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Onboarding Employee Experience

5 Benefits of a Structured Onboarding Process

May 4, 2023
6 min read

New Hire Onboarding Checklist


What is employee onboarding? It’s about more than just an employee’s first day — it’s about the entire process of ramping new employees, from when an offer letter is signed until they’re ready to take on the full responsibilities of their role. The impact of onboarding also goes far beyond the start date — employees’ onboarding experience affects retention, engagement, productivity, and company culture.

But, there’s evidence to show that companies are overlooking their employee onboarding process, and when they do, it has negative consequences. Nearly one-third of employees say it’s confusing, and 80% of new hires (employed less than one year) who say they didn’t receive enough training during onboarding plan to quit.

Your business can avoid becoming part of those statistics with a structured onboarding program. Keep reading to learn just a handful of the benefits of an onboarding process that is organized and sticks to a plan.

80% of employees who didn’t get enough training during #onboarding say they plan to quit. Hang onto top talent with a structured #OnboardingProcess:

1. Higher Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is crucial because it impacts the business at every level, from safety to absenteeism to overall profitability. Gallup found that companies with the highest engagement levels show significantly better outcomes than those with low engagement:

  • 64% difference in the number of safety incidents
  • 81% difference in absenteeism
  • 23% higher profitability

The first several weeks after hiring a new employee are a critical time for employee engagement. A standard onboarding program is one of the best ways to harness their excitement and enthusiasm, turning it into motivation and productivity. 70% of employees who say they had a good onboarding experience would agree that they have the “best possible job,” according to Gallup research.

2. Higher Employee Retention

Hiring and onboarding new employees is expensive; replacing them can cost 40% of an employee’s salary. It’s even more expensive when your new employees spend just a few weeks or days on the job before they quit — and some may not show up for their first day at all. Lighthouse Research & Advisory found that one of the top three types of candidate ghosting is no-showing after accepting an offer.

Onboarding employees well is a proven way to keep them around, increasing employee retention by as much as 50% for some companies. Doing it well means remembering that onboarding should start before an employee’s first day. Get in touch with your new hires after receiving a signed offer letter and let them know what to expect next: who they’ll hear from, which (if any) tasks to complete before day one, and what to expect on their actual first day.

A structured onboarding process helps new hires ease into their roles instead of diving right in without giving them context, introducing them to colleagues, or familiarizing them with company procedures. You want employees to feel empowered and eager to start contributing and prepared, thanks to a foundation of trust and knowledge built during onboarding.

Did you know it’s becoming increasingly common for new hires to be no-shows on their first day? Prevent first-day ghosting with a structured #OnboardingProcess:

3. Increased Productivity

A structured onboarding process includes expectations for new hire productivity, which is helpful for lots of reasons:

  • Ensures a standardized experience for every new employee tailored to their roles
  • Helps new hires understand how to be successful and stay on track with onboarding goals
  • Enables hiring managers to see if new hires are ahead, on target, or falling behind so they can give tailored feedback and support

Harvard Business Review found that formal onboarding increases new hire productivity by as much as 62%. Following a plan eliminates uncertainty about what to do next for new hires, recruiters, HR, and hiring managers. Key players can complete the administrative part of onboarding efficiently and accurately so new hires can focus on learning the ropes.

Wondering where to start with your onboarding process? Check out ClearCompany’s Employee Onboarding Guide for tips and best practices.

4. Stronger Company Culture

New employees shouldn’t feel like they’re in unfamiliar territory without a map on their first day. That can cause feelings of disconnect and uncertainty instead of reassuring your new hires that they made the right choice by accepting your job offer. And just because they last beyond the first 90 days doesn’t mean new hires are a complete success — losing employees before six months, or a year in some roles, can turn yours into a high-turnover organization.

Onboarding new employees with a standard process ensures everyone has the same resources and support to thrive. An onboarding plan makes every new hire feel welcome and valued and helps them understand how their work contributes to business goals. Establishing a shared sense of purpose, transparency, and trust during onboarding helps instill those values into the company culture.

“Employee onboarding materials set the tone for the employees' experience. Use this opportunity to inspire, motivate and create excitement and connections. Use this opportunity to also demonstrate the company's mission and values. Let the employee know the important role they play in achieving that mission. Turn a boring part of the process into something that energizes and inspires.”

- Carrie Trabue, Carrington Legal Search via Forbes

5. Outstanding Employee Experience

If new hires accepted your job offer, they likely had a good candidate experience and expect the rest of the employee experience to be on the same level or better. A disorganized or nonexistent onboarding process can leave new hires feeling confused and unconfident. It also makes it much harder for your new employees to learn their job duties and reach productivity targets — which, unsurprisingly, does not make for high-achieving, high-performing employees.

On the other hand, effective onboarding reinforces new hires’ confidence in their decision to work for your company and gets them excited about what they can accomplish in the role. A structured onboarding process tells new hires that your company wants them to stick around and shows them what to expect for the rest of their tenure, setting the tone for an excellent employee experience. That’s why improving your employee onboarding experience is an investment in the entire employee experience.

Seamless Starts with Onboarding Software

Create an awesome onboarding experience that sets a strong foundation for your new hires so they become long-term employees with the help of onboarding software. The best employee onboarding software helps you create, analyze, and refine your onboarding process with tools and insights your HR team can’t get from manual processes.

Interested in onboarding software but not sure where to start? Dig into our comprehensive guide to learn more: What is Onboarding Software?

ClearCompany Onboarding is the solution for teams that want to automate tedious onboarding tasks and build a scalable process that helps retain employees and cut hiring costs. ClearCompany empowers your HR and talent acquisition team with a robust software toolkit:

  • Completely paperless digital onboarding powers fast virtual onboarding for remote, hybrid, or in-person employees — accessible on both desktop and mobile devices
  • Employee self-service portal where new hires can fill out paperwork, “meet” their new team members virtually, and access company culture resources
  • New hire onboarding checklists and Welcome Packets for every role make it easy for HR teams to complete a variety of onboarding plans on time and without missing a step
  • Automations help HR handle tasks like compliance, employment eligibility, background checks, and direct deposit without leaving the ClearCompany platform
  • Device management allows HR and IT to assign and keep track of company-owned assets
  • Dashboards and reports for tracking onboarding progress and analyzing new hire trends

See these tools in action and find out how your organization can reap the benefits of structured onboarding. Sign up for a demo of ClearCompany Onboarding.

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