November 6, 2023, by HR Search & Rescue During and after onboarding at new positions, employees who don’t feel supported and prepared are less engaged and more overwhelmed, leading to high turnover rates. According to Gallup, only 29% of employees report that onboarding prepared them to excel in their new positions. Therefore, implementing the appropriate employee onboarding strategies is critical to an organization’s overall success. For most industries, onboarding is a complex process, but improvement can be made by executing eight strategies. These procedures will revamp the onboarding process, ensuring new hires have the tools necessary to be productive additions to the company. 1.Start With Pre-boarding Feeling overwhelmed and neglected are two top reasons that new hires quit within six months. HR management can address these problems by adopting a pre-boarding plan to reduce administrative tasks on the first day while fostering engagement. During pre-boarding, HR should collect direct deposit forms, finalize contracts, and address other administrative tasks. Setting up company accounts and providing employees with an overview of their first day or week reduces the likelihood that new hires will feel overwhelmed. HR managers can help new hires avoid feelings of neglect by connecting with them before the first day. Welcome packages, phone calls, text messages, and video chats help employees feel included and engaged before starting work. 2.Use Social Tools to Connect New Hires Employees who feel connected to others in the workplace are more productive and adjust to their new roles much faster than those who feel isolated. HR can expedite forming bonds by creating a private, invite-only network for new hires to access during pre-boarding and onboarding. New hires will use the tools to connect, form friendships, get support, and learn more about the expectations at the workplace. This eases the transition period and helps new employees feel part of the company’s culture. 3.Create a Welcoming Environment on the First Day The first day at a new job can be stressful for new hires, especially when they don’t feel accepted. Enthusiastically welcoming new hires on their first day at work should be part of the employee onboarding process. If possible, include various employees when welcoming new hires. 4.Assign a Mentor to the New Hires Select a senior-level employee to mentor new hires during onboarding and beyond. Mentors help new hires become immersed in company culture, standards, and protocols and are available to provide guidance. A good mentor program can boost the new hire’s productivity, engagement, and loyalty to the company. 5.Add Gamification to Employee Onboarding According to Aberdeen Strategy & Research, 76% of new hires want to focus on training during the first week of onboarding. Even so, employees lose focus during dull training programs, causing them to miss important information. HR management can improve engagement and focus by gamifying training during onboarding. Research shows that gamification during employee onboarding increases engagement, productivity, and retention rates. It also reduces paperwork and makes it easier for HR to track and monitor progress. 6.Cleary Outline Professional Growth Opportunities LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report states that providing professional development opportunities is critical in improving company culture. As with many of these strategies, professional growth opportunities also increase engagement and productivity while helping new hires feel part of the company. HR managers should discuss these opportunities during hiring and onboarding and provide access to workshops, seminars, classes, and other tools for new hires to improve their skills. These opportunities don’t have to be a mandatory part of employee onboarding but, new hires interested in career advancement will likely take advantage of them. 7.Provide Timely Feedback and Regular Performance Reviews HR staff or managers should conduct formal performance reviews each month during onboarding and provide timely feedback between performance reviews. For example, mentors and managers should praise new hires when warranted and provide input on problem areas as needed. Employees also must be open to receiving feedback from new employees. By making feedback a two-way process, employers open the lines of communication and make new hires feel respected and valued, significantly improving the employee retention rates. Additionally, open communication can help employers identify and rectify issues with the onboarding process. 8.Extend Employee Onboarding to a Year Most companies limit onboarding to three to six months, but that’s not long enough. Gallup’s research shows that the majority of employees don’t reach their full productivity potential until they’ve been in their roles for approximately a year. By extending onboarding, employers can teach new hires how to adjust as their roles change, offer advanced training, and improve employee satisfaction. Fine-tune Your Employee Onboarding Process A well-developed onboarding process is an invaluable part of your company’s success. Effective onboarding improves employee satisfaction and retention rates while also boosting productivity. Contact HR Search & Rescue to discuss your existing onboarding system and the steps needed to make it more effective.