Employee onboarding is a lot more than showing a new hire where to sit and leaving them to get on with it. Getting it wrong can mean losing new talent as well as costing you in financial and cultural terms. But what does onboarding actually mean in the changing work landscape and how does rapidly evolving tech impact it?
Onboarding is the conscious process of integrating a new employee into an organisation. It’s when new employees learn about the culture of the company and its mission, as well as personal and organisational goals.
Most employees feel a sense of anxiety about their first day in a new job so being left to hang around feeling awkward will do nothing to help them decompress. And it will make it look as though you don’t care about the experience of your new member of staff. A horrible first day sets a bad tone for a long time. In fact, research shows that a negative onboarding experience results in new hires being 2x more likely to look for other opportunities.
By contrast, a warm welcome and streamlined processes will provide newcomers with a feeling of belonging that can increase engagement, influence integration, and reduce churn with its steep downstream costs.
It makes sense then that companies should all be investing in onboarding. While there is no one-size-fits-all for onboarding due to variables such as culture, size and sector, most will include training, checklists, community building, compliance, IT and facilities.
Over the years technology has changed and improved the recruitment process, and yet onboarding has remained much the same. Many companies are still stuck in the stone age of paper forms and hardcopy employee handbooks and training manuals when they could be making use of technology to onboard employees. For a start, technology decreases the amount of paperwork that goes with a new hire. On top of that, a well-designed onboarding experience will go a long way towards ensuring the assimilation of new hires, as well as giving them confidence about the systems and processes in their new workplace.
The onboarding process should be simple and interesting, with the following key features:
While you can’t replace the warmth of human connection, tech advances of all kinds make everyday life easier for those who have embraced them. Streamlining onboarding not only improves productivity, it gets every new hire integrated into their new role and set up for success fast.