On her first day at work, Rebecca arrived at the office to find that nothing was ready for her. Her desk was cluttered with papers from the previous occupant, her computer had not been set up, and there was no one to greet her. She felt unwelcome and unimportant, wondering if she had made a mistake accepting this job offer.
Do you want this to be your new hire’s first impression that you worked so hard to find? This is why an efficient onboarding process is essential for your business.
It sets the tone. If your business doesn’t act professionally on the very first day for a new hire, what are you telling this person? Whether you outsource your onboarding process to a company such as Asure or you handle it in-house, doing things right will increase employee retention, engagement, and productivity. A recent Gallup poll found that just 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.
If you’re interested in getting help with or exploring HCM solutions, connect with an expert.
What is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into an organization and helping them to adjust to their new roles and work environment. It involves providing new employees with the necessary tools, resources, and support they need to be successful in their new position.
The onboarding process typically begins before the new employee’s first day and can continue for several weeks or months after they start. It may include a variety of activities, such as orientation sessions, job training, introductions to colleagues, and ongoing feedback and support. The primary goal of onboarding is to help new employees feel welcomed, supported, and engaged in their new workplace.
A positive onboarding experience can help new employees to integrate more quickly and smoothly into the company culture, develop stronger relationships with colleagues, and feel more confident in their new role. It can also improve employee retention rates and reduce turnover, which can ultimately lead to increased productivity and profitability for the organization.
When Does Employee Onboarding Begin?
The onboarding process should start before the new employee’s first day at work. This can include sending the new employee a welcome email, providing them with an employee handbook, and giving them an overview of the company culture. An up-to-date employee handbook is a critical part of an outstanding employee onboarding process. Watch our video explaining how to create an employee handbook here.
Our 2023 HR Survey of 2,065 small businesses in the US revealed that nearly 40% of companies that didn’t grow last year do not have an Employee Handbook updated in the past 12 months. Conversely, 8 in 10 Fast Growing companies have an Employee Handbook updated in the past 12 months.
The objective of this pre-boarding phase is to make the new employee feel welcome and valued even before they start working. By doing this, the new employee will have a positive first impression of the company. The first day at work is one of the most critical days for new employees, and employers should do their best to make it a smooth and stress-free process.
This can include arranging for someone to meet the new employee at the entrance, providing them with a tour of the office, and introducing them to their colleagues. Employers should also ensure that the new employee has all the necessary equipment and tools they need to perform their job, such as a computer, a phone, and access to company software.
What Should Be Included in the Employee Onboarding Process?
During the first few weeks, employers should provide new employees with an orientation to the company. This can include training on company policies and procedures, company values and culture, and the organization’s structure.
It is also important to provide the new employee with an overview of their job duties, expectations, and goals. Employers should also provide the new employee with feedback on their performance to help them improve and adjust where necessary. It’s helpful to create a first-day checklist. Our 2023 Small Business HR Survey data shows that 1 in 3 companies that didn’t experience growth last year do NOT have a first-day checklist for new employees. And 8 in 10 growing companies DO have a first-day checklist.
Sample First-Day Checklist
1 – Prepare the workspace: Ensure that the new employee’s workspace is clean, tidy, and fully equipped with all the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies.
2 – Introduce the team: Make sure the new employee is introduced to their team members and other relevant colleagues. Provide a brief overview of each person’s role and responsibilities.
3 – Provide an orientation: Give the new employee a comprehensive orientation to the organization, including its culture, values, history, and mission. Provide an overview of policies, procedures, and company benefits.
4 – Conduct a tour: Show the new employee around the workplace, including break rooms, restrooms, and other common areas. Familiarize them with the building’s layout and emergency procedures.
5 – Set up technology: Ensure that the new employee’s technology is working properly. Provide login credentials and instructions on how to access company systems and software.
6 – Schedule training sessions.
7 – Provide a welcome package that includes company swag, a welcome letter, and any other relevant information or resources.
8 – Establish goals and expectations for the new employee’s role and responsibilities.
9 – Assign a mentor to help them navigate their new environment and provide guidance and support.
Assigning a mentor to new employees can help them adjust to their new environment. The mentor should be someone who can answer any questions the new employee might have and help them understand the company culture. The mentor should also provide feedback on the new employee’s performance and help them set goals for their future development within the company.
Another essential part of the onboarding process is setting clear expectations for the new employee’s performance. This can include outlining specific goals, timelines, and milestones for the employee to achieve within a given period. This will help the employee to understand what is expected of them and what they need to do to be successful in their role.
Employers should also provide new employees with regular feedback on their performance. This can include both positive feedback and constructive criticism. Regular feedback will help the new employee to improve their skills and adjust to their new role faster.
It is also important for employers to provide opportunities for new employees to socialize and connect with their colleagues. This can include team-building activities, lunch outings, and company events. By creating a friendly and welcoming environment, new employees will feel more comfortable and integrated into the company culture.
Employers should also provide new employees with opportunities for professional development. This can include training sessions, workshops, and conferences. Providing these opportunities will help the new employee to improve their skills, learn new things, and grow within the organization.
Companies should also ensure that the onboarding process is consistent across the organization. All new employees should receive the same level of support and training, regardless of their position or department. This will help to create a consistent company culture and ensure that all employees feel valued and supported.
Finally, employers should check in with new employees regularly to see how they are adjusting to their new roles. This can include asking for feedback on the onboarding process, checking in on their workload, and addressing any concerns or issues they might have. By regularly checking in with new employees, employers can identify any problems early on and address them before they become more significant issues.
How Can Employee Onboarding Be More Efficient?
Use onboarding software to automate steps, create custom onboarding task lists, and view information submitted by an employee going through onboarding to see their progress. Asure offers a streamlined software onboarding solution for small businesses. In general, leverage technology to your advantage. Employers can use video conferencing tools to conduct remote orientation sessions, create online training modules, and use chatbots to answer common questions.
How Do Employers Benefit From an Effective Onboarding Process?
In addition to the benefits for new employees, a well-executed onboarding process can also benefit employers. By providing a positive onboarding experience, employers can improve employee engagement and loyalty, which can lead to increased productivity and lower turnover rates. Onboarding can also help employers identify any potential issues early on, such as a poor fit between the new employee and the company culture.
Employee onboarding is a critical process that all employers must take seriously. It is the first impression that new employees will have of the company, and it can determine their success in their new role. By providing a positive and welcoming onboarding experience, employers can help new employees adjust to their new environment, understand their job duties and expectations, and integrate into the company culture.
By investing in the onboarding process, employers can also improve employee retention rates and reduce turnover, which can ultimately lead to increased productivity and profitability.
Learn more about Asure’s Employee Onboarding solutions here.