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The Onboarding Process That Makes New Hires Fall In Love With Your Company

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Imagine it is the first day at your new company. You are excited to start this adventure, you hope to have a good first day and you can’t wait to meet your new colleagues.

When you arrive, you find that your boss, in a hurry, shows you around the office in less than 20 minutes, tells you what your role in the company is going to be and gives you your first task. As you sit down in your workspace, you realize that you are missing many things: who are your colleagues going to be, is there someone else who has also joined today, are you not going to meet them?

Feeling lost and left to your own devices is one of the worst feelings you can experience as a new employee. This is why it is so important to have a good onboarding on your arrival.

Summary

  • The first arrival and welcome that employees have in their new company is a crucial moment for them. It is important to make sure that it is done in a positive and correct way, since employee satisfaction will depend on it.
  • For onboarding to be successful, it must be understood as a process that extends throughout the months, and not only during the first day. It is advisable to work on it for at least 90 days, although there are companies that extend it for a whole year.
  • When implementing it, it is essential to have an onboarding plan, so that all the processes are documented and none of them is forgotten.

What is the onboarding process?

The onboarding process is a practice that is implemented in companies and that is focused, mainly, on the new workers that join them. This process serves to welcome new workers positively from the moment they arrive at the company.

Onboarding implies something beyond the learning that, as a new member of the company, you are expected to have. It means that the new colleague must integrate seamlessly into the company, since he/she is now a new member of the team. And the other employees also have to make an effort to make new hires feel part of the company.

Why is the onboarding process important?

When a new person joins the company, it is essential that he/she feels welcome and is properly integrated into the company. The onboarding process, in addition to helping new employees feel welcome, helps them to get to know the company culture (1) and the processes that are carried out daily within the company in greater depth.

69% of employees say they are more willing to stay in their company for 3 years if they have had a good experience in their onboarding process (2).

Successful onboarding increases employee retention and reduces the likelihood of employee turnover. In addition, by supporting them during their start as an employee, they integrate much better into the company, which helps them to increase their productivity levels faster.

Check out the main Employee Onboarding Statistics

Meet the “buddy” figure

It is difficult to rely on one person to be in charge of welcoming new hires. The first impression they get is essential to determine the image they will have of the company, so it is important to have a person who will make an effort to give them the best welcome.

The person in charge of welcoming new employees is called a “buddy”, a senior colleague belonging to the same department and at the same hierarchical level as the newcomer. Having a “buddy” offers a number of advantages, including the following:

  • The new employee has a positive welcome.
  • It creates a better image of the company.
  • Being near a colleague in the same department, the new employee will learn his tasks faster.
  • It offers the opportunity for team building among workers.
  • It reinforces the feeling of belonging among the most senior employees.

Keys to creating an effective onboarding plan

Before we help you develop your onboarding plan for new hires, consider these 7 keys (3) that will help your plan be effective:

  1. Determine the objectives for the onboarding process.
  2. Create a list of the most important moments in the process.
  3. Create the programs, platforms, documents, and training materials needed for onboarding.
  4. Determine how to measure success throughout the employee onboarding process.
  5. Modernize and automate as much of the process as possible.
  6. Standardize and incrementally improve all processes.
  7. Report feedback and results to the people involved on a regular basis.

On the other hand, it is necessary to know that, although the HR team has a fundamental role in the onboarding process of workers, the responsibility for its success does not fall solely on them. The employees themselves have to play an active role in their onboarding, so it is recommended that they carry out the following practices (4):

As an employee, whether you are a senior or a new employee, you have to actively participate in the onboarding process (Source: María Rodas/ Gitnux.com)

Elaboration of an onboarding plan

When it comes to improving the onboarding process in the company, it is essential to draw up an onboarding plan. If we want to incorporate all the necessary elements to properly integrate new hires, we will need a document that includes all the information that cannot be missing (5).

Keep in mind that the onboarding plan cannot be, in any case, a generic document. A junior community manager will need different tools than, for example, the company’s new marketing director.

Generally, an onboarding plan is divided into 4 blocks (6):

Draw up a template so as not to forget any of the steps in your onboarding plan (Source: María Rodas/ Gitnux.com)

Before onboarding (preboarding)

Preboarding covers the time the new employee accepts the job offer until the first day he/she joins the company. Although he/she is not yet an active member of the company, it is important to make him/her feel part of it. For this reason, it is necessary to start providing him/her with relevant information for his first day of work.

