Bringing new employees on board is one of the toughest challenges the best of organisations and leaders face. As per survey reports, 40% of new leaders fail in their first 18 months majorly because of onboarding gone wrong. Critical mistakes made so early often prove to be a disaster.
Also, industrial experts suggest organizations with a standard onboarding process have experienced 54% greater new hire productivity, along with 50% greater new hire retention.
What is actually onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of bringing an employee to a state where they feel more welcomed and reach their best productivity levels, though not at the cost of overlooking factors like essential company paperwork and tasks. The process is deemed something quintessential and important at most companies.
As a matter of fact, onboarding remains a key factor in inspiring employees, helping them grow and evolve, both personally and professionally, and most importantly retaining them. A successful and encouraging onboarding experience in most cases plays at an advantage of the company, given they have hired a potentially talented employee.
2005: The process of onboarding meant a couple of handshakes in a room, and tips on getting used to a new typewriter or a computer and going through a few simple company forms.
2015: With the ascent of umpteen digital channels on the internet, onboarding has transformed into a computerized process across numerous platforms and channels such as online, cloud-based, mobile, social and even audio and video. Moreover, there are even better options available today that help customize and integrate various aspects of onboarding into a one simple mixture of performance and talent management programs.
Today, onboarding has evolved to such an extent that it becomes critically important not to leave the human element out of the whole process and leave it uninspiring and bland.
Onboarding should ideally start from the very moment the candidate has accepted the job offer, with an official offer letter citing the start date and details of remuneration being sent out promptly.
Thereafter, a steady flow of information should continue, designed to keep the new employee potentially engaged. Information details such as official contract of employment, company policies, and so on, can all be used to make the new employee feel part of the organization and the work culture even before his/her first day at work. The period between job offer and start date is a critical span where some new employees may reverse their new employment decision. Keeping in touch with them regularly goes a long way towards keeping the entire procedure on track.
Making a new starter feel sidelined or left out is quite easy. They take up a substantial amount of time to cope with the surroundings and hence, lack of proper awareness can evidently find them down the wrong end. Disoriented, the new employee is quite likely to feel ‘useless’ while the truth is, they’ve been employed because they are qualified, wanted and needed! But, only with a proper induction is it ensured that the message is conveyed.
It’s essentially important for new starters to feel included and feel a part of the team. In cases otherwise, the sense of alienation is likely to grow, affecting the morale of the new employee and quite likely the performance too.
In extreme cases, they may resign leaving the organization with the financial and time-consuming burden of having to recruit again. The resigning employee supposedly leaves with an unfavourable impression and this can have a damaging effect on the brand image and reputation of an organization. Implementation of a good onboarding practice can ensure such a wasteful failure has been avoided.