7 January 2016

3 steps to great employee onboarding


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Recruitment and retention Talent management


Employee onboarding is an essential element in the reduction of turnover, an increase in productivity and the foundation of a strong and positive company culture. Below are just 3 of the factors you need to ensure are included in your plans if you want your onboarding process to work brilliantly every time.

1. Make sure everyone is prepared

It may sound obvious, but ensuring that all those people involved in the employee onboarding process are aware of the part they play and are ready to play their part.

From senior management to direct colleagues, everyone has an important role in making sure that the new employee feels welcome and benefits from each of the different stages of the onboarding process.

Making use of internal business tools and solutions to streamline, automate, schedule time, share information and collaborate with stakeholders will help to improve the experience for everyone.

Minimising the chances of any stages of the process being delayed, mismanaged or cancelled, will improve first impressions that the new employee has of the employer brand and increase the likelihood of them becoming a productive and long standing member of the team.

“Well structured onboarding processes produce employees that are 69% more likely to remain with the business up to 3 years*”

Employee advocacy plays a large part in keeping recruitment costs to a minimum and providing free marketing for your brand. Every care should be taken to make sure that all new employees become advocates.

In contrast, poorly conducted onboarding not only creates a bad first impression of your brand, but can also be stressful and confusing for the new employee, leading to lower productivity, motivation and job satisfaction, and ultimately could lead to higher turnover and its associated costs.

In our highly connected world bad news travels fast. A former employee who left after a poorly executed onboarding process is likely to tell others and is highly unlikely to recommend anyone for a role within your business.

2. Promote the importance of employee onboarding

When individuals are aware of, and agree with, what you’re trying to achieve from your employee onboarding process, they’ll be much more engaged and inspired to take a productive role.

It’s not just those employees who take responsibility of a specific stage that should be educated as to the benefits either, every employee should be fully aware of why onboarding is so important.

Benefits of well-structured onboarding include:

  • Reduced turnover – employees who integrate quickly and painlessly into the business are less likely to seek alternative employment
  • Increased productivity  – being informed of processes, training on internal tools and being introduced to colleagues will help the new employee to ‘hit the ground running’
  • Improved wellness – a good onboarding process reduces the stress associated with starting a new job
  • Increased advocacy – leading to free social and word of mouth advertising and reduced recruitment costs

“25% of companies admit that their onboarding process does not include training which leads to a loss of 60% of the entire workforce*”

Existing employees should also be made aware that a well-informed and integrated new member of staff will benefit them too.
Through better onboarding a new starter is less likely to ask basic questions, such as where to find something or who the best person to speak to is regarding a specific matter.

There will also be less time required by colleagues to spend their time training a new employee on business tools, as this should have already been taken care of.

Appealing to people by illustrating the benefits directly associated with them is an effective tactic in persuasion and influence.

3. Consistently monitor and improve the process

As your onboarding process evolves and improves you’ll need to regularly research the best tools to complement your requirements.

Online solutions make it easier than ever to collaborate and inform all parties of plans and progress, but these tools also need to be used to their full potential.
If you’re consistently optimising your processes and the tools associated with it then you’ll ensure that you’re offering the best experience to all those involved.

Some questions to ask and action on a regular basis include:

  • Are all relevant parties fully trained, competent and confident in their use of the systems?
  • Are there any alternative or new solutions that could be utilised for better results?
  • What are the areas in the process or solutions used that need improvement?
  • What is the feedback from those involved in the process, especially the new employee?
  • Is there a change in what talent is looking for in an employer?

Obtaining feedback and acting on it is an imperative part of improving your employee onboarding process and making sure that you continue to encourage a positive culture, productivity, advocacy and collaboration within your brand.

“Approximately 35% of companies spend nothing on onboarding*”

It’s important that individuals providing feedback feel that they can be honest in what they say. There’s no point in asking for opinion if it’s always positive, because those providing it fear the repercussions of negative remarks.

* Source: Slideshare