Among the practices to be carried out at this stage are:

  • Inform the rest of the workers of the new incorporation: tell them who the person is, what position he/she will occupy, and what experience he/she has. So that when he/she arrives, he/she is someone familiar to them.
  • Prepare their workplace: arrange the space so that it can be used from the first day.
  • Establish contact with the new worker: it is important to establish previous communication with him/her so that they feel that they are not going blind. A good option is to prepare an email with the first day’s schedule and the meeting place for the person who will receive him or her.
  • Plan the schedule of activities for the first week: think that this person does not know what he/she is going to find on the first days, and throw some light on the first week’s schedule.

First day

For the onboarding process to be a success, it is essential that the new employee knows exactly what his/her role in the company will be and what responsibilities he/she will be given. The first day, and even the first week, is a great opportunity to make a lasting impression on the company, so this time is crucial. The practices to implement during the first day are:

  • Greet the newcomer and introduce him/her to the team: the new employee must be well-received. All colleagues should dedicate a few minutes of their time to welcome the new employee, and if any of them can’t make it, make sure they meet him/her later.
  • Complete all the missing paperwork: it is the company’s responsibility to check that all the documentation related to the hiring is complete. The first day is a good time to close everything.
  • Establish expectations: it is recommended that the person in charge of handling new arrivals has a first meeting with them to establish contact and initiate a feeling of belonging. In this meeting, the role that this person will occupy in the company and the expectations of both parties should be discussed. It is also a good time to give them a Welcome Guide (7) where all the relevant initial information is presented.
  • Review systems, procedures and programs: explain to the newcomer everything related to the software used in the company, as well as the systems used and the procedures performed on a daily basis.
  • Set up a meeting for the first week: it is recommended to schedule a meeting between the new person and the person in charge from the first day in order to obtain feedback from both parties.

First month

During the first month, you should continue to build a relationship with your new employee. Keep in mind that they are still adjusting to their new position and the company. To find out more about how they are progressing in their new position, you can ask other colleagues.

  • Schedule a regular meeting with your employee: now that the new employee has had a little more time to adapt, we suggest scheduling 1:1 meetings on a regular basis. This way, you will get mutual feedback and you will be able to closely follow their progress with the tasks in their training plan.
  • Encourage professional development: if your company offers opportunities for the employee to develop professionally and personally, be sure to communicate what opportunities are available to them.

First 90 days

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the onboarding process should only be worked on during the first day, that is, the day of incorporation. But the companies that perform onboarding best dedicate at least three months to this stage, which can last up to a year.

  • Walk through the entire onboarding process and evaluate the employee’s performance.
  • Help the employee to set his or her own goals: this will get more commitment from the employee. At this stage, it is recommended to set both short-term and long-term goals.
  • Check the employee’s progress in the first 90 days.

Advantages and disadvantages of the onboarding process

Advantages:

  • Engage employees from the start
  • Encourage open communication
  • Positions the company as a good place to work
  • Encourages connection and trust among employees
  • Improves productivity of new hires
  • Decreases employee turnover
  • Increases satisfaction and sense of belonging

Disadvantages:

  • It is a time-consuming and costly process
  • It is a costly process
  • It is difficult to involve the whole company in participation
  • Requires a lot of effort and commitment
  • It is a process that must be seen in the long term

Conclusion

The process of onboarding or incorporation of new employees is a fundamental element within companies. Its correct execution can mean the difference between having satisfied or dissatisfied employees with their work.

In addition, it has been shown that if new hires have a positive onboarding, they will increase their productivity at work faster. And, on the other hand, the likelihood of them leaving will be significantly reduced.

References

1. M. Cable, Daniel, et al. “Reinventing Employee Onboarding.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 2013
Source

2. “Helping new employees succeed.” University of Houston, Human Resources.
Source

3. “Guide to modern employee onboarding.” Flare HR.
Source

4. Talya N. Bauer. “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success.” SHRMSource

5. “Onboarding Best Practices: A Guide to Onboarding New Employees” Leading Edge. 2018.
Source

6. “Onboarding Handbook.” Portland Community College.
Source

7. Howell Bevegni, Stephanie, et al. “Onboarding in a Box: Everything You Need for an Onboarding Experience”. LinkedIn
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