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Why is onboarding so important for an employee’s work journey?

Employee Onboarding Blog

The Great Res­ig­na­tion has had an impact on many organ­i­sa­tions, mean­ing there is a lot of hir­ing new staff and onboard­ing hap­pen­ing now. But are organ­i­sa­tions pre­pared to give their new staff mem­bers the best pos­si­ble onboard­ing experience? 

The first few days, weeks and months of an employee’s time in an organ­i­sa­tion can set the tone for the rest of their work jour­ney with that employ­er. This time can deter­mine how they think and feel about the organ­i­sa­tion, if this ear­ly stage isn’t han­dled well the employ­ee could dis­like their new place of work straight off the bat, and these feel­ings may then stay with them mov­ing forward. 

In fact research shows us that 20% of new starters are giv­en such a poor onboard­ing expe­ri­ence, that they are unlike­ly to rec­om­mend their new organ­i­sa­tion to fam­i­ly and friends.

On the oth­er hand if the intro­duc­tion to their new work place is han­dled well, an employ­ee is more like­ly to think high­ly of their organ­i­sa­tion, mak­ing them hap­py to be there, and as a result more like­ly to give the role their all to prove them­selves a good addi­tion to the team. 

But what’s the dif­fer­ence between a good onboard­ing process and a bad one? 

Many peo­ple will have expe­ri­enced a bad onboard­ing at some point dur­ing their career. When the first few days or weeks at a new organ­i­sa­tion leaves you stressed out, unmo­ti­vat­ed and feel­ing like you’ve made a huge mis­take accept­ing this job offer. 

This could be due to a num­ber of things, such as lack of intro­duc­tions, not hav­ing the right equip­ment ready, man­agers not putting time aside to set work and check in on progress, too much or not enough work. 

Hope­ful­ly most peo­ple have also expe­ri­enced a good onboard­ing. One in which they were intro­duced to every­body in their new team and what they do as soon as pos­si­ble, had every­thing in place to get up and run­ning as soon as they start­ed, and had a good man­ag­er to guide them through their first few days and weeks, set­ting them the right amount of work so they weren’t bored, but they weren’t stressed either. 

This can be achieved through great per­for­mance man­age­ment. If HR and Man­agers are active­ly involved in the onboard­ing process it will go much smoother. 

It is impor­tant to ensure all new employ­ees have one on one time with their man­ag­er on their first day. This will give the employ­ee a chance to get to know their man­ag­er, and for the man­ag­er to lay out what will be expect­ed of the employ­ee, both in the next few days / weeks, and in the long term. 

HR should ensure that all new employ­ees have the right tools and sup­port they need from day one to get up and run­ning quick­ly, this could be equip­ment, soft­ware or a per­son to train them. 

They will also need to be intro­duced to com­pa­ny poli­cies, this cov­ers safe­ty pro­ce­dures, cyber secu­ri­ty etc. 

They also need to know who they can talk to, and how to get in touch with them, if they encounter a block­er, this could be their man­ag­er, or a mem­ber of their team. 

Final­ly man­agers should ensure that their new team mem­ber is con­fi­dent they can do the job that has been laid out for them, all too often new employ­ees are giv­en a task and left too it, but if it hasn’t been explained well enough to them they could strug­gle in silence, not con­fi­dent enough yet to ask for help. 

That’s why man­agers need to have fre­quent con­ver­sa­tions with new starters until they are ful­ly set­tled and con­fi­dent in their role. Man­agers can also set short term goals relat­ed to get­ting to know the organ­i­sa­tion, poli­cies, team mem­bers and their role bet­ter, and track progress on these in their conversations. 

We’ll be delv­ing fur­ther into the sub­ject of onboard­ing over the com­ing weeks, sign up here to receive all our con­tent on the sub­ject, or talk to a mem­ber of our team — +44 (0)20 3637 4489.

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