New hire turnover is expensive. The costs of recruiting, administrative processing, and training seem insignificant when a new employee gets up to speed quickly and provides years of service. However, when new hires leave before producing anything of value, you never recover the loss.
If your new hire attrition is higher than you should tolerate, it may be time for to review the way you bring them into your organization.
Advances in technology and onboarding practices have transformed the way we bring new people into our organizations. Virtual onboarding can change the first day of work from paperwork, boring lectures, and decades-old safety videos to a welcoming experience.
Onboarding applications automate the scheduling and processing of the administrative tasks required to hire a new employee, but they do much more. You can give prospective employees online access to information about the company, the job, benefits, and teammates. You can open communications to make it easy for prospective employee to ask questions and get the right answers.
If you have not yet implemented onboarding technology, now may be the time to consider it. If you are still using your onboarding technology only for administrative tasks, it might be time to think about how you use it.
How to Create a Welcoming New Employee Experience
For a newly hired employee, the time between signing the offer and the first day of work can be full of questions and uncertainty. After a busy round of recruiting conversations and interviews, your silence sows doubts about your commitment and makes your prospect vulnerable to competing offers. Begin onboarding at the moment a candidate accepts an offer of employment, and don’t let your silence speak for you.
Make it Personal
Nothing says “welcome” better than personal communications. Try these suggestions to make those connections work.
- Set the tone by communicating to your prospective employee by name. Eliminate anything that starts with Dear Employee (Dear Valued Employee is even worse). Your onboarding software provides templates that allow you to provide the preferred name or first name as the form of address.
- Eliminate first-day anxiety. Don’t leave questions about where to go, when to show up, what to wear, or anything else go unanswered. Have a plan for lunch and let the newbie know about it.
- Provide information on the culture and business strategy, and make a clear connection to the new employee’s role. Don’t let generic language depersonalize your description.
- Create connections. Begin by assigning a mentor or sponsor. Bring current team members and other people key people into the onboarding process. Make it easy for the new hire to communicate with them and ask questions. Configure your onboarding application so it triggers notification to the right people that a newbie is on the way.
- Give the new person the ability to create and display a profile and allow employees to send a welcome and information about themselves.
- A short video conference with the employee’s manager and team members might be appropriate, depending on group Workers in virtual offices, remote locations or global organizations may never have a face to face encounter with people in your central organization, so video conferencing could be valuable.
- Don’t let more than a day or two go by without contact, even if it is only a text message.
Create a Plan
Onboarding should be a managed process like any other important business function. Create an onboarding plan template and plug it into your onboarding application. Track compliance and make sure managers are hitting every milestone.
Your onboarding application enables you to handle almost all new hire processing online. Strive for a paperwork-free first day. Some companies even make it a rule.
- Have the workstation ready, including access to work technology and any other tools.
- Plan lunch with the team.
- Make Day 1 a full day of introductions and conversations about what people do and how they do it. Take the newbie on a tour of the company. Start with the team, then make introductions in other parts of the organization. For example, if you are in a manufacturing company and hire an accountant, take the new number-cruncher to the production floor to see how you make products. Give the newbie a hands-on experience of what the product is like and what it does for your customers.
A Long Transition
After the new hire completes processing, introduce the development plan that will take the employee to full performance. Make it a self-managed plan with regular reporting and progress discussions. Review and adjust the plan frequently.
Remember that most learning takes place informally. Let seasoned team members act as on-the-spot coaches and recognize them for their protégé’s progress. Make them an integral part of the development team. Give them opportunities to celebrate the newbie’s progress together.
The formal onboarding process ends when the new employee reaches full productivity and is fully assimilated into the culture. Make the occasion a team celebration.
The right technology will help you plan and streamline onboarding. It will help you stay in compliance, and will give you reporting tools to help improve the process. Use it to make becoming an employee a personalized, welcoming experience.
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