You’re greeted at the pearly gates to heaven by St. Peter who asks where you’d like to spend eternity.
“Well, heaven of course!” you say.
Peter replies: “You have to check out hell just to see what you think before you commit.”
Disappointed, you shrug but agree. And to your surprise, when the elevator doors open into hell, you see golden beaches, golf courses, gorgeous people mingling with colorful drinks. It’s not what you expected, but maybe heaven is even better, you think. So you take the elevator back up, but all you find there is a bunch of dull harp-playing on clouds. There doesn’t even seem to be anything great to eat.
You go back to Peter: “I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I think I’d rather go to hell,” you say.
“So it shall be,” he says, and you head back down to start your new afterlife.
Only this time, when the doors open, you’re met with fire, brimstone and flowing lava.
“What is this?” you yell. “Where’s the beach? What happened?”
Your welcoming committee stares at you blankly: “Oh,” they say. “Yesterday we were recruiting you. Today you’re staffed.”
What is employee onboarding?
Employee onboarding introduces new hires to the important aspects of the company: values, culture, and people. From training to socialization, these activities are all part of the experience. It’s an opportunity for employees to feel comfortable in their new role, understand how this role impacts the business, and learn what type of behaviors are expected from them. – Source
Why does it matter at all?
It’s not only about getting the best talent, but keeping them.
Companies lose 25% of all new employees within a year, according to the Allied Workforce Mobility Survey.
Surveys asking employees “what do you need to stay engaged?” revealed these 7 elements:
- More resources
- Coach or mentor other than my manager
- Clarity about what the company needs me to do
- Better communication with my manager
- Better relationship with my co-workers
- Regular specific feedback about what I’m doing
Your onboarding process describes you
If you are not well prepared, it shows that as a normal behavior to your new employee. It describes your company culture and in a couple of days you can expect the same outcome from your new colleague. At the end of the day, why they should come prepared to your meeting if you haven’t been prepared for their first day?
You only have one chance to make the first impression.
Everyone is exciting about their first day in the new team. Not providing a new hire with the tools and information to be successful, makes them wonder why they’re there at all.
You will never have the chance to make the second first impression.
Ok, ok, tell me the ROI
- Companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91% of their first-year workers
- New hires who went through a well-structured onboarding program were 69% more likely to remain at a company up to three years
- 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue
- 63% year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction
- Onboarding improves company ROI by more than $79,000 per year
How to do it?
- Choose a mentor for your new employee – it is important to have one person responsible for the whole process who will take care about new employees, answer all needed questions or at least find the answer when needed.
- Inform everyone in advance that the new employee will join your team – avoid uncomfortable situations, for example “who is this guy who just had a lunch with us”.
- Distribute the welcoming duties – even though the mentor is finally responsible for the whole process, there is no need to assign all tasks to the mentor, someone else can take care about the office tour and lunch time.
- Be clear about everything, especially about your company culture – your website, Facebook page pictures, public presentations should be aligned with your company culture. New hires who understand it right away are more likely to settle in and stay satisfied.
- Set clear expectations and goals at the beginning – in the pressure to make new employees feel welcome, it’s easy to forget why they were hired in the first place: to do great work. It’s much easier for them if you take your time to define clear goals and set proper expectations.
- Make the process fun and easy – try creating simple games, quizzes, checklists, and rewards around the materials you use to introduce important tools, use team photos to introduce your team members even before common lunch. Tips for making employee onboarding process fun – link.
- Show trust – give an assignment which should be small and around your core business. The assignment should be part of a bigger project already in progress. Show the employee the Pulses relevant to this project. Encourage the employee to read everything that team members have already done.
Employee onboarding is a live process with ongoing iterations and you need to improve it constantly. Recruiting best talents is important, but keeping them in your team is even harder.