A business’s onboarding process sets the stage for employee engagement, and it contributes to its overall success. Onboarding is the process that integrates new hires into a company. For some businesses, this process lasts a few days, for others, it can last months. It really depends on how long it takes for employees to learn the nuances of their role to the point that they can successfully perform their duties. Regardless of the length of time, it's a crucial step for employee success that cannot be overlooked.
At Zimmer, we have a comprehensive onboarding process that integrates new employees into their job and introduces them to our company culture. We work with companies every day who struggle with employee retention, and one missing element we regularly find is the lack of a comprehensive process for setting new staff members up to succeed from the first day.
Here are five main reasons why, in our experience, onboarding is so important for the continued success of your business:
One of the most significant benefits of a comprehensive onboarding process is increased employee retention. A well-structured onboarding program ensures that new hires feel welcome and fully understand their roles and responsibilities within the company. Keep in mind that some 86% of employees surveyed stated that new employees will typically decide whether they want to stay or not at a business within the first 90 days. Another survey found that onboarding can boost employee experience and increase retention by an astounding 50%. Therefore, the way you onboard is vital in retaining employees.
Effective onboarding enables new hires to become productive more quickly. They are given the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to carry out their duties correctly and efficiently. It stands to reason that employees who understand what to do and how to do it would be more productive overall when compared to employees who are essentially thrown to the wolves with little to no instruction. If you want a productive workforce who understands their role and who has the right knowledge of how to properly perform their assigned tasks, it's imperative that you implement a good onboarding program.
Onboarding programs enable new hires to meet their colleagues and learn about the company’s social dynamics, leading to more positive work relationships. This is one reason that onboarding is also sometimes referred to as organizational socialization. The orientation process creates an opportunity for employees to connect and work together, improving collaboration and teamwork. In many cases, the onboarding process fosters a relationship between established employees and new hires.
This can lead to the development of relationships down the road, which can be beneficial overall for the entire organization. It is important to create an environment that promotes these relationships instead of pitting employees against each other. Without onboarding, there is a tendency for the new hires to stay together and the established workers to stay together. Instead, you want to promote a true team feeling, which is greatly aided by good onboarding programs.
Another reason why you should be prioritizing onboarding as a business owner is its cost-saving properties. Effective onboarding can help your business save on costs associated with recruiting and then training new employees. In addition, when new hires are adequately onboarded, they are much less likely to make mistakes, reducing the instances of costly errors. Of course, humans are prone to error even if they know better. However, the more you can prepare employees through proper onboarding, the less likely your brand has to experience the costly penalty of errors on the job.
A company’s reputation can be improved through effective onboarding. When new employees experience a positive onboarding process, they are more likely to speak well about the company to friends, family, and acquaintances. Obviously, your employees are your biggest advocates as an organization since they know the inner workings of your company. Therefore, you want to ensure that your employees have a good experience when they are initially beginning their working career with your brand.
Although every employee’s onboarding process will differ slightly based on their duties, your company, and more, there are some factors that are part of most onboarding programs that you can explore to learn more about what onboarding truly entails. They are outlined below:
This process begins when an employee accepts a job offer. It includes employees being given a wide range of information, hopefully without feeling overwhelmed. This phase will often include giving employees the handbook in addition to educating them on blogging and social media policies, benefits, dress codes, and more.
The next phase usually includes a form of orientation. Employees will meet senior management and other people who are key to keeping the business running. This phase will also include allowing existing employees to help new employees and answering any questions they might have.
Training is probably one of the most important phases of onboarding. No new employee should be expected to understand their role or know how to operate equipment without training. Training can be accomplished in a variety of ways including job shadowing, seminars, and workshops.
The final phase of most onboarding is the transitioning process. This is when new employees in training become team members and actually begin taking on the tasks of their job themselves.
For businesses of all sizes, investing in an onboarding program can yield significant benefits, making it a critical part of any recruitment strategy. For the five reasons listed above, if you don’t currently have an onboarding program or your onboarding experience leaves a bit to be desired, you will benefit greatly as a company by prioritizing onboarding in a way you have not previously. Contact us at Zimmer Communications to learn more about the process of onboarding and how to incorporate it into your organization.