How to Improve the Employee Onboarding Process
Resumes were reviewed, candidates screened, interviews conducted, job offer made and accepted. The open position has been filled. Done? No.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, 20% of employees left their jobs in the first 45 days. That’s not a lot of time on the job, so what is causing new employees to decide so soon to leave their new employers? First impressions are everything, and that is true for a company and its new employees. The impression a new employee has of the company, beginning on their first day, plays a big role in the likelihood of the employee staying. An employer needs to have a welcoming culture in place that conveys it genuinely wants the employee to be part of the organization and provide opportunities to begin establishing workplace relationships.
It’s important to help a new employee to start the process of becoming familiar with their work environment. Designate someone to greet the employee upon arrival and be responsible for seeing them through the day. This allows the new employee to have “an anchor” during the process and not fear being left adrift in an unfamiliar environment. Provide a tour of the office or facility, highlighting areas that will be used by the employee, so they will begin to feel comfortable moving about the space. Include a stop at their desk, which should already be set up with necessary supplies and equipment. While on the tour, take time to introduce the new employee to staff members. Ask staff members to wear nametags to help put new names to new faces. Encourage staff to proactively introduce themselves and welcome the new employee when they see an opportunity to do so. The more personable staff is on a whole that first day, the better the new person will feel about beginning to work with their new coworkers.
After the tour and introductions, take it a step or two further to help a new employee begin to establish successful relationships in the workplace. Identify early opportunities for a new employee to get to know their team better as well other coworkers. Include time to meet for coffee with the team or go out to lunch together. Time set aside apart from work will open the door to learn personalities and discover what team members have in common. On a larger scale, depending on the size or the organization, create an opportunity for the new employee to get to know staff from other departments as well. One company designates a “brown bag” lunch for employees to meet in the lunch room together with their lunches. The new employee poses a question to the group, such as “what is your favorite movie?” and each person takes their turn to answer the question. A fun, relaxed way to spend time with coworkers.
There are multiple components to the onboarding process, but when the new employee arrives on the first day, first impressions can set the stage for their onboarding overall. People Element New Hire Check-in surveys help employers gauge how well they are executing their onboarding process, including very important first impressions. New employee feedback can enable an employer to identify areas to strengthen in their onboarding, leading to new employees turning into long term employees.