What is employee onboarding?
Employee onboarding is a program for new hires that integrates employees into a company or helps them understand the company’s products and services. The onboarding process lasts up to one year, and it’s a process involving management and coworkers within new employees’ department.
In other words, employee onboarding is a hands-on version of an orientation, which extends outside of a classroom environment. Employees learn their primary responsibilities, the main tasks they need to complete, who they direct questions to, the approval process for their work and the best ways to make suggestions.
Why is it important to effectively onboard employees?
Companies create a comprehensive onboarding process to maintain a high retention rate, job satisfaction and employee performance. Employees learn more about an organization’s core values during onboarding, which serves as a guide to help themconduct themselves in the workplace. Employers educate employees about the value of the position they hold in addition to the expectations given by their manager.
The intent of providing employees with this information is to motivate them to perform well in their new position and integrate them into your company’s culture. This information increases a new employee’s chances to cultivate healthy relationships with coworkers, especially if they’re introduced directly.
Here are some benefits of employee onboarding for employers:
- Establishes trust and connections with employees: Onboarding gives new employees knowledge of your company’s organizational processes and helps them understand the approach they need to take to accomplish your goals. Speaking with senior management identifies the best ways to acclimate new employees to the company and understand your objectives.
- Allows employees to provide feedback: A high-quality onboarding process communicates how employees give feedback on how to improve your company. The input they give generates a solution to a problem or another approach to solve a problem.
- Increases business performance: A successful employee onboarding program aids employees in feeling engaged with their coworkers. High engagement increases the productivity of employees because they feel that they belong to your company and they feel motivated to grow their skills and your company’s growth.
Related: Learn how to create an onboarding checklist for your new employee.
New trends for onboarding employees
Consider implementing some of these recent trends for onboarding practices:
Presenting preboarding activities gets future employees excited to work for your company. Send these activities before or after a candidate accepts a job offer. Giving the first steps of the onboarding process to candidates on a mobile device, sending company merchandise to their homes or sending motivational text messages are ways you can initiate your company’s onboarding process. These steps show your company’s willingness to engage with future employees and your commitment to having them on your team.
Personalization is an onboarding method that can enhance the productivity of an employee. Choose various methods, like creating workflows, that help them learn new information on how to become successful in their new position. Additional personalization examples include:
- A video on an employee’s day working for your company
- Online training videos
- A guide to success while working for your organization
- Explanation of the importance of their role
- Overview of your company’s policies and procedures
- Guidelines for how to communicate in the workplace
Socialization activities increase the relationships employees have with their coworkers. If employees have good relationships with their coworkers, they’re more likely to enjoy work and stay with your company longer. Create events like team lunches, buddy programs and mentorship programs to reinforce your company’s values and help employees thrive.
Employee onboarding FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about employee onboarding:
Is it appropriate to set performance benchmarks during onboarding?
Benchmarks are not the purpose of onboarding, but you can give them a project to help the new hire get familiar with what they’re working on. You want to use this time to ensure they know about your company’s operations, not measure their performance yet.
When should I introduce employees to their hiring manager?
Make sure hiring managers speak with the new hire on the first day. This action shows that they’re actively involved with your development and the rest of their department.
How involved should my company’s leadership team be with the onboarding process?
The leadership team should only approve the onboarding program once it’s developed. Ask questions if you’re looking for inspiration, but consult with other employees in the human resources department first.
What types of questions should I ask myself before creating a new onboarding process?
You have a variety of questions to ask yourself to increase the quality of your company’s onboarding program. A quality onboarding program leads to approval from your company’s leadership team and the hiring manager. Once they approve it, take the necessary steps to initiate the program and help employees absorb new information quickly.
Some questions you can ask yourself include:
Should my company host an orientation day?
Your company should host an orientation day to welcome new employees to your company. Give new employees a full tour of the building and show them different areas, including conference rooms, break areas, workspaces and where full-time employees park. Briefly mention the company’s values and goals along with the departments and the role employees have within them. The goal is to ensure that employees are comfortable and have some familiarity with their surroundings.