Onboarding key to employee experience | Incentive&Motivation

 Employee Benefits News: Onboarding key to employee experience

New research has found that more than a third of new starters have had a poor onboarding experience, with four fifths saying they actually left their new role due to poor onboarding.


A strong onboarding programme is crucial for employee retention. If a new starter does not feel comfortable in their role or feels too out of depth, it is unlikely that they will stick out their probation period. Show an employee that you are offering them a career, and not just a job, and you are more likely to retain them.  Traditional onboarding is a pen and paper process of just a few days; but research has shown that an ongoing and well thought out onboarding programme is the best way to bring a new starter up to full productivity.


But onboarding is not just for new joiners. It should be extended to those that have received a promotion, have been transferred from another role, or are returning to work after a period away. Continuous onboarding provides constant threads of reflection and growth opportunities for employees, so they know their job well and how to progress.


Onboarding goes digital


Many organisations continue to use out-dated onboarding processes: box-ticking exercises, countless paper handouts and fragmented classroom sessions. This disjointed process can be discouraging for the new starter; 38% of new employees said that a poor onboarding process made them feel like they had joined an unprofessional company. First impressions really do count.


To onboard new joiners well, HR needs to set up a standardised onboarding process – and not just one that lasts for a week. The process should follow the new joiner throughout their career path, so they know that their organisation is invested in supporting and progressing them. In fact, research by Aberdeen Group found that the shorter the onboarding process, the less likely a company is to retain first-year employees. Organisations with programmes of less than a month were 9% less likely to retain new joiners.


The aim of onboarding is to get employees up to full productivity, engage them within the organisation and grow the skills they need to perform. By digitalising onboarding, this process can happen quickly and effectively. The organisation is likely to see noticeable improvements in revenue, customer retention, satisfaction and employee productivity.


How to do it?


A digital onboarding programme acts as a hub for employees to check in and see how they are developing. Most employees want a career, not just a job, and an ongoing onboarding programme can give them the sense of direction they need to feel fulfilled at work. The onboarding process also makes managers’ jobs easier. By tracking employee performance, strengths and weaknesses on an ongoing basis, managers will more easily find the best roles for their employees. Managers can then choose the required development courses and training for that role and provide the right content to the employee.


When choosing a digital onboarding programme, the most important thing to ensure is that it is engaging for the user. A dull or arduous to navigate experience will instantly disengage the employee, stunt progress, and possibly turn them off before they have started. The onboarding programme’s interface should be easy to use and easy on the eye; the content should be engaging, short and snappy and the employee should be able to clearly map out their progress. It also helps to start the onboarding programme before the employee has arrived onsite. Rather than wait until their first day, HR managers can engage and train employees from the moment they accept the job if the application is available via an online portal.


Ultimately, onboarding is a prime opportunity for employers to win the hearts and minds of new employees. However, many organisations continue to underestimate the significance of onboarding to employee retention and business output. By updating the onboarding process to be modern, fast and interactive, HR departments can more effectively show employees that they are invested in their careers and care about them. This will result is vast improvements in workplace culture, and better business efficiency.


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