Mastering new employee onboarding is far from easy. Managers have to craft job offers, organize employee documents, perform background checks, facilitate training, set up payroll and the list goes on and on. Keeping all those things organized, let alone making the process efficient, is enough to make managers want to pull their hair out! It’s not the most exciting part of the job, but it’s one of the most important.
On the other hand, the employee onboarding process is a vulnerable stage for new employees. They are excited for a new journey, unfamiliar with the territory and maybe even the job itself, and they are constantly gauging the experience, trying to decide if they made the right choice when accepting the job. Did you know up to 20% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment? This is a crucial time for managers to be engaging the newest members of the team, developing them, and ensuring the chance of retention. The employee onboarding stage is where managers really get to shine and make an impression on their team, not just their newest employee.
So, how can managers bridge the gap between dreaded, time-consuming onboarding processes and getting to the nitty-gritty of new employee engagement? Let’s go for a ride…
Pit Stop #1: The Right Employee Onboarding Software
Did you know the year is 2016? Maybe you said yes, but hate to break it to you: your paper-pushing onboarding process says otherwise. We get to live in a time where there are mobile apps that keep track of your sleep patterns, you can control the temperature of your house from 1,000 miles away, and guess what? There is software that makes new employee onboarding so much easier and what’s more, is some can even do things that take onboarding to the next level.
The duty of the onboarding manager is to see that employee onboarding is done efficiently and effectively so that the company can continue to improve its processes while also retaining new employees. If companies want to keep up with their competitors and begin focusing on developing new employees, it’s imperative they stop waiting to streamline their employee onboarding process. Start moving the budget around for an employee onboarding software that actually gets you closer to business goals rather than keeping you from them! Here are some features to look for to optimize the onboarding process:
- Paperless Onboarding. This one is kind of a no-brainer — trade in those paper documents for a system that supports paperless online onboarding.
- Automated Workflows. Managers can keep themselves accountable with automated notifications and reminders as well as keep the flow of documents headed to the right people.
- Quality of Onboarding Reporting. This is the mother load feature. Managers can collect data from day one to track new hire performance and quality and discover inefficiencies in the employee onboarding process.
There is employee onboarding software out there that offers so much more (like ours!), but these are key features to look for when upgrading your employee onboarding process. Next stop, meaningful onboarding experiences!
Pit Stop #2: Making the First Impression
This might surprise you, but new employees are humans and have feelings. Those feelings are what drive them to make decisions like whether to accept a job offer, explore greener pastures, and make a shift in their career. That’s why the first impression is so important! Isn’t that what your parents and teachers taught you? So, how can managers put their best efforts towards making the best first impression of their life? It has to begin before the new employee even starts the job. Here are some surefire ways to make your employee feel right at home for their first day:
- Connect with them frequently before their first day. Initiate contact and start building trust. Ease their worries before the first day so they can hit the ground running on day one. Topics to discuss can range from a friendly reminder of their start date with some appropriate chitchat to a review of the dress code, lunch policy, and agenda for the first day. Make these phone calls informal and personal to get a head start on building that rapport.
- Provide them with knowledge about their team so they know what to expect when they start. This can be a simple contact sheet that is emailed with names, job descriptions, and fun tidbits about their personalities.
- Prepare their workspace in addition to having things like parking space and building access ready to go before they start. Imagine it’s your first day at a new job and you’ve managed to pump yourself up and you’re feeling really good until...every parking spot is either customer parking or reserved. And when you get to the employee entrance, you can’t get in and when you do, your desk isn’t set up. The confidence gets sucked right out of you. Do your new employees a courtesy and be prepared!
Who knew so much human stuff went into new employee onboarding? It doesn’t stop there. All aboard for keeping good impressions intact!
Pit Stop #3: Keeping the Good Vibes Going
This is a strong tip for onboarding managers and all managers alike. We tend to overlook building trust because we’re so caught up in corporate mumbo jumbo, but did you know 70% of employees who lack confidence in their senior leadership are not engaged at work? And companies with engaged employees can outperform those without by up to 202%...you read that right. That’s precious performance numbers going down the drain because managers don’t take the time to nourish their relationships. Here are some tips to use during the employee onboarding process:
- Communicate like it’s your job...as a manager, it IS your job so always work to improve that. Be sure to communicate regularly with new employees through a variety of mediums; face-to-face, email, conference call, etc. Make conversations about their progress, but don’t forget to ask the easy questions, you know, “How are you doing?” “Is there anything I can help with?”
- Give praise when the opportunity arises. This is a great way to reinforce a new employee’s strengths. Did you know, in a recent survey, 71% of employees who felt their managers were aware of their strengths were more energized and engaged in their work? The power of praise is upon you.
- Celebrate with the team to allow time to destress from the busy and stressful life that is work. Giving your new employees opportunities to bond and socialize with their new colleagues is a crucial part of learning, adapting, and thriving in the company culture, not to mention team-building. Celebrate performance milestones, birthdays, and whatever you want. It’s a party! Not a project.
You’ve Reached Your Destination
The roadmap to an unstoppable onboarding process is not a complicated one. With the best employee onboarding software, managers have the time and resources to dedicate to establishing those precious lines of communication, building on new relationships, and making sure new employees are getting what they deserve out of the employee onboarding process. How does your employee onboarding process compare?
Looking for refreshing new software to expand and improve your employee onboarding? ClearCompany has you covered!