Victoria is a content manager at Movavi. She specializes in researching complex topics of marketing, social media and employee engagement to make them easy to understand for other people.
Pub: May 17 2022
Upd: November 29 2022
Onboarding new employees is one of the most important – and challenging – aspects of running a business. It can be difficult to know where to start, but with the right process in place, you can make the onboarding period smooth and successful for both you and your new employee. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about onboarding, from what it is to how to set up an effective process. We’ll also give you tips on implementing and evaluating the success of your onboarding program.
What Is Employee Onboarding, and Why Is it Important?
Onboarding is the process of orienting and acclimating a new employee to their role within a company. The goal of onboarding is to help the employee feel comfortable and confident in their new position, and to set them up for success in the long term.
There are many benefits to having a well-designed onboarding process in place. For businesses, it can help reduce turnover rates and increase productivity. For employees, it can improve job satisfaction and decrease anxiety about starting a new job. Onboarding can also help build relationships between managers and employees, and foster a positive culture within the workplace.
Another advantage of onboarding is that it provides an opportunity for managers to assess a new employee’s skills and abilities and identify any areas where they may need additional training. By devoting the resources to onboard new employees properly, you can make sure that you are making the most of your talent pool.
Different Types of Onboarding
There are two main types of onboarding: formal and informal. Formal onboarding is typically conducted by HR professionals and includes activities such as orientation, job shadowing, and a training program. Informal onboarding is more likely to be done by team leaders and co-workers and often happens organically on the job. It can include things like showing a new employee around the office, introducing them to team members, and helping them to understand the company culture.
Both formal and informal onboarding are effective, and it’s important to combine the two approaches. Formal onboarding can provide the structure and support that new employees need, while an informal one can help them to feel comfortable and acclimated in their new environment.
The 2020 pandemic brought in a new differentiation of onboarding processes – online and offline. With the rise of remote work, many companies have had to adapt their onboarding processes to accommodate a virtual workforce. The main difference between online and offline onboarding is the delivery method – all other aspects, such as orientation, training, and acclimation, remain the same. This has led to the development of new tools and strategies, which we’ll discuss in more detail further.
Designing an Effective Onboarding Plan
A good onboarding plan includes the following key elements:
- A clear and concise orientation about the basics of the company and the employee’s role in it.
- A training program that covers the essential skills and knowledge needed to do the job.
- An acclimation period that allows the employee to adjust to their new environment and get to know their co-workers.
- A system for tracking progress and giving feedback.
- A person responsible for onboarding.
When you’re designing your onboarding process, it’s important to keep the needs of your business and your employees in mind. Every company is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The essential thing is to create a process that works for you and helps your employees to be successful in their new roles. Here are the onboarding process steps you should take to prepare a program that ticks all the boxes:
1. Set Up a Welcome Meeting
You’ll need to introduce the new employee to the team culture and company values. This can be done in a group setting or one-on-one, depending on the size of your company. In the meeting, you can go over the company history, mission, and vision. You can also introduce the new employee to their team members and other key people in the company. If you have a remote workforce, you can use video conferencing tools to set up virtual meet-and-greet sessions. You can also provide new employees with a welcome package to hit the ground running. It can include an employee handbook, company policies, and contact information for key people in the organization. You can also include some fun items to help the new employee feel welcome, such as a company t-shirt or mug.
2. Create a Shared Knowledge Base
It’s also important to provide the new hire with all the necessary information about their role, including job descriptions, performance expectations, and training materials. This can be done by setting up a shared knowledge base, such as a wiki or intranet site. You can fill it up with all sorts of information by writing detailed instructions or making videos about the tools your team uses. This will help the new employee to feel confident in their new role.
3. Account for an Acclimation Period
It’s normal for new employees to feel a bit overwhelmed in their first few weeks on the job. Don’t expect them to tackle all tasks in the shortest time. To help them adjust, you can let them have time to adapt, get to know their co-workers and learn about the company culture. This can be done by setting up lunches or coffee dates with team members, or by organizing social events after work hours.
4. Create a Progress-Tracking System
It’s important to track the progress of your new employees during their onboarding process. This will help you to identify any areas where they may need more support. It is also vital for your new employee to know about the amount of work they need to do in a week or in a month. You can use Google Sheets to do this manually, but there are ways to automate this process. For example, software like Hirebook comes in handy when you need to keep track of quarterly OKRs or weekly KPIs.
5. Find the Right Person to Manage the Process
Last but not least, you need to find the right person to manage the onboarding process. This can be done by assigning a buddy or a mentor to the new employee. A buddy is someone who can answer questions about the company culture and help the new employee to feel welcome. A mentor is someone who can provide guidance and support in the new employee’s professional development. Alternatively, you can create an onboarding task force made up of employees from different departments. This team can help to plan and execute the onboarding process from start to finish.
Implementing the Process
Now that you know how to design an effective onboarding process, it’s time to put your plan into action. Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- Set clear expectations. Make sure your new employee knows what is expected of them from day one. This will help them hit the ground running and avoid any confusion down the road.
- Schedule regular check-ins with the new employee. This will help them to feel supported and give you an opportunity to provide feedback.
- Encourage employees to ask questions. Creating a safe space for questions will help the new employee to feel comfortable and encourage them to be proactive about their learning.
- Make sure that all of your materials are up-to-date and accurate. Outdated information can cause confusion and frustration.
- Be flexible. The onboarding process should be tailored to the needs of the individual.
- Get feedback from your employees. Ask them how they found the onboarding process and what could be improved. This will help you to make necessary changes and improve the experience for future employees.
- Make it interactive. Onboarding should be more than just sitting in a room listening to presentations. Make sure to include interactive elements like exercises, group activities, and real-world examples.
If you onboard remote force, consider using a video conferencing tool like Zoom to create a more personal experience. You should also make sure they have access to all the same materials and resources as your on-site employees.
Evaluating the Success of Onboarding
It’s important to take some time to evaluate the effectiveness of employee onboarding. One way to do this is to ask the new employee for feedback on their experience. Here are a few things to consider:
- Did the new employee feel welcomed?
- Did they have all the information they needed?
- Did they feel supported during their first few weeks?
- Was the onboarding process tailored to their individual needs?
- What could be improved for future employees?
You can gather this information by conducting surveys or holding one-on-one meetings with your employees. It’s also crucial to get feedback from other members of your team who may have been involved in the onboarding process. This will help you to identify any areas of improvement and make necessary changes.
You can also look at metrics like retention rates and performance reviews to see if there has been any improvement since you implemented the onboarding process. Finally, you can compare the results of your onboarding process against those of other companies in your industry to see how you stack up.
Onboarding is an important process that should not be overlooked. There are many ways to approach onboarding, but some essential elements include providing accurate information, scheduling regular check-ins, and encouraging questions. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your new employees have a positive experience and are set up for success in their new role. Implementing an effective onboarding process will take time and effort, but it is worth it for the long-term success of your business.
Photo Credit - freepik