The Importance of Employee Onboarding: Best Practices for a Smooth Transition

Rolling Plans Pvt. Ltd. Jan 25, 2024 501 0

VACANCY OPEN!!! The vacancy communique of a certain organization or a company is published through social media, newspapers and other networks explicating the qualifications, experiences, and the job requirements. People matching the criterions apply for the job through the various processes for a company per company policies. Then interview are conducted after further examinations, the respective candidates undergo through recruitment and selection and then the main thing bellies up i.e. Employee Onboarding. The specific time period is granted for the newbies to familiarize with the organizational objectives, policies, work station, work colleagues undertaken by the HR department and that specific tenure is addressed as employee onboarding. 


When a newcomer traipses to the new organization as his/her FIRST DAY at the office, he/she may feel unaccustomed towards company and the work. Hence, the HR team should apprise the newcomers about the company, its values, work ethics and many more because those newcomers are like the greenhorns for the company and it's the responsibility of the HR team for making the new employees acquainted with everything. Hence, in a nutshell, employee onboarding is the process of providing efficient training and information to the newcomers to help them understand about the work positions, roles, employers' expectations and the organizational culture. The process is performed by the employer specially, HR staff, the immediate supervisor of the newbies which involves introducing them to various aspects of the organization. 


The Importance of Employee Onboarding: Best Practices for a Smooth Transition 


Many term employee onboarding as orientation but employee onboarding is a different approach as orientation is. Orientation involves the training for a few days or few hours only whereas employee onboarding is an expansive or extensive process of training that can last up to 12 months as well. When there is no efficient onboarding strategy in the organization, it will invite attrition and lack of employee engagement that negatively strikes upon the customers’ satisfaction and other factors as well. When the newcomers don't feel welcoming or less engaged in the organization, they can't fulfill their commitments in the organization. The companies with poor onboarding processes have to enclasp the Early Exit(s) from the newcomers and the frequent Recruitment and Selection processes involve extravagant costs for the companies that could have been used for other alternative office purposes. Hence, to parry the premature Walk outs by the new hires, the organizations need to alchemize the fresh candidates into longer term employees and the tenure of employee onboarding plays a crucial role here. 


Amy Hirsh Robinson, the Principal of the consulting firm, The Interchange Group in Los Angeles has stated that, “Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged. It offers an imprinting window when you can make an impression that stays with new employers for the duration of their careers.” 


The organization must make the newbies feel like the members of the team. With the failure of employee onboarding, the consequences may be increment in employee turnover, loss of productivity, employee disengagement, customer dissatisfaction, huge recruitment costs and other negative results. Starting a new and invigorating job can be compared to jumping into a refreshing swimming pool with the expectation of feeling rejuvenated in the piping hot summer but if the dive becomes a flop, the swimmer has to bear painful experiences. When a new employee doesn’t feel integrated into the team, their efforts may not match or align with the employers’ expectations. The poor onboarding experience of the employee may leave employees feeling uncomfortable, confused and detached. As the article published in one of the famous HR websites, Paychex survey reports have found out that 52% of new hires step towards ‘Early Exit’ soon which has skyrocketed to even 80%. In terms of Remote Working model, more than 30% of new hires find the new jobs more discombobulating. Hence, effective communication is a must in the onboarding process. I


The employee onboarding process can be divided into four phases: 


1. Pre-boarding: Preparations for 1st Day of the new hires 


   HR Coordination and communication 


  Equipping the Welcome Package for the newbies 


2. Introduction Round: Announcing the team members of the company about new staff elucidating about his/her work position, hobbies, skills 


   Scheduling meetings and sharing the core values, objectives and guidelines to the newcomers with an employee handbook 


3. Newbie Integration: ‘Onboarding buddy’ assigning to new employees like Immediate supervisor, work colleague 


    Providing checklists, setup of the workstations, familiarizing the work processes, management expectations with necessary training 


4. Follow up: Planning review of Milestones and Success Indicators  

Feedback and recommendation asking with the new employees about challenges, hassles faced by him/her and inquiring about his/her realistic expectations.


The best practices that can be followed for a smooth transition have been enumerated in the following points. The employee onboarding practices can be optimized through various measures such as: 


i) Enwrapping the newcomers into company’s culture from the DAY 1


As employee onboarding refers to the familiarization of tenderfoots to the company's culture, this action has to be taken by the HR department from the first day that the rookie steps up in the organization. When the new employee understands the company's vision, mission and core values very properly, he/she can dedicate his/her efforts to align with the company’s expectations otherwise there will always be deviation between expected and actual performance. 


ii) Regular catch-ups with the immediate supervisor 


The immediate supervisor or onboarding buddy is assigned for the newcomers so that he/she can communicate with the direct manager regarding rules and responsibilities, managers’ expectations, work style in the company etc. So when the new employee joins the organization, there should be frequent meetings of the direct manager and newbie. The HR team or direct manager further introduces the newcomer to everyone else. If the introduction to every team member doesn't take place in the beginning of the joining, the new employee may not feel welcomed in the new organization that may result in disengagement and weak team power. 


iii) Empowering the new hires through two-way communication 


The new employee should allocate their 200% to be a successful employee in the new organization. And they should be mentored about how to initiate speaking or conversations with the new team members. There should be given Freedom of Expression on the company's model of onboarding. This may develop a sense of belongingness to the organization. The feedback and grievance expressed can also be the contributors in Innovation and Improvement. They should not feel that the company is autocratic in nature but it welcomes new ideas and recommendations. Furthermore, the new goals should be set for the newcomers. 


iv) Following usual onboarding processes in the organization along with additional training 


Firstly, the HR or the Direct Manager should make sure that the new employees are availed the necessary resources and information to conduct or perform the duties for what they are hired for. They should be made clear about their roles and efforts expected from them. A detailed job description should be provided to them. Also, certain performance metrics should be established to measure their contribution or efforts look for a completion of trainings, adherence to timelines, numbering of tasks they completed within the deadlines. Also, training should be scheduled for the onboarding staff such as various workshops, on-the-job training, mentorship programs, customized training, etc. 


v) Regular Follow-ups about the new employees’ programs and challenges 

  • Are you feeling comfortable in the new organization? 

  • How are you coping with the challenges? 

  • Are you satisfied with the tools and resources’ availability? 

  • What are your expectations from the company's level so that you may feel more comfortable to work? 


These questions should be addressed to the new employees. A cohesive onboarding program should be based on customization per the newbies’ requirements. The onboarding experience of a new employee begins with the paperwork, introduction and setting in but there is a huge part of a company to make their onboarding experiences more exciting and inspiring to retain in the company for a longer time. 


Onboarding experience with lots of engagement and integration with the team is considered as the laying foundation of employee success. The thoughtful onboarding program maximizes the new employees’ performance and minimizes the time of familiarization along with other costs. If the employee is underperforming, the organizations should think about Reboarding as well. To sum up, onboarding is a crucial process for new employees to acquire knowledge and behaviors required to assimilate themselves into the organization and the company must make the onboarding experiences of new employees engaging comfortable and optimal.

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