5 steps for an effective onboarding process

Successful onboarding has a lasting impact on engagement and can even improve HR’s rep in the long run

5 steps for an effective onboarding process

Employees who experience a ‘highly effective’ onboarding were 18 times more likely to be committed to their organisation, according to a recent study by BambooHR.

Almost all (91%) of those employees said they feel a strong connectedness at work. Ineffective onboarding results in only 29% of engaged employees.

Within the first week, nearly half (49%) of employees with effective onboarding reported contributing to their team.

The effects of a successful onboarding can be felt in the long run as well.

  • Nine in 10 would feel more strongly integrated into the company culture
  • Employees reported 50% higher benefits utilisation
  • They’re 38% more confident in their ability to do their jobs
  • Staff were 30 times more likely to have high job satisfaction
  • 80% more likely to rate the organisation’s performance as “strong”
  • And 113 times more likely to rate HR’s capability highly

READ MORE: Indeed reveals the secrets to a golden onboarding plan

HRD spoke to an industry leader, who shared best practice tips for onboarding new hires.

1. Understand that effective onboarding extends beyond the first 90 days
Onboarding needs to be an ongoing process and will be much more effective at six months to a year. The HR practitioner told us that too many companies stop the process after “a very short period” and when they’re no longer the “new guy”.

Recruits need continued support in order to feel valued, so employers should make an effort to plan out an induction process that goes beyond their first week.

2. Be clear about how their role is critical to the company’s success
Expectations of their role may have been defined during the interview process, but it’s important to reinforce how they fit into the organisation’s “big picture”.

Successfully doing so will instil a sense of purpose and loyalty in new hires. Failing which could result in employees quickly feeling like they’re “just another cog in the machine”.

3. Ensure managers are actively involved in the onboarding experience
This can help better engage new hires and make them feel like critical additions to the team, said the practitioner. Also, if managers seem out of reach from the get-go, it can create an “us versus them” barrier and stifle performance.

Involving managers in the induction process can show that leaders are prepared to invest in their team members and push them to perform better.

4. Implement a mentoring or buddy system
The idea of assigning a mentor or buddy to a new hire is nothing new, but it can go a long way in sustaining a positive employee experience.

Employees will feel highly supported by the organisation, and can also explore tangible career pathways, making them feel secure about their future with the company.

5. Get the workstation ready to go on their first day
This may seem like a minor detail, but it’s a simple way to show that the new employee is welcomed into the team and overall organisation.

It could also instil a sense of diligence and purpose, and lay the foundation for many years of engagement.

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