What Is Employee Onboarding? The Ultimate Guide
Are you getting ready to hire new team members?
Introducing new employees to your workplace lays the foundation for their success. If you do it right, onboarding can be an opportunity to set new hires up to win from day one! Whereas start making employee onboarding mistakes, you could wind up with a high turnover rate.
How can you make sure you’re on the path to having a provide a great onboarding experience? Let’s dive in to find out!
What Is Employee Onboarding?
When it comes to onboarding new employees, there’s more than just bringing them up to speed on what they can do. It’s also about building relationships and setting the stage for their success in your company.
Of course, there are some differences based on an employee’s role or how long they will be working for you. However, the general idea of onboarding is the same across job roles. The main goal is to get this person ready to take on all that lies ahead (and hopefully stick around long enough to see it through).
Provide Information Before Day One
You can jumpstart the employee onboarding process by providing information before day one. The first day of work is exciting for new employees. They want to dive right in and prove their value!
However, they must have all the information they need before stepping into the role. To prepare them, you can email out essential introduction guides or welcome letters.
Maybe you’ll send them a list of resources to read about your company culture. You could also set up meetings with people who can help them get adjusted. Providing this information before day one ensures that new hires are ready to hit the ground running on their first official day as a team members.
Take It Slow When Training New Employees
Everyone wants employees to bring as much knowledge as possible from previous jobs to your organization. You don’t want those prior experiences overshadowing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Instead of training new employees on all the ins and outs on their first day (or even first week), provide gradual training sessions. Think about what they’ll need to know tomorrow, six months from now, etc. This approach will give employees time to adjust to their new position. It also guarantees that new hires are staying up-to-date on industry changes.
How often you run these training sessions depends on your company culture and how long employees typically stay at your business. Some companies may choose monthly training for every role. Others might only do yearly ones if it’s a more senior job position.
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Be Flexible With Expectations
New hires can be nervous when starting any new job, let alone one with many responsibilities. Because of this, you’ll need to give them the flexibility they need to adjust.
If your company culture is to work long hours and be available at all times, new hires need to be aware of your preferences. However, try not to bombard new employees with random emails during off-hours right away. They haven’t had time to settle in yet—let alone establish a good work/life balance on their terms.
Instead, make it clear that you expect them to check their email during working hours. Next, let them know what you consider appropriate responses based on the message. Setting boundaries here will go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.
Using Onboarding Software
Good news! Thanks to advancements in onboarding software, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have all the tools you need. This software helps streamline important onboarding activities in one central location.
For example, when employees can quickly fill out their profiles on the app. Their information will then automatically exist in your company records. They don’t have to enter it manually—and neither do you!
As new employees come on board, use onboarding software to schedule training sessions or check in with them with personalized messages. You can also make learning about their role easier by uploading organization charts and job descriptions directly in the software program.
When it’s time to measure how effective your onboarding process is, you can easily access everything you need in the software. Plus, this information will also help with employee retention. Overall, onboarding software is there to make your life easier—so take advantage.
Integrating Mobile Devices
As another perk, onboarding software is designed for smartphones—meaning that employees can learn about your company while on the go. Instead of sending emails back and forth, they can enter information directly into the app when they’re at work or relaxing at home. This helps streamline the process, so you don’t have to spend tons of time answering questions or reminding them to update their profiles.
Easy Electronic Signature Software
Next, you’ll want to find an onboarding software or employee management program to help with storing signatures. While you may think that nothing has changed now that digital signatures are legal, some essential guidelines apply.
For instance, electronic signatures need to be consistent with handwritten ones. According to the E-Sign Act, this means that they can’t look like “rubber stamps” to the untrained eye.
One way around this problem is by getting employees to sign electronically with their fingers. This isn’t as difficult as it may sound—especially since mobile devices are now equipped with fingerprint scanners.
What’s more, these signatures need to be associated with specific documents like employment contracts or compensation agreements.
Electronic signature software can save countless hours for companies with multiple locations by making the process entirely digital. Not only does this save on printing costs, but it also helps avoid mistakes due to illegible handwriting or faxing errors.
Onboarding software, like WorkBright, is excellent for managing and sharing information. However, you’ll also need to create a framework so that your onboarding process centers around providing value.
What New Hires Need
What do new hires need to thrive in your industry? When you can answer this question, you can fine-tune your onboarding process. You’ll be able to create a structure that seeks to meet new hire needs, and then some!
For instance, do new hires need help understanding your industry? The best onboarding software in the world won’t be helpful if it simply tells them what they already know.
