If you have ever had to hire new staff you know how much time and money it can take to find the right person for the job. This is only part of the process. Once you have found that right person you want them to stay for the long term and not up and leave after a few months. It’s estimated that replacing a staff member can cost 3 or 4 times their annual salary.
Many businesses underestimate the importance of integrating and training their new starters from day one as well as creating a successful employee experience. The necessity of the administrative parts of the process when a new employee starts often takes centre stage. More important than ever is the concept of having the employee at the centre of everything you do and this starts with onboarding.
What is onboarding?
Onboarding is a formal process for integrating a new employee into the business – their role, their team, business operations and culture. A good onboarding process can help your new starter get up to speed quickly, alleviate uncertainty and any concerns, boosting their confidence and productivity from the start. An onboarding process will start before their first day and continue to their twelve-month anniversary and sometimes beyond.
Frighteningly, 40% of organisations rate their onboarding programs as less than moderately effective. On the flip side, companies with structured and standardised onboarding processes experience 54% higher productivity from their new staff, and twice as much engagement.
Why is onboarding so important?
Onboarding is the critical point for making your new starter feel valued, part of the team and setting expectations from day one. It bridges the gap between the candidate and employee experience and helps manage the social and emotional fears your new starter may have when starting a new job.
Three of the biggest benefits a good onboarding process can have is the increase in retention, productivity and employee satisfaction. An effective onboarding program can increase retention by 25% and improve employee performance by 11%.
– Retaining your people
It has been reported that an average person will now hold almost 12 jobs before the age of 50. This means it can be harder for businesses to retain good talent. A way is making sure your employees are engaged from the very start. Onboarding helps your new starter understand your culture and core values and develop key interpersonal relationships to kick start engagement from their very first day. Businesses with highly engaged workforces are generally 21% more profitable than those with poor engagement.
– Increase in productivity
An effective onboarding process will increase their productivity level faster and have them ‘up to speed’ with others in their team in less time. A solid onboarding process will include training the new starter in not only their job role and what is expected of them but also how their role aligns with the overall business and its values. This will in turn increase their engagement and motivation for staying on for the long term.
– Increase in employee satisfaction
More important than ever is the concept of having the employee at the centre of everything you do and this starts with onboarding. The old way of induction was very business compliance – paperwork, forms etc. A good onboarding process is built around the new starter experience which includes compliance but is not the focus. An employee centric approach allows you to take the time to learn and get to know the individual and develop that all-important relationship. If they feel valued and understood this will result in an increase in employee satisfaction and a smooth transition.
The onboarding experience is the critical opportunity for setting expectations on how their experience will be with you but also has the added benefits of increasing retention, productivity and satisfaction. First impressions count, so take the time to plan an effective onboarding process. With so many aspects of modern-day workforce management changing to more flexible models of operation, creating certainty for your new starters has never been more important.