• Evan Wirig

How Onboarding a New Employee Can Make or Break Their Tenure

Updated: Sep 8

When a new employee goes through the onboarding process, it’s easy for it to become so routine that many crucial interpersonal elements slip through the cracks. Understandably, onboarding can sometimes become dull and might not be very fun with all the paperwork and company policies to cover.


That doesn’t mean that the onboarding process isn’t a crucial part of the new employee experience. If an onboarding process is poor, that business will likely have a high turnover rate. And if there is a high turnover rate, it increases the expense of filling the roles necessary for the business to function.


A Sobering Reality


A Gallup survey found that almost 88% of employees from different organizations thought their onboarding process was a mediocre experience at best. Many thought the experience was too focused on paperwork and processes.


So it’s unsurprising why so many employees leave shortly after their onboarding and are unlikely to recommend an employer to anyone else, even if someone within the company recommended them.


First Impressions Matter


When job seekers typically give interview advice, they are told to dress professionally to present a good first impression. And while the interview process is traditionally seen as a two-way transaction, once a job offer has been extended and accepted, the new employee has the opportunity to get a true first impression of the organization through the onboarding process.


Remember that 88% figure? There are a few factors that bring up the reason for it. Of those surveyed, it was discovered that their onboarding processes involved a lack of meaningful engagement from the new hire, a lack of connection with new co-workers, a glossing over of company culture, and the length of the onboarding process, among other factors.


Repairing a Broken Process


To fully address the issue of onboarding, it helps to start at the beginning of the process: hiring.


Looking at job boards on LinkedIn, Indeed, Zip Recruiter, and others, there is, a large focus on finding that “rock star.” That same energy and sense of urgency needs to carry through to onboarding. However, once a candidate is hired, the energy practically goes away.


Don’t misunderstand, companies don’t need to roll out the red carpet for each new hire, but the effort to make a candidate welcome before the interview process needs to carry over. But once the new hire is ready to be onboarded, then what?


Set Expectations


One of the improvements that will help is setting clear objectives during the onboarding process.


When will it start?


How long will it last?


What should be the impression that new hires walk away with at the end of the first day?


What goals should be set for the first thirty, sixty, and ninety days of employment?


What should the new hire know about the current work environment and culture?


What role should Human Resources, managers, and co-workers play?


How is feedback from the new hire received?


Get Paperwork Done Beforehand


Having the proper paperwork in order is important. However, if that is the entirety of the new hire’s first day, it will leave a poor impression. Suppose all the important paperwork like tax forms, contracts, and other important documents are completed before the official first day. This allows for a better experience for the new hire and gives them time to meet their managers, co-workers, and clients, and see important processes within the company.


Make Connections Immediately


When the first day of onboarding arrives, the new hire should immediately feel welcome. Those involved with the onboarding process should do what they can to ensure the new hire is a part of the team. In many cases, this would mean creating opportunities to meet new co-workers and get a feel for their processes.


Seek Feedback


This suggestion may seem strange at first glance, but it is no less important. According to Talent Board, only 26% of new hires stated that they were asked to provide feedback throughout their entire process, from applying to interviewing and even onboarding.


Of those who were asked for feedback about the entire process, 91% indicated that they were willing to increase and improve their relationship with the company and were more likely to stay through and after ninety days. These respondents also stated that they were more likely to recommend the company to others as an employer.


All-in-all


These factors require that onboarding takes a more interpersonal approach. It is easy to get bogged down in the logistics and paperwork of the entire process, but when new hires feel valued at the outset, they are more likely to stay, and companies are less likely to expend resources due to a high turnover rate.


Join Today


Executive compass is an executive-level HR specialty firm strategically designed to navigate business in today’s complicated and ever-changing working world. From recruitment and onboarding to employee performance, benefits, organizational development, and employee relations, there’s no step in the business life cycle that Executive Compass is not equipped to handle. Contact Executive Compass by visiting executivecompasshr.com, calling 760-504-6352, or emailing serena@execucompass.com.



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