What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly with the objective of making them feel welcomed and fully informed of your company’s culture and core values.

Employee On-boarding

The 2 types of on-boarding methods

Informal on-boarding refers to the process by which an employee learns about his or her new job without an explicit organizational plan.

Formal on-boarding refers to a written set of coordinated policies and procedures that assist an employee in adjusting to his or her new job in terms of both tasks and socialization

Conducting formal on-boarding programs and giving a step by step guide have a much higher retention policy than conducting informal on-boarding.

L'Oreal Fit AppL’Oreal is a great example of a successful formal on-boarding process, they run a 2 year, 6 part integration program called L’Oreal Fit.

This includes training and round-table discussions, meetings with key insiders, on-the-job learning supported by line management, individual mentoring and HR support, along with field and product experiences such as site visits and shadowing.

 

Structured onboarding impacts retention
Companies should consider creating a structure around their on-boarding process and standardizing the methods used can make a big difference. According to the Wynhurst Group, when employees go through structured on-boarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organization after three years.

Creating a fixed sequence of activities for new hires when timed correctly creates a good sense for your company and culture, it shows you care about new recruits, gives them a sense of purpose and allows new hires to feel part of the team.

Pre-boarding. What is it and why is it important?

Pre-boarding refers to the process your company has in place when the candidate accepts their job offer, through to their first day of work.

The key reason for this is to provide your new hire with the motivation and excitement about their first day on the job. It also helps reinforce in your new employees’ minds that they have made the right decision to accept the offer.

It is a good way of setting the tone of your organisation too, you can use this time to gather important information from your new hire such as forms to collect employee data.

Here are some ways to start your pre-boarding process

  • Welcome video from the CEO
  • Give them log in details to their learning plan and mobile app.
  • Address “house rules”
  • Dress code
  • Expectations and timelines
  • Counting down the days, you can include some members of their team for this
  • Schedule a lunch date with their team before their first day
  • Send over their 1st day schedule

This can all be done throughout the weeks of them finishing their contract with their previous employer.

You just want to engage with them in a positive manner, using an app for this purpose can keep things running smoothly and on schedule.

A simple guideline follow is:

  • First day-welcome
    The first day is more about introducing your new hires to the team, the office and the everyday norms, such as 12 o clock coffee break to de-stress, or Friday drinks. You want them to get comfortable in their surroundings, have a feel for the way things are done and get to know their co-workers in a relaxed setting. Welcome packs are a popular way to welcome new recruits.
  • first month-orientation
    The first month should be about training and getting new recruits up to speed with your daily processes, this is when assigning a mentor can be beneficial, so your new employees have a go-to person when they have a question. It can be a good method of exposing new hires to different parts of the organisation, let them listen in to some customer service calls, and let them see your production areas. The first month is about addressing expectations and objectives, so weekly meetings and your coaching reviews are a great way of keeping in touch with your new team.
  • first year-integration
    Over the first year, on-boarding moves away from orientation tasks and goals to becoming fully integrated with the team and objectives. Encourage active team building, training and knowledge transfer so each employee can excel.

Benefits of an effective onboarding process

Starting a new job can be exhausting and overwhelming, trying to understand what is expected of you and who to go to for advice. The job you signed up for with the responsibilities listed may not always line up with what is being asked of you. It can be tough trying to figure out, however, an effective onboarding process can reduce the stress levels immensely.

1.Creates a Social Circle
We know the competitive pay and good benefits factor into an employee’s decision to join or stay at a company, however,  there are overlooked things that can be a decision-maker for them, such as the people they work with.

Starting a new job can be overwhelming and make you feel isolated, especially if you have an introverted nature. Making the effort of introducing your new hires to the team and creating an inclusive environment can help your new hires feel comfortable.

Onboarding helps improve employee engagement, especially when you choose to do more on-the-job training and have mentors guide new hires.


2.Shortens the Learning Curve
Some studies suggest that it can take 8 months for a new hire to settle into their role and become fully productive. With this in mind, the more training you provide, the easier it will be for employees to get up to speed with everything.

Train them as much as you can, to give them the best start possible, using the buddy system and on-the-job training is a great way of encouraging this, you want to give your new hires the best chance to excel in their new role, so an effective onboarding process can help shorten the time needed to settle in.


3.Provides valuable feedback
Onboarding is a learning process and a feedback monitor. If an employee is left to their own devices, without knowing where they stand or how they are performing, they may become disengaged. This can lead to them looking at other opportunities and may even leave.

