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An effective Onboarding process - what does a good one look like?

how to improve your employee onboarding process

Did you know that 50% of workers in Britain have had a bad first day at a new job. From getting lost and turning up late to not wearing the right uniform, can make employees feel like they have made a bad first impression and leave them starting their new job on a low.

An employees first impressions count just as much as the employers. If an organisation does not properly welcome a candidate, a new hire could feel isolated and unsure of what to do, leaving that person feeling frustrated. 

Imagine the scenario; you are excited about your first day at your new organisation, but you are unsure what to wear or where to go. After getting lost, you finally arrive at your new workplace ten minutes late, only to find out that no one is expecting you. After half an hour of waiting in reception, you learn that your new manager is away at a conference. Unsure what to do, you ask your new colleagues, who try their best but they are extremely busy and can only show you a small amount. Because HR are not prepared, you also have no desk or computer and have a lot of forms to fill in. At lunch, you awkwardly sit alone as no one has made you feel welcome, what is worse you’re the only one in formal working attire. You spend the rest of the afternoon filling in these forms feeling fairly underwhelmed and disappointed.

By the end of the day, you could well be thinking ‘have I made a mistake working here?’

This example is the extreme but elements of this scenario does happen to a lot of new hires and can have a negative impact on the rest of their career at your organisation.

How making the wrong impression could negatively affect your new hire

Getting off on the wrong foot can often leave new employees questioning whether they have made the right decision, through a lack of engagement and organisation a new hire might regret their choice, become disengaged with their work, fail to integrate with the rest of the employees and ultimately search for opportunities elsewhere.

The first few weeks are crucial to a new hires outlook at your company; it sets the tone for how your new hires will view your organisation and whether it is the right place for them. It is therefore important to make a positive impact on your new hires, failure to do this could result in them leaving and you having to start the recruitment process over again.

It is therefore surprising that many organisations are failing to onboard their new hires effectively, especially with the amount of time and money involved in attracting and recruiting the best candidates.

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What are organisations doing wrong with their employee onboarding processes

An organisation might have an employee onboarding process in place, but unfortunately, this can often be a manual heavy process which can be extremely time-consuming, difficult to organise and can often be neglected by an already busy HR team. Onboarding could, therefore, just be limited to filling in paperwork and a few training exercises when a staff member becomes available, resulting in a new hire fending for themselves.

With most organisations the biggest misconception with onboarding new employees is that it should start on the first day of employment, however, by not communicating with your new hires from the point of job offer, you could be at risk of losing your new hire to a competitor.

If a new hire loses enthusiasm about working for your organisation they could easily be tempted by another opportunity elsewhere; your new hire could have already left without even starting.                                     

Even if the new hire does turn up on the first day, there is still a high risk of your new employee becoming disengaged which could result in that employee becoming a bad hire.

How having the right tools can create a great onboarding process.

By digitising your employee onboarding process, your organisation will be able to effectively engage with new hires from the start, with this communication, you can reinforce to your new employees why they made the right decision in coming to work for you.

With an effective employee onboarding process, you will have the tools to introduce your new hire to your company culture and values to help integrate them into your organisation. By introducing them to their new colleagues, company benefits and what it is like to work at your organisation, your new hire will feel right at home when they walk through the door for the first time.

Hiring managers will also be able to set expectations and share projects with their new employees, so a new hire will know exactly what to expect when they turn up allowing them to make an impact and add value straight away.

By digitising the employee onboarding process, filling in paperwork becomes much easier. No longer do these forms need to be sent through the post or do you have to overload employees with forms on their first day. Onboarding forms can be done digitally on a phone or tablet allowing a new employee to complete forms when its convenient for them. You can also easily track which forms have been completed or not. Welcome packs with information such as uniform and working hours, training and health and safety videos as well as staff introductions can also be sent to new employees digitally too, or via an app.

Finally, your HR team will be able to plan out your new hires first few weeks more effectively, by digitising the process, staff can collaborate with all staff members to find suitable training and orientation dates and help get a new hires workspace set up ready for their first day.

With the right tools in place, onboarding does not have to be a daunting task, by using a digital solution, your organisation can streamline and simplify the onboarding process and better communicate and collaborate with your new employees.

Your new hires will have a much more positive experience when starting with your organisation, instead of questioning whether they have made the right decision they will be looking forward to working with your company and making an impact for years to come.

To find out how to improve your employee onboarding to enhance your chances of retaining the best talent, click here.

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