Today’s workplace moves faster, demands more, and waits for no one. If you want your new hire to hit the ground running, you’ve got to provide them with the tools, education, and information they need to be productive right from the start. The best way to do that? A comprehensive onboarding program.
Onboarding: Much More Than “New Hire Orientation”
For most new hires, starting a job feels a lot like the first day of school: they’re excited, maybe a little anxious, and eager to make a difference in their new organization. But before they jump in, they’ve got to understand what it takes to succeed. That’s where an effective onboarding program comes into the picture. An effective program educates and engages employees so they become productive members of your organization. What are the other benefits of a good onboarding program? Keep reading to find out.
A good onboarding program helps you…
1. Attract and retain top talent.
59% of HR professionals think that the next few years will bring a major battle to retain talented and top-performing candidates. While it’s easy to match perks and salary, it’s much harder to deliver on the intangible reasons why employees stick around, such as good rapport with managers and a thriving company culture. With an awesome onboarding program, however, you can build a strong foundation for the intangible elements that create an amazing work culture, and use that to attract and retain top talent.
2. Engage employees early on.
While company core values and culture differ depending on the organization, research from Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace Report” indicates that regardless of those differences, the outcome that mattered most was engagement among employees, particularly engagement soon after joining a company. If you put every new hire through a thoughtful, educational, and fun program, you’ll go a long way towards fostering engagement and retaining it in the future.
3. Boost business growth.
Engagement should be the objective of any onboarding program, not just because it builds culture and rapport, but because it also drives business growth. According to Gallup, employees who were highly engaged with their company had 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.
4. Build trust and alignment.
Good welcome programs educate and inform new hires about organizational practices. Have new hires meet with senior management and hear from them directly about key organizational initiatives and goals. At Zenefits, our CEO meets every new hire and makes a short speech to welcome them to the company.
5. Forge connections with employees.
A great deal of Gallup research indicates that the most engaged employees are the ones who have strong connections with their co-workers and managers. Help them build those connections by assigning them a mentor or buddy during their first week or two. Their mentor can serve as a resource and sounding board for their experiences during the first thirty days.
6. Encourage open communication.
When you start a new job, it can be intimidating to share concerns or feedback about your new role and surroundings. An onboarding program can provide the structure and a setting for new hires to get answers to questions about their new workplace without the pressure. Providing this forum during onboarding goes a long way towards fostering the kind of environment employees thrive in.
7. Decrease turnover.
When employees leave your company, regardless of whether they’re a bad fit or just moving on, it can negatively impact your bottom line and team morale. Implementing an onboarding program goes a long way towards ensuring a better employee/employer fit right from the start, as well as opening up the lines of communication and keeping employees engaged in the long-term.
Have questions about building the perfect onboarding program? Download our definitive guide below or request a demo to speak with our HR advisor team!
This post was originally published July 1st, 2015 and has since been updated.