A new year often means new starters, but remember first impressions are what really count. In a competitive market space, every business must ensure their onboarding process is slick, seamless and instantly welcoming.
The onboarding process should help get your newest team members on track and up to speed so they can start contributing to your success as soon as possible.
Studies have shown that as much as 22% said there had been such serious issues in the early onboarding process that they had changed their mind about the job before their official start date – based on 4,000 office workers by a cloud software company. In another study, by Gillespie Associates (2016) 15% of respondents decided to leave their current position simply due to an ineffective or no onboarding process.
So what makes a good onboarding process?
Whether the business is small or large. Attempting to remember everyone’s names and responsibilities can be quite overwhelming to a new joiner. Help your new joiner to familiarise themselves with individuals and their roles with a detailed org chart or photo bulletin so at a quick glance they can remind themselves who everyone is.
There are plenty of tools out there enabling businesses to create bespoke photo-based org charts. Organimi is a cloud based system that allow you to upload an excel or CSV data file with your organisation’s contact information and reporting structure and watch your chart come to life. It is a great way to clearly set out the business structure and teams for any new joiners.
Keep it fresh
When you begin a new role there is so much information to take in and the process can feel quite stressful. Consider being in their position – taking in orientation, systems training and inductions all which need to be completed in the first few days on the job. Why not try to make the process fun and interesting by changing up the way you conduct the training.
If you don’t have the budget for video production – explore options like CloudApp to create effective onboarding videos for your new employees. Video tutorials are made easily recording your screen actions – creating quick and clear training videos.
Offer onboarding in different locations if available, different rooms or communal areas. Mix up systems training with teams and on a one-to-one basis to keep it fun. Welcome the new starter to all aspects of the local area, best lunch spots and parks.
As much as the processes of the job are important, so is the human aspect. Consider a mentor programme where new starters can be assigned a mentor/ buddy where they can ask questions about all aspects of the business that might not be in the ‘handbook’. It provides an instant welcome and friendship for the new starter.
The mentor does not have to be a manager, or even from their specific department. You could assign any fellow employee to be the mentor. Set aside a small timetable of meetings or chats over a coffee throughout the first month of onboaring so that a relationship can be formed.
Nothing makes you feel less valued than a generic on-boarding process and training materials that are a one size fits all. Where possible make each on-boarding process personal. A tailored scheduled for on-boarding which will specific to the individual and the role – will not only make the individual feel valued but will be far more engaging.
When your new starter joins the business ensure their work station is, clean, ready and organised for them from their first day. If they are to be issued their own laptop, work phone or any materials they will require should be ready, working and on their desk. Work station should be fully cleared of clutter (from any previous employees) and ready to welcome the newbie.