Caroline leads the HR team at a leading software company. She is a motivated leader; however, she seems to be grappling with high employee turnover. Perplexed, she starts to dig in. To her surprise and disappointment, she finds that the early employee turnover at her office is largely a result of multiple negative experiences the new employees have had to endure.
She decided to further peel off the layers. She was disillusioned to find that her team set the stage wrong for the new hires. She found herself and the team guilty of an impersonal, grindingly slow onboarding process. All right, you get the picture.
A good employee onboarding process that includes induction into ‘what you stand for’ and ‘here’s what the new hires can expect from you’ is a significant step in ensuring staff retention and engagement.
New employees who go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.
Some HR pros unintentionally do things that scare off new hires on the day one. There could be some serious deal breakers in employee onboarding that you might be completely unaware of. This can lead to bad first impressions.
1. Lack of a Structured Preparation for their Arrival
You need to have a thorough and structured approach to preparing a grand welcome for your new hires, not just at their arrival but even before that. The lack of such a plan can wreak nervousness, disengagement, and stress in the new employees.
We recommend you to step into the shoes of new hires. Having an informal connection and setting the stage right even before they arrive can ease their anxiety. You can run an incentivization program for your current team members or use your creativity to motivate them to reach out to the new hires even before they join via social media or some other channel. If done right, it can make the new hires feel welcomed and valued even before their start date.
Let’s go a step further. Below are a few recommended steps that you can follow to have a stellar onboarding program to get you started on the right foot with new employees:
- A first-day welcome announcement to the company with some basic information about them – name, title, team/department, some personal information such as education, hobbies, etc.
- Prepare their workstation with computer/laptop, phone, email, office supplies, some welcome accessories – a handwritten welcome note (preferably signed by all team members), balloons, gifts, etc.
- An employee directory with pictures, official contact details, social media handles, etc.
- Orientation plan more focused on the employee, less on your organization.
- Mentor details.
- Cafetaria, coffee machines, pool table, nice eateries, and other related information.
- Team lunch, if possible.
- Physical office tour.
- Have them shadow a current employee.
2. Push Them off the Cliff into the Sea of Work on Day One
A new employee is often nervous and filled with uncertainty on day one. Some employers want to squeeze out value right from the word go, but it’s a pitfall that you should avoid if you want happy and engaged employees in the long run.
It’s important to remember that the employees won’t be able to deliver something valuable without a clear set of roles, responsibilities, or duties laid out for them. It’s same as asking a web designer to create your dream website without furnishing any more details. The potential for failure of employees in such a scenario is likely to be monumental in scope.
Small businesses, especially startups, often are concerned about employee productivity right from the start. Many companies often tend to hire a generalist instead of a specialist with a thought process that s/he would come onboard and wear multiple hats and do varied tasks.
Finding a specialist, who can leverage his / her expertise, is like searching a needle in a haystack. This is a classical mistake that often leads to new hires feeling overwhelmed, when a company tries to offload a pile of projects on them, right on day one.
Amazon sets a great example of a foolproof employee onboarding program by putting its new full-time hires on a month-long leadership training program before actually assigning them actual projects.
3. Don’t Saddle New Hires with Paperwork
HR department spends significant time on repetitive data entry work for onboarding new employees. It needs plenty of communication and cross-functional information exchange. Often the onboarding processes are paper based such as tax forms, job descriptions, employee details, etc. This is time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive process, and is far from simple.
A good employee onboarding software automates all the processes that comes along with setting up the new hires for success through HR administration, benefits, and payroll. One study showed that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company if they’ve a good onboarding experience. Automated HR processes deploy training materials to new employees and keep sending automatic reminders for employees to attend incomplete tasks.
Automation technology stitches all the pieces together and keeps the information organized and easily accessible to all the new and current employees. It can improve the employee experience substantially by eliminating human errors, and providing complete transparency into the status of different tasks assigned.
Make the Business Case
When formulating and implementing a cohesive employee onboarding program, HR professionals need to convince key stakeholders of the organization to ensure that all new hires have a memorable onboarding experience.
Paper-based processes are outdated, annoyingly tedious and ultimate time wasters. And, we’re sure no one in your management would want productivity to take a nosedive. The adage still holds true: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
So in case you manage to succeed in establishing a strong need for HR automation technology to optimize employee onboarding experience at your organization, look no further – talk to us.