s world, people change jobs left and right. The candidate may return in the future, and you want to avoid burning any bridges with potential top talent.
If the candidate accepts, there will be some time before they start. Spend time to create an onboarding process for the new hire.
3. Before the First Day
Before the first day, you should ensure that all of the paperwork is complete. You need to find a place for the employee to sit within the office (if the job is in person), as well as create accounts and go through IT-related procedures for the candidate.
Have the necessary equipment ready for the new hire or ship it out to them before their first day.
The First Day
On the first day of onboarding, new hires will have a mix of positive and negative emotions. They will be nervous, excited and anxious. This is the perfect opportunity to invoke a sense of belonging in the new employees.
This will help keep the negative emotions in check and ensure the employee is ready. The first day is also typically when you should have various introductory meetings. But keep them from overwhelming them with constant meetings.
During the first day, you should also provide them with all the devices they need such as a laptop and company phone. You should also let them download all the apps they need (maybe an onboarding app). You should give the employee time and space to go through the many setup procedures as well as acclimate to the new environment.
Orientation and First Week
Now that the new hire has started and the first day has passed, you should continue to have various seminars, training sessions and meetings to slowly provide all of the company knowledge to the new hire. This is the time to get their essential training started.
Orientation sessions provide insights into the company culture, goals and history.
Training sessions will teach the employee about various procedures related directly to their jobs.
Other meetings and team-building activities will allow the employee to socialize, build bonds and feel welcome.
All three are vital to an essential onboarding procedure, and you should incorporate all of them within the first weeks of onboarding.
Ongoing Engagement and Culture Building
Now that some time has passed, the new hires should be full-fledged team members. It is vital that you continue to have engaging activities and culture-building sessions for them. They do not need to be as frequent sinse the employee still needs time to work on their assigned tasks, but they will help ensure the employees stick around for a longer time.
The First Quarter after Onboarding
This is the final phase for most onboarding procedures. The new hire is essentially a full employee. Now, you can schedule time to get feedback from the employee about the onboarding processes and the company and ensure the employee is a good fit. The following are great tasks for HR and management to ensure you can retain the employees.
- Review their performance and provide constructive feedback to improve their performance. Provide additional training to the employee as necessary.
- Check in on the onboarding and collect feedback as this shows the employee you listen.
- Find out if the employee has any problems and discuss how you can help them solve them.
- Talk about their career and help them find growth opportunities.
At the end of the day, your company wants to retain top talent, and the employee wants fun and engaging experiences at work. It is your job to provide this to the employees.
Tips to Make Your Employee Onboarding More Effective
We just went through a full onboarding flow with some high-level overviews on what to do. Now, let’s go over how to make the onboarding even more effective.
Plan the Onboarding Process Ahead
When it comes to onboarding your new employees, it pays to plan ahead. By mapping out a comprehensive onboarding plan, you can ensure that your new hires hit the ground running and are productive from day one.
An effective onboarding plan will cover everything from the basics (e.g., orientation or job training) to the more nuanced aspects of company culture and team dynamics. By planning ahead, you can avoid potential pitfalls and set your new hires up for success.
Provide a Holistic Onboarding Experience
You should design your onboarding process in a way that helps the new employees feel comfortable and prepared for their roles. The onboarding should be tailored to each individual and their specific needs but should accommodate different learning styles.
By having a holistic onboarding process, you can be sure that any individual with experience can learn and be prepared for their role.
Provide an Overview of the Entire Company
(This tip is most applicable to larger companies but can also help the onboarding of startups)
Your onboarding process should provide an overview of the entire company as a whole. This includes each department, the management, the environment, as well as key contact people. By providing the employee with this basic knowledge, they will know whom to go to for different problems and questions, which will save them time.
Automate Different Aspects of Onboarding
An excellent time-saver is automating different aspects of the onboarding process. This will minimize the amount of work management has to do but will still provide a worthwhile experience for the new hire.
There are a few elements that you can automate once you have the necessary experience:
You can streamline many of the employee pre-boarding procedures, such as sending an automated onboarding welcome email when they accept your offer. You can also automatically send other emails when they accept your offer and before their start date.
