When a new employee comes in for their first day on the job, it could feel like first-day of school jitters kids get. It’s a challenge for the new hire to familiarize him or herself with the office, the job responsibilities, co-workers and more. With an onboarding program, you can make a new hire feel welcome and a part of the team from day one – This is important in making the employee a successful and productive member of the company.
Having an onboarding program is imperative – onboarding can improve the productivity, fit, and readiness of every new hire at your organization. As a result, onboarding helps shape and sustain high-performing teams which lead to an organization-wide competitive advantage.
In a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Talya Bauer outlines the fundamental role onboarding plays in making career transitions smooth. Bauer also discusses the 4 building blocks of successful onboarding which are; Compliance, Clarification, Culture, and Connection
Most organizations naturally address compliance as part of their formal onboarding – And research shows that approximately 30% of these organizations adopt a passive onboarding approach whereby role clarification is given and compliance is covered, but the two other building blocks are neglected. Bauer states that organizations that engage in Passive Onboarding, are likely to view onboarding as a checklist of unrelated tasks to be completed. Passive Onboarding can seem practical, but it is certainly not effective.
Culture and Connection should not be neglected in the onboarding process – they are both vital. It’s no secret—the employees make the organization. Employees stay at their organizations because they feel supported by their colleagues and management. Workplace culture is crucial to retaining talent, particularly when it fosters collaboration, professional growth, and acknowledgment.
Integrating a new hire into the company’s culture is essential, and just educating them on your company values is not enough – they need to feel that they belong in the organization.
In the SHRM report, Connection is defined as the “vital interpersonal relationships and information networks that new employees must establish”. Well architected onboarding programs are great, but helping new hires make that personal connection with co-workers is invaluable. Engaging the new employee by communicating and asking how things are going and by taking them to lunch or coffee can enable them to build a relationship with their team or manager.
In an interesting report from NorthCoast 99, the 99 winning companies simply took their new hires for a lunch, and that made the new employees feel welcomed.
It’s important to address the points highlighted in the SHRM report – And to make it easy you can simply create an online onboarding process that both you and the hiring manager can use to track the new hire’s progress.