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Onboarding Employee Experience

4 Tips for a Better New Hire Experience

January 12, 2023
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5 min read
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Employee Onboarding Checklist

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This post was originally published in March 2016 and was updated with new information about the new hire experience in January 2023.

You could think of onboarding as the “breakfast” of employment. No new hire should begin their position within a company without a balanced and well-planned onboarding program. Unfortunately, just like the most important meal of the day, employees’ onboarding experience is often insufficient, rushed, or simply forgotten altogether. And employees are noticing — just 12% say their company provides a good new hire experience.

If your company’s onboarding experience doesn’t make up that small minority, your employees likely are not reaching their full potential. Human resources metrics like turnover may be unnecessarily high, or you may have new hires that are struggling to meet expectations. But there’s good news, too: you’re in control of the employee onboarding process and you can change it for the better in 2023.

The #newhire experience affects retention, engagement, and more — but just 12% of employees say their companies are doing a good job. Get 4 onboarding tips from @ClearCompany:

A good onboarding process will give your new hires the nourishment they need to be successful in their new role. The new hire experience is the foundation for how employees feel about the work they’re doing; helps them begin and maintain relationships with colleagues; and influences how long they stay at your company. That’s why it’s so important to support your employees during their time as new hires.

Take a look at these quick, but important tips for creating a new hire experience that is efficient, engaging, and motivating.

1. Switch to a Digital Onboarding Process

This first tip benefits everyone involved in onboarding new hires, from your HR team to the hiring manager to the new employee you’ve landed. While the new hire experience shouldn’t be taken over by time-consuming, repetitive tasks, there are still some administrative steps that you can’t skip during the hiring process. Digital onboarding can help you complete these steps much more efficiently.

New hires have a lot of paperwork to fill out during the first few days of employment, including tax forms, identity verification forms, and other documents. The information needed is repetitive and can take hours to complete when done manually. In fact, 40% of HR managers spend three or more hours on this part of the onboarding process with manual methods. Thanks to onboarding software features like forms that autofill information and electronic signature capabilities, paperwork can be completed in record time with fewer errors.

Your HR team won’t have to file copies and keep physical records of this completed paperwork, either — digital records are accessible by whoever needs them and the team saves tons of time and money spent filing and maintaining records. With digital onboarding software, they can create packets specific to every role, making it easier for HR to initiate onboarding and ensure new hires get the documents they need.

Choose the right Onboarding software with ClearCompany’s Onboarding System Buyer’s Guide.

2. Reduce Stress by Adding Structure

The first few weeks of a job are intense. New hires are meeting coworkers, trying to grasp processes, filling out documents, finding desks (or setting up home offices), learning how to use new software programs, and attending orientation and training sessions. On top of that, they’re thinking about their new job duties and what they’ll be expected to accomplish. If it’s stressful just reading about it, imagine how your new hires feel.

Avoid stressed new hires with a structured onboarding program. Providing structure makes the process less confusing and overwhelming for new hires and their hiring managers. It shows your new team members that they’ll have time to settle into their roles and they’ll be supported during the transition. The average onboarding program is 90 days, but it can be up to 12 months before employees are fully adjusted.

Reduce stress for your new hires with a structured #onboarding plan that lasts at least 90 days:

Build a system that makes the first few days more about getting to know the actual work environment and company culture. Schedule one-on-one meetings with their colleagues and introduce new hires at larger meetings. A slow progression into specific tasks of the job, rules, and expectations will allow the new hire to acclimate more smoothly and feel confident taking on their new role.

3. Focus on Growth and Future Opportunities

Paychecks may be a large part of why we work, but the satisfaction of expanding our personal and professional knowledge catapults employees from present to fully committed. According to SHRM, 68% of employees would stay at a company for their entire career if the company provided upskilling opportunities. The wonderful thing about onboarding is it’s an excellent time to show new hires their potential for growth at your company.

Despite their interest in career development, 40% of employees don’t see a clear path to move up in their companies, especially Latino workers, younger workers, and those making less than $50,000 per year. 29% say they’re not optimistic about their opportunities, either, which means companies can greatly benefit from discussing career paths with their employees.

Start discussions about career development during the onboarding process to show new hires you’re invested in their success and growth. It may seem early to talk about the next career step, but it helps motivate and inspire your new hires by getting them to picture their future at your company.

4. Connect New Hires with a Mentor or Buddy

These first few days are nerve-wracking (see tip #2) and it’s not always easy for new hires to reach out to their coworkers, let alone employees outside of their department. But these relationships are essential for employee engagement, retention, and a positive employee experience. Luckily, the onboarding phase presents an amazing time to put your talent at ease and help them build connections with their colleagues.

“Interpersonal [work] relationships have a sizeable and significant positive effect on the job satisfaction of the average employee. [Relationships] rank first out of…12 domains of workplace quality in terms of power to explain variation in job satisfaction.”

- via Harvard Business Review

One way to do this is by setting up a mentorship program and pairing new hires with a mentor with more experience and a longer tenure at the company. Employee retention is 50% higher among those who had a mentor, and an incredible 91% of them are satisfied with their jobs. Mentors themselves report higher retention as well as greater job satisfaction and more career success.

You can also increase connections by pairing new hires with a buddy for the duration of their onboarding program. This is a bit more informal than a mentoring relationship — an onboarding buddy can help show new hires the ropes, fills them in on any “unwritten rules,” and introduces them to other employees. When they met with their buddy regularly, 97% of employees said they adjusted to their new role more quickly.

There’s no way around it: Onboarding defines the entire employee experience. It’s your company’s chance to show new employees what’s in store in their new role and what company culture is all about. Onboarding is when employees meet the people who can keep them at the company for years to come, and, it’s when you can show them their own potential and all the ways your organization will help them grow in their careers.

Find out how you can transform your new hire experience for the better in 2023 by equipping your HR team with ClearCompany’s award-winning Onboarding software. Sign up for a personalized demo today.

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