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The Truth of On-boarding a New Employee

By Aline Ayoub

6 months. This is how long it takes for a new employee to decide to stay or go, says a study by Deloitte. Think about the time you have spent writing the job description, posting the job, sourcing candidates, interviewing and hiring. Therefore, you certainly want a return on your investment for having spent so much time and effort finding the right talent that will help you achieve greater business results. Having an on-boarding program is paramount to prevent your employees from leaving.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the key challenges that business owners are facing today, as the war for talent rages on.  We’ll be discussing how to tackle the challenge of retaining talent with the help of an on-boarding program.

Providing an employee experience

Businesses have come to realize that the biggest drivers of retention are not always compensation and benefits. There are a variety of other practices. Such as, providing career advancement, social responsibility, transparent and agile leadership. A leadership able to building trust and providing a strong employee value proposition. That said, communication and transparency are key to empowering employees with the necessary knowledge to perform well and stay longer.

As such, on-boarding a new employee is a lot more than completing forms and signing documents. In fact, on-boarding is the perfect time for the employer to provide a memorable experience to the new employee. No matter what role, this is the opportunity to make a first impression. It is the impression the employer will make at the beginning of the employee life-cycle that will have the biggest impact on that employee.

Improving retention through employee engagement and culture

A culture cannot be bought at IKEA. In order to retain your employees, you need a strong company culture focusing on the engagement and development of your employees.  In fact, when employees thrive and perform their best work, where their efforts are recognized, retention is high and the overall satisfaction levels produce superior results.

Incorporating your company culture in the on-boarding process, will shape the way the new employees make decisions, get the work done, what they prioritize, and how they interact with colleagues, clients, and customers.

Welcoming a new employee is providing them with the tools they need to perform their job. It’s being ready for the new employee with an email address assigned, a desk, a phone, a computer and a welcome email or note. It is also documenting specific goals and milestones for the position being on-boarded. It is providing tools to enable the employee to be emotionally committed to your business. If you have showed you care for their well-being and success; they will, in return, stay with you because they’re invested emotionally, and they genuinely care about the business.

Building feedback to enable continuous improvement

Build feedback into the onboarding process. Whether it’s through recurring meetings or quick check-in lunches with the manager, these require small amounts of time but deliver big impacts early on. Typically, a new employee will resist asking questions. Therefore, these meetings will be a good forum to open up and uncover issues that could be fixed early on.

Make sure you review the job description and explain the impact the role has on your business. The new employee will better understand the value of their role and therefore will feel more engaged in contributing to your success.

Measure your success

Ask for feedback on the onboarding program. What have you missed? What are you doing really well? What type pf training do they need?

This is why the 30-day post-hire check-in is crucial. It’s not only a chance for you to discuss whether your initial expectations are being met. It’s the perfect opportunity for your new team member to share with you whether their expectations are being met too.

Ask your new employee to be honest with you, and share both good and bad experiences they have had while implementing the new skills they have learned from training. This will make your employees feel that they have a say in their development, and that you value their opinion.

On-boarding is very different from an orientation. On-boarding a new employee can take over 6 months. Whereas an orientation can be complete in a couple of weeks. When done right, it will increase the productivity of your new employee by 30% and the ramp up time by 20%.

Furthermore, you will be able to retain your super stars. Not only will they be emotionally committed but they will also act as your best ambassadors to help you grow your team.