What is employee onboarding?

Onboarding is the term that is more recently used for welcoming new employees into a company and helping to familiarise them with your values, culture and business operations.

It is becoming a critical part of the employee experience. The process of onboarding new employees begins as soon as the candidate has accepted the job and is there to ensure that they feel welcomed and part of the business as soon as possible. Where effective onboarding takes into account the employee experience, it will give the new starter the confidence that their decision to join is absolutely the right one.

A good onboarding process makes a great first impression

When you have someone new join your team, their first impressions will make a big difference to the success of their employment with you. This starts from the moment they are offered the role.

Employee onboarding statistics claim that a good onboarding program increases staff retention by 82% and productivity by 70%! Those that have a poor onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for a new job.

So those first impressions really do count!

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Onboarding Remote Employees

Working remotely has become more commonplace in recent years, so it’s important that the onboarding process is adapted for remote employees to help them engage and feel connected to your Company culture. Onboarding remotely is absolutely more challenging, and many managers will be unfamiliar with leading remote teams, so training is essential.

You should try to have at least one-off site gathering to enable remote workers to meet their colleagues face to face. This will create stronger relationships and can make a difference between higher or lower employee turnover rate.

Check in with your remote employee regularly. This can be a message or an email, or you may want to schedule video calls. Not only can you get feedback on the onboarding process, but it also offers new employees the chance to ask questions and highlight any concerns. Also, consider implementing a buddy system to help the remote employee feel at ease and part of the team.

Your employee’s first week at work

Finally, your new employee’s first day has arrived! They are likely to need a lot from their onboarding experience: for example, some training to know what is to be expected of them in their new role, and some help settling into the new office culture. Sometimes, it is all those small things that you take for granted that can help this process, for example, when and where to take a lunch break, what the dress code is, how to use the photocopier and where to get a drink.

During the first week, it is a good idea to have a combination of things for your new employee to go through, such as introductions to team members, information about the company, and what the role entails – this could include training, compliance and health and safety matters – ensuring all paperwork is complete and returned to the HR team, showing them any tools they will need to carry out their role and giving them a few first tasks to help ease them into their role.

It is easy to then think onboarding is now complete, but remember, this is all new to someone and it is going to take time for anyone to be fully embedded into your company so having onboarding checklists for the manager to follow to ensure all aspects are covered can be helpful.

On average, a good onboarding process can take between four and eight weeks. During this time, you will need to establish some long-lasting processes that will transition into day-to-day operations. The more you invest in this process, the more you will get out of it.

It is just as important to get feedback from your new team member about how they feel things are going. Gain some understanding from them about the process and joining the team. This will help you onboard future recruits.

A great onboarding experience prepares new staff for success

A well-designed and thought-out onboarding programme can make a real difference to an employee’s experience when joining their new company and can have a big impact on engagement and retention too.
Recruiting the right person into your business takes time and is expensive! According to the 2021 XpertHR survey on key recruitment metrics, the average cost per hire is £2,234. This rises to £10,401 for a Director’s position. These figures exclude costs for HR and managerial time!
You want to make sure you are getting that return on your investment. In a lot of cases employers want someone to “hit the ground running” but that is often not realistic. Having a positive onboarding experience gives new starters an understanding of what is required of them. Onboarding gives your new member of the team the resources to perform effectively, and encourages them to feel motivated. This will mean they will be productive and effectively quickly, working to their potential and putting in the maximum effort.

Employee Onboarding Checklist

  • Set up your new hire’s workstation in advance of their start date.
  • Start day one with a welcome pack for new employees.
  • Go through an induction checklist, cover off ‘new starter’ paperwork/health & safety/terms & conditions/cultures & values/data protection and security/your customers or services and a general overview of the company.
  • Discuss their job profile.
  • Ask them to write a bio to share with the team and share the team’s with them.
  • Schedule introductory meetings with other team members to facilitate team bonding.
  • Pair them with a “buddy”
  • Ensure that you regularly check in with the employee, review their progress and give feedback.

If you would like any help with your employee onboarding process, please contact a member of our team.