The typical onboarding process in HR may seem like it’s easy enough to execute. You know the drill: have a day-one orientation, share an employee handbook, ship some startup swag–but will that do the most for your new hires?
Probably not. Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding process in HR for new employees. And that assessment may be even lower if you’re looking to onboard a remote workforce.
Onboarding is a critical process that can set a new employee up to thrive. If coordinated with the right intent, the entire framework can help orient newcomers at a faster rate, and set them up for future success.
But if rushed through, it can yield the opposite result. And that will have you back on the hiring wheel before you know it. Remember, 88% of new employees don’t believe that their organization does a great job with their onboarding process in HR–so it’s up to you to make the most of it.
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How to Establish an Onboarding Framework
When looking to create a new onboarding process in HR, you’ll want to think about the kind of impression you want employees to walk away with at the end of their first day, first week and their first month. Define your goals and come up with ways to measure success along the way.
You’ll also want to think about who to involve outside of HR. How big of a role do you want their direct team and managers to play throughout the process? What about individuals outside of their team? Who your new hires interact with within this time will greatly influence their overall experience.
How Long Should Onboarding Take?
Once you determine what you want your onboarding process in HR will accomplish and who will help you get there–it’s important to determine how long you have to do it all. Many people may think that an onboarding process can be started and completed within the first month–but it really should be plotted out throughout the new hire’s first year.
Think of it this way, a successful employee onboarding program should be structured and strategic, not just about checking boxes. If you place a focus on people and not administrative tasks, it takes a longer amount of time. But it is all the more worthwhile.
The 3 Parts of the Onboarding Process in HR Teams
Many companies have described their own onboarding process as informal, inconsistent, and reactive. Don’t let those words describe your new hire experience. Here’s how to get the most out of your onboarding efforts:
1. General Orientation
Every new hire will have to fill out certain payment forms, employment paperwork and contracts. They’ll need to complete standard trainings, sync their calendars and learn practical things like the best path to the restroom.
All of this can very much become a necessary evil, so the challenge here will be making it as painless as possible. So, make the review of company policies and completion of all paperwork seamless. Invest in a software solution like Rippling or Userlane that can organize these tasks and remind new hires to complete them via email or SMS.
And consider an incentive-based completion plan, so that employees feel motivated to get beyond these kinds of less-engaging tasks and move on to the greater things like…
2. Accessible Tools and Skill Building
When a new employee is ramping up, they have a lot to absorb. It can be difficult to manage an influx of various systems and passwords. So, clearly define what platforms and programs they’ll need access to and keep it organized for them in a sheet or form that also relays login info and points of contact. Try to make it easy for them to find everything they will need, so they don’t have to look for things and go on a slack hunt for the information they need in order to get up and running.
Further, if an employee is new to using a program or platform, help them get the proper training they need to make the most of the tools. Not only will this help them with their work, but also with their employee satisfaction. It’s true, employees who strongly agree they have a clear plan for their professional development are 3.5 times more likely to strongly agree that their onboarding process in HR was exceptional.
3. Culture Introduction and Development
A new employee is most likely excited to be a part of the team, but they might not know how to best experience your company’s culture. Do you have a volunteer program? Do you have any traditions or social pages that employee’s can follow? There’s a period of time where new employees will only know what you tell them, so think hard and try not to leave anything out.
Further, consider assigning a mentor or buddy to your employees for the first year. This individual can be a person who sits outside of their team and generally will act as a culture ambassador. They can invite new hires to company events, formal and informal. They can tag the new hire in a post or thread and introduce them to more people.
And, HR should also check in along the way. Have touch bases pre-planned at the end of the new hires first week, first quarter, and after 6 months on the job. Ask for their feedback. Digitate reports that one in five new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member after their new hire onboarding experience. It doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you’re willing to adjust your methods based on what you learn from these sessions.
Once onboarding process in HR is complete you can focus on future development of the individual–HR’s job is never done. Employee benefits, along with other protections for employees and employers like EPLI, will help to build out a robust program for your company to attract and keep talent.