Account Creation and App Provision
Creating various accounts for new hires is a tedious process when you bring in many people at once. Provisioning these accounts and applications can be automated to simplify the process for you. Regardless of your platform, some automation is likely built-in or through a third-party provider.
Many of the meetings you have are the same for each onboarding process and between all new hires. For example, you may have a 1-1 session with each new hire and an introduction orientation. You can automate many of these invites to help save time and ensure the employees get all of the relevant meeting invites.
Health and Safety Training Invitation
Many countries require specific health and safety training for different job positions. Different platforms provide training and certifications; you can automate the invite to these platforms and the certification collection.
Employee onboarding automation should be your long term goal. If this is your first onboarding process, then wait to automate it. You must go through one complete new hire onboarding process to learn how it works.
Ensure the Different Processes are Well Documented
Ensuring you document all of your processes well is critical to the success of any organization. Having clear and concise documentation allows your organization to train new employees efficiently, improve efficiency, and avoid errors. Well-documented processes also help to create a shared understanding among employees and can serve as a reference point when problems arise.
Good documentation can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful organization, and this is especially true during onboarding processes.
Have Domain Experts in the Onboarding
It is important to have experts in different domains be involved in the onboarding process to provide efficient knowledge transfer to new employees. With this, you can see massive gains in productivity immediately as new hires can better understand their tasks and have expert consulting when they need it. Take for example a new software developer who just onboarded into your company. If they have a staff software engineer that can provide guidance, they can begin contributing sooner as they can learn the code base faster.
In fact, according to a Forbes article, AllenComm was able to increase their productivity by 15% by having domain experts aid in onboarding.
Keep Iterating on the Onboarding Experience
The onboarding procedures you decide on will constantly be evolving. You will need to iterate after each onboarding session to improve the next one. To do this, you should collect feedback from the new hires whenever possible. Please listen to their feedback and do your best to incorporate it into the subsequent onboarding.
Stay Organized and On Top of the Onboarding for Each New Hire
It’s crucial to stay organized and on top of the onboarding for each new hire. This includes creating a checklist of items that need to be completed and setting deadlines for each task. Doing so will help ensure a smooth transition for the new hire and help avoid any potential problems. In fact, a checklist might be the most critical aspect of the onboarding process.
Employee Onboarding Checklist
An employee onboarding checklist is a document that outlines the tasks and activities that need to be completed when onboarding a new employee. The hiring managers or HR department can use the checklist to ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken and that nothing is forgotten. The new employee can also use the checklist to keep track of what needs to be done and to help them feel more organized and prepared for their first day.
How to build an employee onboarding checklist
An employee onboarding checklist can help you ensure that you cover all of the bases when orienting a new employee. It just needs to be a simple document that contains a list of tasks. Some key entries for new employees include:
- Reviewing company policies and procedures
- Introducing and going through the training plan
- Going over the job requirements and core workflow
- Meeting key people like HR managers
- Learning about the company culture
- Getting set up with any necessary tools or resources
- Completing health and safety training
- Scheduling meet and greets with the team and other organization employees
- Learning about company values and mission values
By taking the time to review each item on the onboarding checklist, you can help ensure that the added employee feels welcome and prepared to start their role.
Where to Make the Employee Onboarding Checklist
Making an employee onboarding checklist is straightforward and will result in many benefits. It is as simple as creating a document on any platform. The documents on the platform need to be editable by anyone (with access) and shareable. In general, you should create an employee checklist for each new hire, and they need to be able to access it easily.
A great choice is Nimbus Note for your employee onboarding checklists. Nimbus is the ideal choice because it provides the power and flexibility of document editors but also has the added advantage of being inherently organized due to the hierarchy Nimbus provides. Nimbus provides a workspace for your entire team to communicate, organize tasks and take notes. An example workflow would be to create a folder for each new hire and create a checklist in that folder. This folder can be shared to the new candidate as well as the relevant managers. Should the employee have any questions, they can contact the relevant person directly with Nimbus chats.
Best of all, you don’t even have to create an onboarding checklist yourself. Choose one of the Nimbus templates for Onboarding Process!
Make employee onboarding simple and structured with Nimbus Platform™
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