Onboarding Done the Right Way

New Employee Orientation: Onboarding Done the Right Way

Amy Hirsh Robinson has years of experience in onboarding process.

She’s a well-recognized expert in the dynamic workforce and the impact of generational shifts on organizations.

She considers the onboarding process as the magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged.

“The First 90 Days Will Make or Break Your New Hire” – Amy Hirsh Robinson

Robinson’s major concern lies in the numerous ways organizations waste those crucial moments.

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Instead of emotionally connecting with new hires, HR managers tend to overwhelm new employees with an overload of information during their orientation.

A wiser approach can involve packaging relevant content in an onboarding program that’s easily accessible to incoming personnel – both practically and emotionally.

So what does that type of onboarding look like?

Consider the following three key factors and how they can influence the onboarding process:

  • Proactively ensuring internal stakeholder buy-in
  • Fostering a culture of inclusion from day one
  • Investing in employees as individuals

Build the Business Case for an Effective Onboarding Process

When designing and enforcing a streamlined onboarding process, HR managers should engage all key stakeholders throughout the organization.

Employees who have worked at the company for years hold a wealth of information for improving the onboarding process.

The challenge is bigger than any one person or department. Convince managers of the importance of an inclusive onboarding process, and train them to participate.

UrbanBound highlights the value of a structured onboarding program:

  • 69% of employees are more inclined to stay with a company for up to three years if they underwent efficient onboarding.
  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater new-hire productivity.

Wondering where to start?

Audit your current process, taking note of all the gaps between your present and desired future.

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Here are some specific questions to consider:

1. People

  • Who is involved in your onboarding process? Consider all departments.
  • How is your existing team notified of new hires?
  • Are you providing all the critical information they need for a hospitable first day? (i.e., information on what to wear / where to go)
  • How does that resonate with your company values?
  • How are you mentoring your new hires?
  • How are you getting your new hire’s feedback on the process and measuring their engagement? (e.g., employee surveys)

2. Process

  • How are you ensuring new employees are paid on time and that their benefits are set up on time?
  • How are you ensuring they receive the right tools to execute their responsibilities? (i.e., cell phone, laptop)
  • Is your team using the latest accurate local, state, and federal tax forms?

3. Technology

  • How is new hire data being handled and stored?
  • How much paperwork, if any, is going into the onboarding process?
  • What technology do you need to set up an automated process and effective triggers?

Use the output from these questions to create your ideal onboarding process. Clearly delineate responsibilities and determine the technology needed to support the process.

Cultivate Culture and Connection

It isn’t uncommon for new employees to experience a sense of culture shock when venturing into a completely new workspace.

Imagine they were used to dressing down on Fridays while the new job requires corporate dress-code from Monday through Friday. Or more pertinent issues such as meeting schedules and deadline targets.

Avoid too much detail at this juncture. Focus on practical steps that will make your new hire feel at home.

Show them around the office while pointing out where specific amenities are. Help them process all their identification documents and share all the relevant passwords.

Introduce them to their immediate workmates who act as mentors and share all these details in the first few months.

What about new employees working remotely?

Online training is the most-effective solution.

Team introductions can always be done using your Learning Management System. Don’t have one? Design one here.

Use off-the-shelf courses because they’re easier to customize to meet your company’s needs.

The subject matter experts and instructional designers have already done the hard work for you.

Simply add your logo and imagery to the courses. You don’t need advanced software to fit the visual elements into the content. Elementary image software, such as Paint, does the trick!

Include important information about where to find your company’s ‘virtual amenities’ (i.e., files, software, etc. that your new hire needs to access) in your online employee orientation course.

Go ahead and even use videos to really cement the major concepts in their minds. Bing Lee does this very effectively.

“We find video training very useful and informative for our staff. Pictures do tell a thousand words, just as videos do as well, and I feel that staff are more inclined to remember if they watch a video.”

Make your online training available on different platforms so your new employees can access it from any device, anywhere, anytime.

“They can then take the training on any device, from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. The platform allows us to track when they have completed the training and assessments, making it very easy for us to track compliance.”Bing Lee

Your company culture has various facets, so try to include all of them. Aim to make your new employee feel appreciated, valued, and included.

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Invest in Career Development

New employees expect structured information and guidance about their careers from the get-go.

Meet their expectations by providing them with the tools they need:

  • Visual career paths where employees can envision their rise through the ranks at your organization.
  • Success profiles that detail the competencies required in each role the employees may aspire towards.
  • Career development plans tailored towards each individual employee’s career goals. These should be reviewed regularly with their respective supervisors.

Integrate career development into the orientation process by aligning employees’ personal goals with the larger vision of the company.

This makes their contributions feel like a part of something bigger, bolstering their motivation to accomplish their goals.

After the initial orientation, survey new employees for feedback. Are you really meeting their expectations?

Implement weekly check-ins to personally steer individual employees through any nascent work challenges.

“Research and conventional wisdom both suggest that employees get about 90 days to prove themselves in a new job.”Talya Bauer, Ph.D., Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success

Bauer identified four levels of onboarding, from least to most effective:

  • Compliance – HR teaches new employees about legal and policy-related issues.
  • Clarification – HR ensures new employees comprehend their new role and related expectations.
  • Culture – HR exposes new hires to the organizational values and norms.
  • Connection – HR connects new hires to personal relationships and information networks.

Avoid bombarding new hires with overwhelming amounts of information to memorize. Implement a well-structured online training program that lets them absorb the information at their own pace.

Dominos bakes training into their culture from the beginning.

“Training is now part of the culture in Dominos. Franchisees and Operations managers have always commented that the tool makes training new employees very easy. They find it extremely beneficial to train employees by teaching some theory through the online training tool prior to going directly into the field.”

Why is Employee Orientation Important?

Effective employee orientation:

  • Provides the new employee with the relevant verified information needed to help them execute their responsibilities.
  • Encourages employee confidence which helps the employee adapt to their new environment.
  • Contributes to a more unified, productive workforce.
  • Improves employee retention.
  • Promotes communication between the supervisor and the new employee.

Getting employee orientation right may not be absolutely vital – some employees can be dropped in the deep end and still be capable of surviving and even thriving – but a well-oiled, consistent employee orientation program is easily the quickest and most cost-effective way of maximizing employee productivity and satisfaction.

Integrating a quality employee orientation program can also be much easier than you think.

Many of the world’s leading brands already know this.

Book a quick, customized demonstration today and see for yourself why World Manager is their preferred platform of choice.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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