We know that for employers, getting new hires to the point where they can start effectively contributing to the organisation takes up a lot of time and resources. However, having a clear onboarding process to follow will help new employees to become important and valuable members of the team.
What is onboarding?
Onboarding involves integrating new hires into the company culture, introducing them to their new role and ensuring they feel welcome. An effective onboarding process can last up to 12 months and will equip employees with everything they need to thrive and succeed in their new position.
There are a number of methods that can be used during the onboarding process. These include:
- Printed materials
- One-on-one meetings
- Social lunches
- Computer-based programmes
It’s a good idea to have a mix of formal and informal procedures in place to give the new employee a wide view of how the company runs and what the culture is like.
Why bother with employee onboarding?
With a successful onboarding programme, businesses can see employee retention rise by 25% and performance by 11%. Simply put, employee satisfaction = better business. Here are some advantages of a great onboarding process:
Saves on resources
When time is taken to properly integrate an employee into the company, it will help them to feel supported and valued and give them a sense of belonging. This will radically decrease the chances of them wanting to leave the company, which will save on the vast amounts of time and money that are exhausted by businesses during the recruitment process.
Boosts employee wellbeing
Knowing specifically what is expected of them and how they will be supported in return will help to reduce an employee’s stress levels, which is a fast-growing factor in sickness absence. Framing the onboarding process within a manageable flow, not overloading new hires with too much information and giving regular, detailed feedback will help employees to feel in control, not overwhelmed.
Contributes to the wider company
The sooner an employee feels comfortable within their new role and is able to complete tasks by themselves, the sooner they’ll be able to start creating visible results. Fully equipping them with the skills and training needed will allow them to make a real contribution to the organisation, helping to boost overall performance and output.
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To make it easier for you to remember which steps to take when onboarding a new employee, we’ve put together a handy checklist to ensure you cover everything.
Before they start
- Put together any paperwork they will need, for example induction checklists, new starter forms and an employee handbook covering company culture and procedures.
- Assign them a workstation and make sure it’s clean, tidy and has any equipment they’ll need.
- Create accounts for anything they will need access to, e.g. email and any software/websites they’ll be using.
- Send any information you’d like them to read over before they start, giving them enough time to do so.
- Liaise with their line manager to assess the new employee’s aims and objectives for the following weeks.
- Introduce the new hire to the rest of the team and show them around the office.
- Check proof of identification/right to work in the UK and P45.
- Equip the employee with any material they’ll need to get to grips with their new role.
- Walk them through key health and safety points, i.e. location of fire exits and first aid kit.
- Explain to them specifically what they’ll be doing and how their role contributes to the wider running of the company.
- Assign the new employee their first task to be getting on with. This project should challenge them to show their skills, but not be outside the realms of what they are capable of at this point.
- Ensure all relevant paperwork is read and filled out, i.e. employment contract, new starter forms, induction checklists.
- Explain your long-term company goals and how you’d like your new hire to contribute to them.
- Check in with the employee to ensure they’re happy in their role and they’re clear about what is expected of them.
- Set up regular performance reviews or appraisals (we recommend at least once a quarter) to review the employee’s performance against the goals that were set for them and assign them new objectives. This will help the continued development of skills and uncover any training or additional support they may require.
To sum up
Although this may seem like a lot of steps to check off, most are pretty straightforward and all of them are important in helping to onboard new employees successfully. With businesses putting increasing amounts of time and effort into recruiting candidates, it would be a huge disappointment to lose them due to them not feeling adequately informed or welcomed. You don’t want to have to start the process all over again!
Our cloud-based HR software makes the onboarding process so much easier, allowing you to add new employees to your system, send out customisable job offer letters and compile a new starter checklist.
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