Companies spend a lot of resources on the recruitment process to avoid recruiting the wrong people. But many of them overlook the importance of a good introduction. The time it takes for a new employee to become productive and part of the company culture, depends largely on the preparations.
Starting a new job is often an intensive process, that requires a lot of energy when getting introduced to new managers, new colleagues, new work-processes and routines.
How well a new employee feels received and how fast they feel comfortable in their new roll, becomes productive and part of the new company culture, depends largely on how the employer/manager/HR prepares for their arrival.
According to studies, 1 of 10 recruitments is unsuccessful and costs on average around £70 000. The most common reason why it is unsuccessful is lack of the right skills or because the person quits after a short while. Therefore it has recently become more common to take the candidate’s own expectations into consideration during the recruitment process. The onboarding process of new employees plays an increasingly bigger role in the motivation of the new employee.
Personally I have seen and taken part in some impressive and well-defined onboarding processes which resulted in a motivation boost, combined with the immediately feeling of “I am going to like it here”. However, I have also witnessed the opposite in other situations, where the total lack of a structured process made a new employee feel uncomfortable and wondering “What is happening? What am I supposed to do?”
A bad start can therefore potentially transform positive expectations and energy, into disappointment and doubt. Having a well-defined onboarding-strategy of new employees, is therefore of great importance and can be crucial to retain the newly acquired talent.
Why is a well-defined onboarding process so critical?
- ”First impressions last” – as employer you gain a lot from making a nice and serious first impression. This will create the foundation for the new employee’s motivation, joy of working and performance.
- Minimize the distance: a structured reception-process ensures that the new employee has everything that is required in terms of technical tools, support and information to get started from the very first day and therefore quicker reach optimal performance level.
- Ensure company culture over generations: A new employee is most receptive and impressionable at the start, so getting introduced to the company’s culture in a natural but structured approach, ensures that the company culture lives on with new employees.
- Avoid ”direct turnover”: losing a new employee can be a costly affair. Retaining talented and competent employees today, also demands increasingly clear commitment and involvement from the employer. Not only at the stage when the employee has not yet managed to establish a relationship with the employer. Should the initial expectations transform into discontent, then your talent-hungry competitors are ready to take over.
A recent survey by Visio, with over 3.000 participants, showed that 52% of those who had a planned introduction when they started working, were very happy with their new job. Amongst those who did not get a planned introduction, the same number was only 31%.
How to ensure a good onboarding?
- Checklists: With the help of a pre-defined list of activities and tasks, the new employee feels confident about what to do from day-one, or maybe even already before his first day.
- Tools and technology: Computers and other necessary equipment should be available and ready to use from the first day.
- Relations: Make sure that the new employee meets as many relevant people as possible in the company, to establish contacts and become part of the community as soon as possible.
- Align expectations: Ensure that the employees and managers meet to align the expectations, responsibilities, and tasks in the coming onboarding period.
- Digital system support: A digital onboarding tool can help guide both the new employee, the manager and other parties involved in the onboarding process, with checklists and status updates, which can be monitored by themselves, their manager and HR. With the support of a digital onboarding tool, it becomes easy to setup predefined flows for the onboarding process, thus ensuring that no critical tasks are missed or comes unnecessarily late in the introduction of the new employee. The clearer the onboarding structure is, the greater the chance that it will be smooth and successful for everyone involved.
With this in mind, I wish you good luck with onboarding your company’s new employees.
Remember – ”First impressions last”