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Employee Onboarding Process: A Detailed Guide

13 min read

The employee onboarding process is filled with myriad challenges and difficulties. They appear even before the onboarding process starts. For instance, a large number of job descriptions are misleading. This leads to either inadequate or inaccurate expectations that can create friction between employers and new hires.

Similarly, other issues can crop up during the onboarding process. For instance, a new hire may not understand all of the processes or policies in their job. They may also have difficulty adjusting to the company culture and the team.

Finally, there are logistical issues to consider as well. This includes arranging for employee medical benefits, computing payroll, etc. These challenges can be compounded if the onboarding process is not well organised and managed.

Thus, an effective employee onboarding process is important. It equips recruits with the tools and techniques they need to become a productive team member. It clarifies what is expected of them and how the company works.

Research suggests that companies with an efficient onboarding process improve new employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70%. Moreover, it also provides several other benefits that can help a business grow and succeed. Let’s take a detailed look at the importance of efficient employee onboarding.

Why Efficient Employee Onboarding is Important?

The onboarding process encompasses a recruit’s first few weeks or months at work. This time is important for each employee. The employees have a chance to familiarise themselves with the company’s work ethics and culture. They get to know their managers and peers. In other words, they gain their first impression of the company. This goes a long way in ensuring their retention.

Employees may experience confusion and uncertainty in companies without a good onboarding process. They may find it difficult to adjust to the new environment.

Here are some reasons why good employee onboarding is necessary:

It increases employee retention

Hiring new employees is a long and expensive process. Thus, every company wishes to retain its top talent. As per statistics, 69% of new employees who engage in a well-structured onboarding process are more likely to stick with a firm for 3 years. On the other hand, there is a 22% staff turnover within the first one and a half months. This happens if the onboarding process is poor and inefficient.

It boosts employee morale

Good onboarding makes new employees feel valued and appreciated. A well-structured onboarding plan gives them a sense of direction and purpose. This makes them feel a part of the team and ensures their long-term commitment to the company.

It saves time

A good onboarding process sets employees up for success. It ensures that they adapt to the role quickly and hit their targets faster. This also helps in freeing up time for leadership to focus on important tasks.

It improves the company’s branding and reputation

An efficient onboarding process makes new hires happy and comfortable. Thus, they are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. Firms can motivate new hires to provide feedback. They should share their experience during the initial days of onboarding.

It leads to greater employee satisfaction

If employees understand their job, they are more likely to work properly. They can handle challenges. They can make meaningful contributions to the company. All of this will reflect in their attitude. They will be happy with their job and speak positively about the company.

It boosts employee productivity

A good onboarding process will make the employees feel motivated and valued. Employees will understand the core ethics and values of your company. They will be able to share similar goals. Consequently, they will feel highly motivated to deliver their best. This will result in greater productivity.

New Employee Onboarding Process Flow

Firms must have an efficient employee onboarding process. This helps avoid compliance issues or other last-minute problems. Here are the steps companies can follow to build one:

1. Releasing the offer

The employee onboarding process begins right after the recruitment phase is over. Once the HR team has chosen a candidate, they send out a personalised email. This email contains the joining information and documents. These include offer letters, policy papers, digital onboarding forms, etc.

This email should convey appreciation and excitement about the new alliance. Every HR professional must conclude the email with a thoughtful message. This shows that the company values the candidate and their talents.

It is advisable to keep the approach completely transparent. The email should tell the employee about the company’s culture and also subtly highlight what is expected of them.

2. Offer acceptance

Once the chosen employee accepts the job offer, it is advisable to schedule a call. This is important to review the policies and expectations. A call will help keep the new hires engaged. It will affirm their choice to work with the company. This goes a long way in forging strong relationships.

Additionally, this is the best time to begin working on the employee orientation agenda.

3. Waiting period

A few weeks can lie between offer acceptance and the start date. This is termed the waiting period. During this period, the employee might also be open to offers from other employers. Therefore, it is important to build a good rapport with the employee. Firms should let them know that they are valued.

It is a good idea to share role-relevant documentation and information with the employee. HRs can mention that they don’t expect them to review all the information immediately if they don’t have the time. State that it is being offered for better clarity and visibility. Ask the new hire if they have any concerns or queries.

4. The day of joining

The first day of joining is always full of excitement and nervousness for new hires. Make the new employees feel safe, welcome, and comfortable. This will help them feel more committed and better focused on the work at hand.

HRs can prepare an employee onboarding checklist. This comes in handy on the day of joining.

The checklist should include the following things that must be done before Day One:

  • Keeping the orientation schedule ready
  • Setting up a new workspace with computer and email access
  • Obtaining the required office supplies
  • Assigning a mentor to help the new employee settle down
  • Setting up a salary account

HRs can schedule meetings with the new employees to check on them. This can be 30 minutes in the morning for a welcome. It can also be 30 minutes at the end of the day for debriefing.

Firms can schedule a team lunch that is dedicated to informal talk and no work conversation. They can also gift the new employees a comprehensive welcome kit. It may include office supplies customised with the company’s branding.

5. Coordinating with other departments

When an employee starts their job, it is essential to inform the department they will be working with. This ensures seamless coordination.

The list can include the IT team, subordinates, HR, project managers, etc. These people can come together on the new employee’s day of joining. This will help the employee settle in easily.

6. Training and orientation

Orientation sessions help the new employee get an overview of the company’s culture. They understand the goals and objectives. These sessions make it easy for new hires to gather relevant information. They learn about the teams within the company, their workflow processes, and company policies. This is also the best time for HR managers to inform employees about the specific goals they need to focus on. These objectives can vary from the next 30 to 90 days.

Training is an important part of the long-term onboarding process. Even the most experienced employee needs some training. This will help them understand how things are done in any specific company. HR managers can conduct a skill assessment of the new employee. They can develop a role-specific training plan that will work best for them.

7. The first quarter

The first quarter is crucial for evaluating the expectations of the company and the employee and ensuring they are compatible with each other. This period must involve transparent communication. It should contain active dialogues about the progress and efforts of the new employee.

Here is an employee onboarding checklist of the things that every HR manager must do to retain new employees:

  • Review the employee’s performance and provide constructive feedback
  • Check if the employee has any problems or issues in the new role
  • Make good reskilling opportunities available
  • Discuss career planning and progression
  • Gather their feedback about the company’s onboarding process
  • Stage social events to help the new employees forge strong relationships with other team members

8. The first year

Most companies wrap up their employee onboarding process within the first week of joining. However, the most successful onboarding programs continue for as long as one year. This is when the employee fully settles into their new role.

It is advisable to build a strong pattern of documentation and communication. This should be done from the first day itself. This will ensure long-lasting success. Additional professional development opportunities should be offered along the way. Firms should take continued employee surveys. This is an excellent way to obtain a comprehensive view of how the new employee’s efforts are helping the team.

Remember, feedback collected during the first year is highly valuable. This is especially true when employees leave a company. HR managers can analyse this feedback and identify a recurrent pattern of employee turnover. They can even find out the reason behind it.

Wrapping Up

A good onboarding program lays the groundwork for a smooth transition. It helps new employees as they settle into a new job and environment. A new employee will appreciate an efficient and well-planned onboarding process.

The onboarding process is the first step in developing a long-lasting relationship with the employee. Companies that give due importance to onboarding are always successful. They promote long-term employee engagement and retention. It ensures a happy, satisfied, and productive workforce. All this plays a pivotal role in ensuring a successful and positive company culture.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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