We’ve written recently (and often) about recruiting, engagement and retention. But have you paused to consider that engagement and retention efforts truly begin during the recruiting process? Just as the interview is the first chance for your new staffer to make a first impression on the firm, the process is vice-versa as well. And once you decide to hire the candidate and the onboarding process begins, the heat is really on…
Onboarding is important for many reasons – and not just for the reasons you might think. Sure, this is when HR drags out all its trusty forms and gets the new staffer enrolled in benefits, payroll and all of that other necessary administrivia, but it’s also the chance for you to set the tone for the entire tenure of employment. And if your onboarding process is less than optimal, you may have some crash and burn results.
Here are five worrisome results from lax onboarding:[title size=”2″]#1 Immediate disillusionment[/title]
Just as onboarding is your first chance to engage your new staffer, it’s also the first change to disengage them. All the stuff you told them about how your company is a great place to work, a real team environment and anything else you said to sell your firm is about to be tested, starting with HR and your onboarding process. (No pressure though…)[title size=”2″]#2 Immediate disconnect[/title]
One part of the onboarding process is often having your new staffer shadow someone on the team or setting them up with a co-worker for a tour and a lunch. You want them to feel included and part of the team from the get-go, but if you pick someone to give them the ten-cent tour who will throw up barriers or isn’t the most welcoming personality, the new hire may feel alienated from the get-go.
Image source: Guardian.co.uk[title size=”2″]#3 Immediate performance problems[/title]
If your onboarding is lax, initial interaction with staff is less than impressive and they don’t get a sense that the firm is dynamic, challenging and worthy of their best efforts, then your new hire may never bring their A-game if they don’t think it’s required or will be appreciated.[title size=”2″]#4 Immediate and widespread morale issues[/title]
If your onboarding program is disappointing (or flat out terrible), doesn’t get the new staffer off on the right foot and then they make missteps, existing staff may not respond well and then the new staffer may offer some backlash and before you know it, no one is happy and you’ve got a mess on your hands…
Image source: Dilbert.com[title size=”2″]#5 Immediate urge to bail[/title]
If your onboarding process contradicts what’s been promised or implied during the interview stage, you may face the worst-case scenario. You may have an employee who’s ready to cut bait and leave before the ink is dry on their contract. If the first few days aren’t what they expect, they may ditch for a competing offer that they previously turned down and your firm may not register as a blip on their resume!
If there’s a chance that your onboarding process is less than stellar, you may be fast-tracking retention issues. What to do?
- Compare your employer branding with actualities to see if there’s a disconnect.
- Role play your way through. Have one of your HR staffers onboard you to see how it is to be on the receiving end of your process.
- Shadow your staffers that are part of the onboarding process to see what’s working, what’s not and what may need finessing.
- Consider automating as much of the onboarding process as possible so your new hire can knock out forms online from home so day one is about them and their new job and not being stuck in HR pushing papers!
If you want to learn more about automated onboarding that can make your HR workload easier and your new hire’s experience better, consider a Jobscience tool to help! Learn more now!