Instead, allow new employees to learn about problems your company aims to solve—and how they can play a part in this process. One way to do this is by letting new team members shadow veteran employees.
You could also help new hires learn by hosting educational courses with outside speakers. This approach increases the value of both your onboarding process and your company as a whole.
Be sure that the people speaking to your team know how to communicate effectively.
Promote Skill Building
Everyone comes into a new role with their own set of skills and abilities. With the right onboarding software, you can track who has what skills—and then customize things from there.
For example, do you have an intern who’s about to graduate college? They might not have the same experience as veteran team members, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance to prove themselves.
With onboarding software, it’s easy to assign new tasks based on the skills each employee has. When they see how their unique skill set is beneficial to your company, you’ll boost new hire motivation. As new hires complete the tasks, they’ll feel a surge of confidence, which will motivate them even more!
Things New Hires Should Know
You’ll know you have a solid onboarding process when new hires have the answers they need. Of course, there will always be further questions. However, from day one, new hires should know the answers to a few crucial questions.
For instance, new hires should know who their supervisor is and how to contact them. Next, they’ll need to know the different tools and software they have to learn. Be sure to emphasize how your company communicates.
Will team messages go through an internal messaging app? Are you big on sending emails? What about text messages?
Eliminate surprises by letting new team members know how you operate. You’ll also want to let them know what accounts they need to set up (like email, for example).
If there are any required readings, be sure to give new hires access ahead of time. For some companies, this might mean giving out your company’s internal policies. Others might require that new employees read an industry-related book or two before starting work.
Another way to help employees get acclimated is by assigning smaller projects throughout the onboarding process. As new team members finish these tasks, they can assess whether or not their next project should include more responsibility or less.
How Will HR Help With Onboarding?
Next, let’s talk about the role HR will play in onboarding. HR can make or break the onboarding process, so keeping them in the loop is essential.
Take a look at your current HR practices and assess which ones are essential. For instance, if background checks were mandatory for all new hires, you’ll want to include that in your policies. Your HR team might also need training on how you promote employees throughout the organization.
Your onboarding software should also be compatible with any other software HR is currently using (like ADP). If they’re not already using an intranet, maybe now is the time to start!
What does an intranet do?
An intranet is a private web network used by a company to share information. Think of it as an internal version of the internet that’s accessible only within your company’s walls. With an intranet, employees can discuss ideas more freely and collaborate with teammates on new projects.
After all, sharing isn’t just for social media! Every team member will develop their unique expertise and particular skillsets. These skills can benefit other members of the organization. However, only if you have an easy way to share the information.
Payroll and Legal Details
Next, you need to keep track of onboarding efforts during payroll processing or with HR. Make sure onboarding software integrates well with what you already have so nothing gets lost in translation.
If there are legal compliance issues—like sexual harassment training videos—it’s best to bring this up sooner rather than later. You’ll want to get all the legal stuff out of the way before new hires start work.
You’ll also want to share your onboarding software with HR. That way, they have access to employee information, documents, and other resources. Giving HR instant access to this information can help keep track of everything from paperwork to payroll processing.
Create a Year-Long Program
Let’s say you’ve completed the beginning of the employee onboarding process. Day one is long over, and each new hire seems happy in their role. Does this mean the onboarding process is over?
Not quite! onboarding is a process that can last as long as a year! The timeline depends mainly on the type of role you’re hiring for.
For instance, most positions will benefit from first-quarter check expectations and evaluations. These are intended to make sure the new hire is pleased with their role and understands the expectations of their new team.
Be sure to set up projects or goals for your new hires. This will help them become more familiar with the company’s mission, vision, and values. You can even use this time to see how well they work under pressure and whether they can meet deadlines—a valuable skill for most roles!
Throughout the year, provide dedicated training sessions and workshops. You’ll be able to show new and old employees what they need to know about your company’s processes and technologies.
A great way to do this is by creating a library of how-to videos that can be accessed at any time, from anywhere. You’ll also want to offer resources like internal blogs and chat rooms for employees to ask questions and discuss new strategies.
Hiring New Employees That Last
There’s no doubt that onboarding your new hires takes a lot of time. However, the investment will pay off. A well-thought-out employee onboarding program will give you access to a workforce that’s informed about your company.
Your employees will also have more connections within the organization. Not only will this help boost productivity, but it’ll keep turnover at bay. Start exploring different onboarding software today, and request a free demo.
Before you know it, your workforce will be ready to thrive. For more tips, please take a minute to see what the rest of our site has to offer.
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