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Productivity and engagement: It starts with employee onboarding

Onboarding and performance

Great onboard­ing isn’t a HR nice to have’ it’s a cru­cial process which will affect how pro­duc­tive and engaged your new peo­ple are.

Orga­ni­za­tions with a stan­dard onboard­ing process expe­ri­ence 50% greater new-hire productivity.’ Most new hires have cho­sen to accept a role with your orga­ni­za­tion because they believe they can make an impact. Onboard­ing should sup­port that process by short­en­ing the time it takes for an employ­ee to pro­vide val­ue and feel engaged with their work.

First impres­sions count when it comes to new employ­ees. Stud­ies by IDC have shown that on aver­age 20% of employ­ee turnover hap­pens in the first 90 days. This can real­ly rack up costs as you are hir­ing, re-hir­ing and re-onboard­ing a replace­ment, at which point you still haven’t gained any pro­duc­tiv­i­ty out­comes for your organisation. 

What does a pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and engage­ment-focused onboard­ing look like?

1. Overview of the organ­i­sa­tion and how the new employ­ee fits in

    This can be seen as a basic to any onboard­ing and whilst that is true there are a few things to con­sid­er to make this step real­ly impact­ful to per­for­mance. An employ­ee needs to know how they fit in and the role they play in order to feel engaged with the work they do. They also need to know who they can rely on to ask questions.

    Prac­ti­cal Tip: 

    Use dif­fer­ent for­mats to immerse your new employ­ees in your organisation.

    David Don­ald­son, Work­place Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er at Ishi­da spoke to us on a recent onboard­ing webi­nar about a filmed walk around tour of their fac­to­ry facil­i­ties. It’s done on a phone with some com­men­tary from the per­son walk­ing around, mak­ing it feel like you are there and any­one in the busi­ness can view it. Videos don’t have to be pro­fes­sion­al­ly made – the more per­son­al the better.

    2. Process­es that they need to be famil­iar with

    This is anoth­er basic in onboard­ing, but it can be an area of unclar­i­ty if not addressed prop­er­ly. For any new employ­ee to be able to get ahead and start per­form­ing in their role, they need to under­stand the basic process­es they will encounter. Hav­ing a sum­ma­ry of process­es like, how to set up an account on soft­ware X’, how to request hol­i­day leave’ or even what to do if you need approval for con­tent’ will make their day-to-day much clear­er — reduc­ing anx­i­ety and improv­ing their productivity. 

    Prac­ti­cal Tip: 

    Cre­ate a cheat-sheet with all the ques­tions some­one might not want to ask and keep a live ver­sion of it online. Ques­tions like What day do we get paid?’, What can I expense if I am going to see a client?’, How do I request hol­i­day leave?’ will all be real­ly appre­ci­at­ed by a new employ­ee. You do need to keep it up-to-date.

    3. Set­ting goals

    One of the most impor­tant things you can do dur­ing the onboard­ing process is to be clear about objec­tives. These are tasks or small projects that will allow them to immerse them­selves in their actu­al role and pro­vide val­ue to the com­pa­ny. Goal set­ting is a known moti­va­tion tech­nique so start­ing ear­ly will be ben­e­fi­cial to both the employee’s per­for­mance and work engage­ment as well as the over­all pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the company. 

    Prac­ti­cal Tip: 

    Make goal-set­ting part of an inter­ac­tive ses­sion between your new employ­ee and their man­ag­er. You can start by speak­ing about strengths and spe­cial­i­sa­tions of the employ­ee and then come up with one or two spe­cif­ic objec­tives that they will deliv­er on with dates and outcomes. 

    4. Social aspects and cultural

    Anoth­er aspect of engage­ment and con­nec­tion to the com­pa­ny is get­ting to know peo­ple out­side of work’. All com­pa­nies have their own cul­tur­al norms and expec­ta­tions and the quick­er a new employ­ee can under­stand them and feel com­fort­able, the better. 

    Social psy­chol­o­gists like Abra­ham Maslow include a sense of belong­ing in the hier­ar­chy of needs. A sense of belong­ing moti­vates our behav­iour as much as things like access to food, shel­ter and the feel­ing of safe­ty. Con­sid­er­ing most full-time employ­ees spend the major­i­ty of their week at work, this is an aspect that can­not be passed over lightly.

    Prac­ti­cal Tip: 

    Not every­one is as social or extro­vert­ed as the next per­son. Hav­ing some forced fun’ will help get every­one togeth­er in a less intense way rather than just throw­ing peo­ple togeth­er. Think about some planned activ­i­ties or even a per­son­al­i­ty direc­to­ry – a doc­u­ment where peo­ple talk about them­selves from a non-work perspective. 

    Onboarding webinar

    Onboard­ing is a cru­cial part of your employee’s expe­ri­ence and focus­ing it around pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and engage­ment means you will get a return on invest­ment quick­er but also it means that your new employee’s per­for­mance is improved. If you want to know more about great onboard­ing prac­tices, please watch our webi­nar on onboard­ing conversations.

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