According to The Boston Consulting Group, companies with strong employee onboarding programs – also called employee orientation or employee induction – see 2.5 times the profit growth and 1.9 times the profit margin as those that don’t.
The cost implications associated with attracting, hiring, onboarding and training new employees can be considerably high. How employers take on the first few days and months of a new employee’s experience is critical to ensuring high retention.
Why is a Good New Employee Onboarding Program Important?
Companies like Google, Facebook and Apple know it makes financial sense to have the right employee onboarding strategies guaranteed to save money and time, as illustrated in the following video:
To reiterate, an efficient employee onboarding program, therefore, guarantees your company a tangible return on investment in five crucial ways:
- A decrease in costs associated with employee turnover
- Positive employee engagement rates
- Increased employee performance and productivity
- Higher talent retention rates
- Improved customer satisfaction
“Employee onboarding is the design of what your employees feel, see and hear after they have been hired. Often, companies confuse onboarding with training. While training does have a role within the onboarding, it doesn’t represent the entire scope of the process.” — Michel Falcon
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Hows Does Employee Onboarding Affect Productivity?
Employee satisfaction is the key to higher productivity, which poses a real benefit to the bottom line.
Characteristically, employee onboarding programs cover the basics: introduction to colleagues from different departments and geographies in and around the workplace, as well as sharing information about the company’s current working environment and processes.
While employee orientation involves preliminary paperwork and other routine tasks, the new hire induction process should be more comprehensive, involving mid-level to senior management, as well as other employees. The employee onboarding process can last up to 12 months.
Most organizations fully acknowledge that efficient employee onboarding improves outcomes in employee satisfaction. In fact, 69% of employees stay with a company for three years or more if they have a good experience with their employee onboarding.
As a result, the employee onboarding experience needs the same effort and energy as the recruitment process.
“Pay attention to your culture and your hires from the very beginning.” — Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn
How Do You Evaluate Your Employee Onboarding Process?
To make your employee onboarding process smooth and memorable, you need to evaluate the new hire orientation system you already have in place to confirm they match the needs of the new hires.
Begin by asking these key questions prior to conducting your employee onboarding.
- Have I sent the induction plan to the new employees before their first week of reporting to minimize any concerns?
- What kind of information can I share to help the new employees feel comfortable and confident?
- What first impressions do I want the new employee to have of this company?
- Are there any policies and procedures the new employees need to be aware of right off the bat?
- What kind of professional goals do I want to set for the new employees?
- How will I gather feedback on the employee onboarding program and measure its success?
- Does my employee onboarding program facilitate positive employee engagement?
- Is there an easier way for new employees to meet their co-workers?
A Four-Step Guide to Making Your Employee Onboarding Process More Efficient
Use the Right Employee Onboarding Tools
The employee onboarding process doesn’t have to be a stuffy classroom experience that would most likely overwhelm the new hire.
HR trainers today need to find ways to present factual information in an accessible, user-friendly way. An example is when companies encourage social interaction among team members using different social media channels and tools.
We’re in a digital age, and your new employees will most likely have already browsed through your website and online platforms before the first interview. You can leverage this for induction.
As soon as a new hire receives a job offer, you can grant them access to your company’s online employee onboarding portal, where they can start interacting with coworkers ahead of time.
Your online employee onboarding portal should be designed for maximum employee engagement; you want them to feel like part of the family.
Incorporate these simple elements into your employee onboarding portal:
- A friendly welcome video from their soon-to-be manager
- Critical slides with first-day information
- Welcome messages and photos from coworkers
- A visual glossary of company acronyms
- A virtual copy of the company’s employee onboarding handbook
The portals can have HR accessible dashboards that organize and track tasks that need to be completed and managed electronically, such as payroll forms or tax-related forms.
Leading employee onboarding software platforms such as World Manager can optimize a customized learning management system (LMS) for your company. You can use it to create a step-by-step documentation tool, which can be enhanced to provide IT instructions, notes and reference guides for every new hire.
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Evolve with the Times: Use Gamification
When a new employee arrives, they are typically instructed to watch a series of training videos, sign a lot of paperwork or read a manual before receiving additional on-the-job training. This can consume a lot of time.
Rather than waiting on the new hire to finish training before putting them to work, consider using gamification for employee onboarding.
Gamification during employee onboarding can:
- Guide employees through training processes faster, saving the company time
- Encourage employees to absorb much more information
These are the elements of gamification you can use to level up your employee onboarding process:
Real-time tracking of progress and achievements: Simple tasks like filling out legal paperwork can be included in a digital checklist. Every time employees complete any small achievement, task or goal, they should be acknowledged and rewarded.
This makes employees feel seen and appreciated; and not like they are just another cog in the company wheel.
Leveling Up: This is a popular video game reference. To use it, you can set different actionable goals for your new employees, which they have to accomplish before new responsibilities are given to them.
The prospect of making it to higher levels with more rewards will motivate your employees to be more productive.
Professional Quests: These can be applied to virtually any training subject. Instead of an hour-long video feeding information to the employee with no chance of feedback, have them do some fact-finding using a gamification tool.
Seeking out information by solving puzzles, conducting virtual interviews and asking questions is a much more beneficial way to learn.
Personalize the New Hire Experience
According to the Academy of Management Journal, the first 90 days of a worker’s employment are crucial in terms of building rapport with the company brand, senior leaders and colleagues.
Established brands like Vans personalized consumer experiences using digital tools that allowed customers to customize their own shoes. Coca-Cola did the same with their “Share a Coke” campaign.
These companies understand that consumers will consistently choose, recommend and even pay more money for a personalized experience. These consumers are the people who are working for you.
To achieve personalized induction programs, conduct initial assessments to better understand:
- Each employee’s areas of excellence
- What areas of potential growth exist in the new hires
- Which areas need to be developed to ensure job readiness
Likewise, again using a learning management system, you can segment content into reusable learning segments with bite-sized timings (such as 2-8 minutes), allowing each learner’s digital onboarding experience to be tailored and prioritized.
After initial assessments, content can be further divided into required, recommended, and optional segments based on the results.
Conduct Regular Reviews of the On Boarding Process
Each time new people join the company, you have an opportunity to learn what works in your onboarding process and what needs further refinement.
Different people will have different expectations and experience the same process in different ways. The more data you gather, the more intelligent you will become at fine-tuning this process.
Establish yourself as an employee keen on fostering employee engagement by asking for employee onboarding feedback early on in an employee’s time with you. Do better by acting on the feedback provided.
Using an anonymous engagement survey, some questions you could ask include:
- What was your overall experience of your induction?
- What was the most helpful or effective part of the employee onboarding process?
- What one thing would you change or improve?
- Do you feel that our organizational culture was accurately reflected by our employee onboarding approach and content?
- Did you find anything missing from the process that would have made your first few days and weeks easier?
- What did you enjoy the most/least about the process?
Don’t stop there, make use of these 32 free employee engagement posters!
How Do You Find the Right Employee Onboarding Software Platform?
No one-size-fits-all approach for the best employee onboarding experience exists. This is why placing considerable effort into developing your unique induction roadmap should be your top priority.
Choose a platform that has the right tools to turn your good ideas into a functional, practical, yet relevant and rewarding employee induction program.
One that easily guides newly hired employees into induction training and company orientation. Like World Manager, a multi-award winning online platform that helps the world’s leading brands deliver and monitor best-practice training and HR systems worldwide.
Book a demo to find out how World Manager can help you conquer your employee onboarding challenges.