Starting a new job is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking and what happens in those first days, and even in those early months, sets the stage for an employee’s future with the company. Therefore, it is imperative that employers do what they can to ensure new employees have an exceptional onboarding experience.
Orientation vs. Onboarding
Orientation and onboarding are not one and the same. Orientation includes things like routine paperwork, giving a tour of the building, and handing out the employee handbook. Whereas onboarding is the comprehensive and cohesive process by which new employees learn the behaviors and obtain the knowledge and skills to become engaged members of the organization.
Why is Onboarding so Important?
- First impressions are huge. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And a bad first impression can result in low levels of employee engagement and increase the risk of early departure. How new employees are welcomed to the team, the clarity by which their job role and expectations are communicated, their introduction to the company’s culture, and their exposure and active development of interpersonal connections to their coworkers all play into that crucial first impression.
- Turnover is Expensive. In the U.S. approximately 50% of hourly workers leave their new jobs within the first 120 days. That’s a lot of turnover! However, it has been found that companies with effective, well thought out onboarding processes have much better retention rates than those that don’t. Better retention means less time and money spent on recruiting and retraining additional new hires.
- No one likes feeling anxious. Do you remember what your first day at your most recent job was like? The chances are that you felt anxious. And new hires aren’t the only ones to feel nervous—HR, supervisors and team members also have a lot to worry about when a new person joins the team. An organized and consistent onboarding process provides a clear framework for effective communication thereby reducing the stress levels of all involved.
Steps for an Effective Onboarding Process
So, by now you’re probably wondering what can be done to improve the onboarding experience. Below are some steps you can take to establish a highly effective onboarding process.
- Create an onboarding checklist. This will be your go-to document to ensure the most important information is communicated and everything is set up in advance and ready to go on the new hire’s first day. It should also account for what needs to happen in the long term. Remember, onboarding is about more than just what happens that first week. Having everything in a list format helps ensure nothing will be forgotten or missed on the first day, in the first week or in the first six months.
- Assign a mentor or onboarding “buddy.” Link each new hire up with a designated person whom they can turn to with questions and for help along the way. The new employee will appreciate the assistance and the mentor can help communicate needs or gaps in communication to HR.
- Automate HR, payroll, and benefit enrollment. Forgo the messy and disorganized stacks of paper, and instead employ a streamlined online system for payroll, benefits enrollment, and other HR needs. Allowing employees to access their info on their own and from any device helps them get the info they need whenever they need it. In addition, it gives your HR administrator back time in their day to focus on the bigger picture needs of employees.
- Ensure you are compliant. As the number of labor laws grow staying compliant and protected has gotten trickier. If you have trouble staying up-to-date on the most current state and federal employment regulations, then enlist the help of an expert.
Bottom line—don’t cut corners when it comes to onboarding. If this has you feeling overwhelmed and you need some help in this area then don’t worry, Scale can help.
Request a demo with a member of our team today and find out how a PEO can help with onboarding and so much more.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.