An effective onboarding program for new hires can increase employee retention by 82%! Here’s what to include in yours.
5 things employers should include in their onboarding program
Do you have an onboarding process for your employees? If you don’t, you should. While some employers think new hires will figure things out on their own, throwing employees into the deep end can have the opposite effect that you want. It often only makes them feel lost and isolated.
And if you already have an onboarding process, you may want to reassess it. With 88% of employees saying their company doesn’t do a great job when it comes to onboarding new employees, your onboarding process may be as good as not having one at all.
Having a solid onboarding experience is not only important for creating a positive first impression for employees, but it actually has long-lasting implications. A good onboarding program can actually increase employee retention by 82% and boost productivity. To improve your onboarding process, here are some top things to include.
A well-structured schedule
This one may seem obvious, but having a well-structured schedule for a new hire’s first day and week is important. That means prepping them beforehand for the expectations of the day and what is to follow during the week. While business needs still need to be attended to, have managers block out time to not only meet with new hires but walk them through expectations of the day.
This is also a time to have new employees learn about the company and its products. Having a well-structured schedule that incorporates company trainings, meeting other employees, and checking in with managers will not only help set the right impression for new employees but will help them hit the ground running and get integrated as quickly as possible.
Early and often communication
Another way to create an effective onboarding program is to keep new hires in the loop, even before their first day of work. You never want a new hire to be left in the dark before or after starting work because it can add to isolation and confusion.
One of the most helpful things to do before an employee starts their first day is to send out a list of things they can expect and a checklist of first-day action items. It’s also helpful to include a list of people to contact if they have issues, which is especially critical for remote employees.
Once an employee starts, communicate with them early on and regularly, so there’s never any downtime where they’re trying to figure out what they should do next. Again, this will really help alleviate any confusion and feelings of being lost.
A new hire buddy system
It’s been proven that having a friend at work improves employee engagement and may also help with employee retention. Assigning a buddy to each new recruit can help reduce anxiety and teach new team members about company culture, workflow, key people and their roles, and the specifics of their responsibilities.
A good buddy will ensure a good first impression of the company, one where employers care about their employees and address their concerns. It can also really help build camaraderie, boost morale, and increase collaboration down the road.
Having a formal buddy system with scheduled check-ins for the first few weeks or months can help a new recruit feel connected. And asking the new hire to evaluate the buddy system at the end of the formal mentoring cycle will help it evolve to meet the needs of future new recruits.
Networking elements and a welcome lunch
Incorporating times for networking between fellow team members will both break up the day and help new employees feel more welcomed. Try scheduling times for new hires to meet with teammates they’ll be working closely with. And consider hosting a welcome lunch that your larger team can attend.
By having set times to meet other teammates, new recruits can get to know them on a deeper level, which can help foster better morale in the future. This is an especially effective technique for including remote employees, who would have little opportunity to meet fellow employees otherwise.
A robust training program
One of the biggest ways that employers fail in properly onboarding new employees is that they neglect robust training. They may conduct the necessary compliance training and they may even do piecemeal product or company training, but they often lack comprehensive training programs.
A comprehensive training program should be an essential part of your onboarding process. Proper training is one of the best ways to get employees up to speed fast, and it will pay dividends throughout the duration that an employee is with you. Even if you feel that your company or product is not complex enough to warrant training, you’d be surprised to find that employees could greatly benefit from it.
Employees who don’t have proper training from the start often spend months trying to figure things out on their own and many may never figure it out. When employees aren’t properly trained, it can affect their work performance and lead to them leaving the company. Dialing in training from the start will get employees onboarded fast and help retain employees you’ve invested in.
A learning management system onboards employees fast and is more effective than manual efforts alone
A learning management platform allows you to onboard employees fast and more effectively than manual efforts alone. It allows administrators to easily create comprehensive onboarding experiences for each new employee. And it makes organizing these efforts a breeze.
Through checklists, you can have employees meet with their manager, complete training, network with fellow teammates, and more – all in one platform. And you can customize each onboarding experience to the specific employee.
Even more, you can make training fun and easy. Using gamification and interactive features such as virtual classrooms, you’ll make learning fun and greatly increase knowledge retention. Learning management platforms have been proven to reduce costs, increase training effectiveness, and reduce employee turnover.