Do you have an orientation program or an onboarding program? What is the difference? Orientation is often defined as lasting 1-2 days and consists of completing mind-numbing endless paperwork, touring the facility to find the lunchroom and bathroom, and meeting far too many coworkers whose names you will forget by tomorrow. It is typically tedious for the presenter (typically HR department) and overwhelming for the newly hired employee. The retention of the information is historically very low and inefficient. HR professionals often refer to this as the “dead zone.” The employee isn’t fully engaged yet and is overwhelmed. The presenter is just going through the motions with as much enthusiasm as she/he can muster after presenting the same presentation over and over again.
First impressions matter. Many new hires are not fully invested when they start a new job. They have doubts as to whether they made the right choice accepting your job offer. According to a 2016 study by the Aberdeen Group, 50% of organizations experience a greater new hire retention when using a formal onboarding process and 54% experience greater new hire productivity. Therefore, cultivating and fully engaging new hire employees within the first several months of employment is the key to successfully onboarding and retaining employees.
Effectively onboarding a new hire employee is far more than just adding them to the payroll and ensuring they know where the lunch room and bathrooms are located. A successful onboarding program should be a methodical process which guides a new hire through an engaging and progressing journey through your company’s history, culture, and mission. It should direct and guide them through the path of their job duties and how their contributions will advance the company to be lucrative and successful. It should lead them through company successes, goals and objectives.
A successful onboarding program consists of 5 major components.
Prior to first day:
- Send paperwork to employee to complete electronically such as; tax forms, I-9 forms, Company Handbook and policies, and benefit information.
- Set expectations by reviewing job description, current and future projects, roles and responsibilities of entire team, and company culture and vision.
- Engage employee by clarifying objectives through assigning a short-term project and laying out future and long-term goals.
- Confirm employee is happy, comfortable and engaged by giving thoughtful feedback on short-term project contributions, assess if any on-the-job training is needed and assign a mentor.
First Three-Six Months:
- Keep employee engaged by performing a formal review of short-term projects and accomplishments; ensure that long-term goals are still on track; confirm that the relationship of the mentor and employee is going well.
A successful and effective onboarding program doesn’t have to be antiquated and tedious. It just needs to be thoughtful, creative and most of all, employee engaging. Don’t leave your new hires in the “dead zone.” Start building your successful onboarding program today!
Have HR Questions?
This PayDay about new employee onboarding was written by our AccuPay HR team members who are SHRM certified. If you have any HR questions or wish to discuss our HR service options, call Betsy, Laura or Kristy at 317-885-7600.