Review and feedback play’s a critical role when it comes to getting an employee up to speed.


Onboarding steps

For employers, onboarding start’s before a new hire’s first day with preparations and preboarding. When developing a successful onboarding process, you should try and ask yourself a few questions.

  • When will the onboarding start?
  • Will you do it in groups or the individual?
  • Length of your process?
  • Who will be involved?
  • Will it just be HR or will you include managers and varied departments?
  • What objectives are you trying to set for new hires?
  • Will you gather feedback-and how?
  • How will you incorporate your company’s core values and culture?

 

Onboarding has 4 distinct levels, thee four C’s

  1. Compliance
    Teaching employees basic legal and policies
  2. Clarification
    Ensuring employees understand their new job and expectations
  3. Culture
    Providing employees with a sense of organisational norms
  4. Connection
    The interpersonal relationships and information networks that new employees must establish.

Each organisation can decide which of the 4 c’s they value most and can design an onboarding programme around them. A study conducted by SHRM found that you can fall into 1 of 3 levels when onboarding, which are:

  1. Passive Onboarding
    This covers compliance as their main foundation, without addressing culture or connection
  2. High Potential Onboarding
    This covers all 4 C’s, with more highlight on compliance and clarification, and just covering culture and connection
  3. Proactive Onboarding
    All 4 C’s are addressed to a high level here, only about 20% of organisations reach this level.

Successful onboarding is the result of several HRM functions working together in a coordinated fashion.

 Preboarding-why important?

Pre-boarding refers to whatever process your company has up and running when the candidate accepts their job offer, right the way through to their first day of work. The main reason for this is to get your new hire excited about their first day and to reduce any reason your new hire will accept another job offer in the time from your offer to their first day.

It is a good way of setting the tone of your organisation too, you can use this time to gather important information from your new hire such as forms to collect employee data.

Here are some ways to start your preboarding process

  • Welcome video from the CEO
  • Give them log in details to their learning plan and mobile app.
  • Address “house rules”
  • Dress code
  • Expectations and timelines
  • Counting down the days, you can include some members of their team for this
  • Schedule a lunch date with their team before their first day
  • Send over their 1st day schedule

This can all be done throughout the weeks of them finishing their contract with their previous employer.

You just want to engage with them in a positive manner, using an app for this purpose can keep things running smoothly and on schedule.

The general guideline you can follow is:

  • First day-welcome
    The first day is more about introducing your new hires to the team, the office and the everyday norms, such as 12 o clock coffee break to de-stress, or Friday drinks. You want them to get comfortable in their surroundings, have a feel for the way things are done and get to know their co-workers in a relaxed setting. Welcome packs are a popular way to welcome new recruits.
  • first month-orientation
    The first month should be about training and getting new recruits up to speed with your daily processes, this is when assigning a mentor can be beneficial, so your new employees have a go-to person when they have a question. It can be a good method of exposing new hires to different parts of the organisation, let them listen in to some customer service calls, and let them see your production areas. The first month is about addressing expectations and objectives, so weekly meetings and your coaching reviews are a great way of keeping in touch with your new team.
  • first year-integration
    Over the first year, onboarding moves away from orientation tasks and goals to becoming fully integrated with the team and objectives. Encourage active team building, training and knowledge transfer so each employee can excel.

 

Coaching reviews

Both internal and external coaching can be critical in the success or failure of new employees. Having weekly meetings with an emphasis on targets being set by both you and your new hires are encouraged. It offers a safe sounding board for ideas and approaches.

Coaching reviews help your employees feel heard, appreciated and gives them the opportunity to talk about their goals.

Keep costs low

When you know a rough estimate of the money required for onboarding, you can begin to look at products and solutions that can help save you money. For example, if you know you spend 10k on paperwork and administrative duties, and you come across a solution that digitizes that process for half the price, then it’s a path worth investigating.

Conclusion

There are a lot of studies out there that suggest different methods on onboarding, whatever path you choose should fit your organisation and core values. The main points you should take from this is to be prepared, you don’t want your new recruits coming in and getting lost in the new environment and not knowing what to do and creating structured feedback loops. Lastly, have fun, you are welcoming new people to your team and should be a fun event for everyone.

 

If you want to find out more information on how we can help you standardize your onboarding processes and e-learning, just visit: The Nvolve Platform