Employee onboarding: how to effectively engage new employees in the corporate culture and processes

23 August , 2021
Employee onboarding - one of the key HR processes
Onboarding, or in other words adaptation, is not just a process of getting new employees acquainted with the team and the main working processes. Effective onboarding should include deep engagement into corporate culture, key goals and values of the company and building harmonious connections with colleagues. Onboarding should also include a whole range of activities: from introductory training to full completion of the employee's adaptation plan.

This business process impacts not only the first impressions of the company and the team. A correctly structured program allows the employee to join the team faster, and therefore begin to bring the first results sooner. Onboarding also gives a clear picture of the employee's future role and helps him or her work more effectively. As a result, the engagement and loyalty of the entire team increases, which undoubtedly provides great benefits, especially in the long run. All this helps to unite the team, reduces staff turnover and costs associated with it, brings a positive effect on the HR brand.
Is it worth investing in onboarding?
Why is the onboarding process so important? If the adaptation is successful, then the employee quickly joins the team and is in fact more effective with his or her tasks. An effective onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%, which significantly influences team's productivity and the quality of corporate culture. Poor quality onboarding leads to the loss of valuable specialists, time and higher costs, slows down the company's development and harms its brand. That is why it is important to keep track of onboarding and improve it as much as possible.
3 reasons for high employee turnover in the first months of work
There are several reasons for higher employee turnover during the first couple of months at work and poor onboarding is definitely one of them. Let's take a closer look.

  1. Lack of feedback and recognition
First days are one of the hardest ones for any newcomer. Make sure you request enough feedback and let the employee know he or she is heard and understood. Disconnection between the management or HR and the new colleague is one of the main reasons for earlier redundancy. A Gallup survey shows employees that were provided with positive feedback are about four times more likely to be engaged.

2. Poor hiring procedures and onboarding
If facing lower retention rates, take a closer look at how onboarding and hiring processes are organized. LinkedIn recommends HR specialists to stay honest about the company's culture while hiring not to mislead potential colleagues and lose them along the way. Clearly communicate key values and goals and describe main tasks and processes that a candidate will be engaged in.

3. Bad management
Nearly 75% of responses to a Gallup survey reflected the negative influence of poor management on employee retention. Unclear role setting, lack of dialog, training and development leads to higher voluntary turnover among employees at all levels. Make sure you build up a strong team with trust and tolerance to each and every member. Create a family setting and a special bond with each and every employee you are cooperating with.
Which HR metrics does onboarding impact on?
  • Turnover rate on probation;

  • Turnover rate in the first six months / year of employment;

  • Adaptation cost per employee (including work of HR-specialists, trainings, handouts etc.);

  • Employee satisfaction;

  • Employee retention rate;

  • Loyalty and the level of corporate culture development;

  • HR brand on the market, the attractiveness of the company as an employer.

    All these metrics in turn affect total revenue, as well as the productivity of the team as a whole, which are undoubtedly the most important indicators for any business. Thus onboarding is one of the key processes which should be paid extra attention, supported by effective tools and high-quality communication, as well as each step of employee engagement into the processes and culture of the company should be thought through in advance.
The main stages of onboarding and tips for its improvement
For a new employee his immersion into the processes will start from his first working day, though the team should prepare even earlier. In this regard, the so-called "preboarding" stage can be defined out in the adaptation process. During this time, the HR specialist prepares documents, equipment, and drafts work plans and assignments. Moreover, an active communication with a new employee starts, providing information about the company, necessary documents and goals for the start-up period.

On the first work day, it is important to properly welcome the employee, give him a "tour" of the office, introduce him to his colleagues, and familiarize him with the adaptation plan.

Then company-wide meetings, an introduction to the culture, the history of the company, and the team are planned out, and the access to the resources necessary for work are being provided. It is important to draw up a task plan and organize feedback exchange, as well as constantly record the results of the past days and monitor the progress along the way.

At the end of the adaptation period a final meeting and an overview of the results are held. This is a great chance to get feedback from the new employee and incorporate their experiences and impressions to further improve the onboarding process.

While gradually planning each step in onboarding journey, the HR team should consider some important aspects to make it as effective as possible:

  • Familiarize a new employee with the basic elements of the corporate structure and culture while he or she is still on the hiring process: this will ease the future onboarding and adaptation

  • Draw up an adaptation plan with a timeline and track the employee's progress through it

  • Take an interest in the new colleague's successes and challenges, accompany him/her along his transition path, and offer your help and support;

  • Clearly document progress and gradually increase the employee's level of engagement in processes and tasks;

  • Collect statistics and feedback and highlight trends in onboarding to continually improve the process.
How to make onboarding even more enjoyable and effective?
There are many useful tools you can turn to in order to make the onboarding process more effective. Workstories helps to ease and brighten the adaptation to and engagement into the corporate culture. It is an innovative communication channel, which will highlight the main goals and values, share the company's history, and introduce an employee to the team in a convenient and engaging format. The HR department will be able to collect regular feedback using quick surveys and tests to monitor progress and always stay in touch. Instant analytics will help track employee engagement in real time. Create a real family atmosphere in your team and support your new team member during such an important step as onboarding.
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