Even if it’s already been a couple of years since you started working in your present company, you might still remember your first days at work. They weren’t easy, were they? So many new faces, tasks, procedures, and standards to remember. The people you employ in your organisation will go through the same difficulties. How to introduce a new employee to the company to make them wish to stay after the probation period is over? What matters significantly in such a situation is well-prepared onboarding of the incoming employees. And what makes company onboarding effective?
Onboarding of a new employee in the company – what is it?
Employee onboarding refers to all the activities whose goal is the adaptation of the newly employed person in the company. Adaptation is quite broad in meaning. It embraces numerous aspects related to the lifestyle and characteristics of a given organization.
In the process of onboarding, the incoming employee should become familiar with:
- the strategy of the organization, its mission, vision, and objectives,
- the organizational structure,
- the company’s procedures connected with e.g. communication, documentation workflow, leave management system, overtime settling,
- the detailed scope of responsibilities for a given role, development opportunities, or the so-called career ladder,
- the ways of handling company equipment (e.g. scanner as well as coffee machine).
Who is in charge of onboarding in a company? This depends on its size and nature. In large organizations, it is the HR’s responsibility. Where there is no separate HR department, onboarding is supervised by the new person’s immediate superior or a more experienced team member. Of course, ideally, more people take part in the process. The HR specialists can be responsible for the presentation of issues related to the company’s structure, values, or social questions, whereas the explanation of how particular tools work or the detailed descriptions of tasks and related procedures can be assigned to a team member who, obviously, has more experience in the subject.
It is worth adding that onboarding may refer to an individual or a group of people. If you employ several persons simultaneously, in various roles, the best idea is to run group trainings concerning general topics, which do not include the issues strictly related to a given position.
What are the efficient methods to introduce a new employee to the company?
Onboarding may take on various forms and the best way is to make use of them all. This will make it not only more diverse for the new employees but also easier and more likely for them to remember as many details as possible.
Direct methods are always a good choice: meetings, talks, lectures, presentations, or other forms of theoretical trainings. They are also a great way to meet the colleagues. Of course – one cannot live by theory alone! Make sure that practical training is also provided.
After completing a module, remember to ensure files, documents, or videos containing the most important information – in case of any problem or doubt, everyone will be able to find an answer to their question. To increase the level of the employees’ commitment as well as to verify how easily and quickly they learn, you can create interactive quizzes, evaluation questionnaires, or – last but not least – introduce elements of gamification.
How to facilitate your work: onboarding programme
There are still but a few companies which support employee onboarding using dedicated platforms and tools. A well-prepared onboarding programme can significantly facilitate the work of persons responsible for the process.
Thanks to this programme, you don’t need to send the training materials, tutorials, or HR documents (e.g. a leave card template) to each person individually. What’s more, you don’t have to ask every employee personally what their progress is, because you’ll be able to check it yourself and see who has opened a presentation or played a video and what results they got in the final test in a given topic.
Owing to its clear and attractive form, the onboarding programme considerably enhances the employees’ comfort and helps them become independent sooner.
Why is it important to introduce a new employee to the company well?
Let’s take a look at a handful of statistics and facts which will make it clearer why a well-organized onboarding programme is so important for every organisation, regardless of its character.
- According to the Grand Thornton International Business Report, 60% of large and medium-sized enterprises in Poland have difficulty in finding appropriately qualified personnel.
- According to the Wynhurst Group’s study, 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. 50% of employees quit within the first 4 months of work.
- Up to 91% of employees remain in a company for a longer time if they take part in the onboarding process upon starting the new work.
The essential benefits of employee onboarding in your company
- Higher motivation and engagement of the new employees
- Stronger identification with the company and relationship building in the team/company
- Quicker assimilation of the employee which translates into his or her efficiency and independence
- Better work atmosphere
- Better opinions about the company (e.g. on Facebook, online forums, websites like gowork.pl)
- Fewer layoffs
How long is employee onboarding?
It is interesting to note that onboarding actually begins during the job interview, particularly with regard to its final stage. The person conducting the recruitment meeting should briefly tell the candidate about the organizational structure, the scope of responsibilities in a given role, or the internal and external communication.
However, it is impossible to determine how long onboarding is. The process can take up 1, 3, to 6 months. The most important thing is its result: full adaptation, integration, and self-reliance of the new employee.
A well-implemented onboarding process is never too fast. To introduce a new employee does not mean to flood them with a lot of details or train in the use of complicated tools within their first couple of days at work. Instead of feeling taken care of by the company, they will feel confused and overwhelmed.
How to onboard a new employee? Step by step
- Prepare the work space – the technical aspects of employee onboarding
It leaves the impression of the lack of professionalism when the new person is not provided with their own desk, chair, or computer. Make sure in advance they have access to the necessary equipment and tools as well as to their own company email address. Let the right people know that the objects or furniture must be bought or prepared.
Moreover, make sure the new employee has their own locker, company mug, notebook, or pen – all that can be packed together with a greeting card as a welcome gift waiting on their desk, foreboding fruitful future cooperation.
- Get in touch with the employee before the first day at work
The time between the moment of informing the candidate about the positive recruitment result and the first day at work may take up to several months – for instance, if your new employee has worked in the previous company quite long, the notice period is 3 to 6 months. Clearly, it is not always possible to shorten the notice period.
That is why it is a good practice to get in touch with the new employee about a week before they start working for you – you can call them, send an email or an MMS with a funny picture (depending on the culture of your organisation). Let them know that their workplace is ready and that the whole team is waiting for their arrival. This kind gesture will shed good light on you and your company and the first day will be less stressful for the newcomer.
Don’t forget about organisational issues. Inform the employee who will come to see them first or where exactly they should go and explain briefly what the first day in the company will look like.
- Select a buddy for the new person
Who is a buddy? Literally – a workplace buddy, a friend. Anyone can become a buddy to the newcomer. This person will make it easier for the new employee to socialize, they will invite them to have a coffee or lunch together, introduce them to other team members, help them find the canteen or the conference room if necessary. They will answer all the questions related to task performance.
- Present the new employee to other members of the organisation – the human factor of company onboarding
First of all, do it by email – send a group message to the whole company. Secondly, take a walk with the new employee to show them around the company so that they could shake hands personally with everyone. Use this moment to talk about the newcomer’s duties and the responsibilities of particular departments or the ways in which particular colleagues can help.
- Assign tasks – plan the employee onboarding program step by step
Sometimes the newly employed person has nothing to do in the beginning. Make sure they do and organize their initial tasks well. Assign simple tasks or ask them to take part in internal meetings. Don’t forget about proper introduction and feedback regarding particular tasks.
- Be helpful and ensure open communication
Assure the new employee that there are no stupid questions and that both you and the whole team are there to help and advise them.
- Run evaluation
All the trainings are completed, but how much of them has actually remained in the head of the newcomer? Check it! Use onboarding programmes and platforms to run a short survey or test.
Remember – the first impression matters both in private and professional life. Make a good impression when you introduce a new employee, and they will certainly respond with full commitment and outstanding results. You surely want to ensure effective onboarding in your company. See how easy it is! Meet HCM Deck