In remote work, engaging onboarding is more important than ever before
In today’s cutthroat candidate market, engaging onboarding is more important than ever. Cutting back on processes and overlooking face-to-face connections runs the risk of you haemorrhaging new talent.
“An effective onboarding process should take a total of 15 hours across 90 days for a new hire’s manager,” said Brad Giles, founder of Evolution Partners, a strategic planning, professional training and coaching consultancy, and author of Onboarded. “This takes around two hours to build a role scorecard explaining what success looks like in the role, and then a one-hour meeting each week across 13 weeks.
“Over the 13 weekly meetings new hires progress through the onboarding sprint plan, which details how to succeed in the new role. As the manager and new hire discuss the progress through the plan each week, the new hire traverses three stages of understanding, learning and applying, which should be embedded, whereby at the end they are a successful fit into the role.”
It is, however, surprising that many companies get it wrong. Poor induction, no computer available, no email set-up and in some cases, no desk allocated. It is a simple process that goes a long way to making an employee feel welcome and wanting to contribute, something that HR leaders know all too well.
The right process
“At TechRT, we believe that investing in our employees is one of the best ways to improve productivity and morale,” said Rajesh Namase, co-founder of technology advice site TechRT. “We want every new employee to feel like they are part of the team from day one, so we have created a thorough onboarding process to help with this transition.
“First, every new employee is paired with a mentor who will help them acclimate to their new role. The mentor will go over expectations and company policies, and answer any questions the new employee has. Next, the new employee will shadow another team member for a day so they can see what their daily tasks will be. This will give them a better understanding of their responsibilities and how they fit into the overall company structure.
“Finally, the new employee will sit down with their supervisor to review their job description and set some goals for their first 90 days.”
According to a survey conducted by Careerbuilder and Silkroad Technology, 9% of employees have left a company because of a poor onboarding experience, and 37% percent of employees said their manager did not play a critical role in their onboarding experience support.
Without proper onboarding procedures, increases in employee turnover and loss of productivity occur. This decreased employee engagement costs companies large sums of money every year. When employees are engaged, 87% are less likely to leave their company – meaning they are five times less likely to leave than unengaged employees.
When a company has great onboarding, 69% of employees are likely to stay for at least three years.
A consistent approach is needed
“We aim to have a desk and email allocated for the arrival of our new staff member to make them feel welcome,” said Emma Cruz, operations manager at digital marketing agency The Creative Collective.
“We can also onboard them virtually where needed. Early on we introduce them to our intranet and direct them to our ‘new staff’ page, which contains key details they will require in their early days with us such as an organisational chart, welcome videos, and our onboarding booklet, which outlines a lot about the company.
“On Mondays we have an all-in meeting online and generally welcome new team members formally at this. We will also invite them to any relevant meetings that week where they can play a shadow role and get to know their colleagues and our style. We have an onboarding checklist we go through to ensure they have received all relevant onboarding and allocate time with a variety of team members to make sure they gain different perspectives.”
Review your onboarding process
It is important to review your onboarding process because job roles, company structures and potentially the array of services and/or products that your company offers may change.
“Constantly,” Cruz said. “It is up to each pod leader or team leader to review the intranet and the resources contained on it for their area. The human resources manager is responsible for maintaining the general onboarding and human resource sections. We review when we know new legislation is coming up, there has been an issue or when we know we need to add something. The HR manager meets one of the directors every 2-4 weeks to review and update what is needed also.”