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Nobody Puts Onboarding in a Corner

January 27, 2015
4 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Within the first six months of a new job, 86% of employees decide whether they’d like to stay or search for a different job. Aberdeen Group finds that an additional 69% of new employees are likely to maintain a job for at least three years if the HR, managers and IT crews perform welcoming employee onboarding.  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the cost of replacing an employee can be between 25-50% of their yearly salary. While simply tweaking the employee onboarding process won’t cure all turnover, it’s an excellent place to start and could prevent these high costs from happening. Here are a few common mistakes and easy fixes to consider when onboarding employees:

Avoid information overload

The training process is important; and the main goal is to create efficient, well-educated employees, right? Cramming 8-hour sessions within the first weeks of a new position can be extremely overwhelming for new hires.

Panopto, a video software company, suggests having a short training course to brief new employees on what the company is all about followed by offering additional training and online presentation demonstrations under a video content management system. This way, employees won’t feel overloaded, anxious and worried about lost information and can overall gain a sense of relaxation about the new position they recently accepted. Giving employees the option to refer back to videos throughout the entire course of their employment can ensure the resources are available at all times on any platform for any future uncertainty. But you don’t have to have video to keep trainees happy, any centralized learning repository will do the trick.

Sink or float

TalentWise says it takes a new hire roughly eight months to be fully productive within a new position. With that, lazily handing a pamphlet over to the fresh employees and hoping they catch on is not a test for intelligence but a high chance of turnover rates. 22% of turnover rates happen within 45 days. This tells us that new hires need guidance. Company culture can be scary to navigate the first few months.

Extending the onboarding training and socializing can aid new employees and further the understanding of company culture and ins and outs. Understanding all aspects can improve the work and efficiency of each department. Socializing within the company and knowing who does what will also make new hires confident in where they need to direct each work-related question without fear. Give new hires a mentor and a safe place to voice grievances when they need to. Speaking of which…

Don’t mind me over here…

56% of employees want a buddy or mentor to have as a guide and 59% of new hires would like a company tour within the first week to gain bearings. We suggest assigning new hires with projects within the first week so the employee feels a sense of purpose rather than standing around feeling awkward. Small tasks given by other team members, though miniscule, are a good way to train employees on company workflow, expectations and deadline rules.

Other methods to successfully welcome new hires onto the team could start before the employee even comes in for his or her first day. Send a postcard, an Instagram of the team (privately) or an email giving them the rundown so they know what’s what.

Sooner is always better than later

“Paperwork is my favorite,” said nobody ever. E-mailing necessary paperwork to new employees before their first day can avoid boring, unmotivational tasks during the first week. When the first week is filled with paperwork and lectures, it could leave new hires thinking, “Is this what it’s like working here?” Make onboarding fun instead of arduous!

CommonGood Careers suggests sending new hires an agenda of what their first week will look like. In doing so, this will reduce the anxiety that overcomes most individuals of twiddling thumbs during the first few days while giving them a confident sense of purpose and belonging. The average cost of a new hire is roughly $16,177; why not make it worthwhile?

76% of companies extend the onboarding process beyond the first month of training new employees according to an Aberdeen Group survey while 66% of organizations claim they need to improve the onboarding program. Onboarding need not be a burden. In fact, it can aid companies in lessening turnover rates, improve productivity and work ethic and familiarize new hires with a company early on in the game.



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