At first, onboarding wasn’t considered that important, and only a handful of companies invested in this process, but today most companies use it and understand just how important it is. However, you shouldn’t set onboarding in place just because “everyone’s doing it”.
Many companies are onboarding new employees, but few have complete strategies that improve their experience, engage them, and collect their feedback. The onboarding strategy for many comes down to a couple of short orientation sessions, and that’s it.
In fact, most organizations expect new employees to onboard on their own. What they don’t understand is that this can affect their employees’ overall experience and reflect poorly on their business.
Onboarding and its current state
It has become a trend within the business world to focus on HR, but sadly, that doesn’t mean anything. Most of these companies just include things that look good from the outside, but they don’t improve the experience of their employees in any way.
In fact, only about 20% of organizations have a formal onboarding strategy in place. More importantly, 88% of companies don’t have the required success with their onboarding practices. It just shows how poor companies are at onboarding.
If you want to turn around your onboarding practices, you must assess your current process. Be honest about your current state of onboarding and get feedback from your employees on what could have been done better.
What does it mean to redefine your approach?
Redefining your approach means learning through your current and previous practices and eliminating all the negative ideas. Today, most companies have outdated practices, and they aren’t willing to invest in improving their onboarding approach.
To begin redefining your approach, you need to do a couple of things:
- Create personalized onboarding stories that are tailored to every new employee individually.
- Think about the whole onboarding journey your new hires go through and what kind of experience they have.
- Establish a consistent process throughout all departments in your organization.
Why work on onboarding practices
There are many business benefits of having a good onboarding process. If you look at it from a business perspective, you’ll quickly realize that it makes sense to invest in onboarding. There are so many benefits that we could make this whole post about them.
Remember that you can only get the most of your onboarding when you set accurate goals. Instead of talking about the benefits, we’ll mention some onboarding facts:
- Around 30% of companies without onboarding can keep new hires for 12 months.
- Over 90% of companies that have an onboarding strategy can keep new hires over 12 months.
- Companies with any onboarding program have an average 25% increase in retention rate.
- Companies with an onboarding strategy in place report over 50% more productivity from new employees.
- Companies with onboarding have 50% better retention rates.
- Employees who onboard properly have a better experience, are open to feedback, are more productive, and are more engaged.
Where to start
If you want to redefine your onboarding process, engage new employees, and provide them with a great onboarding experience, you must focus on content and digitalization. Digital technologies and content directly change your employees’ experience and can help you deliver the right information.
Most people today constantly consume digital content. They are simply used to this and always want to get more content. It’s a perfect opportunity for businesses to deliver content the right way and get desired results. Luckily, there are a lot of tools that can let you do this, along with adding some interesting features to your content, including:
- Visual elements
- Branching scenarios
- Personalized content
With employee onboarding and training software, you can take control of this process. It’s especially true if you can integrate them with different tools that have management and analytics features.
Stories keep people engaged, and they can have a significant impact on the overall experience. It’s essential to create a good story to tell new hires. Your story needs to have the right tone that will set the expectations.
Break it down into multiple pieces, including manuals, training content, welcome letters, and so on. Make sure that the story outlines all the essential rules and aligns with the core value of your brand. Work on your writing skills and make sure to proofread all the content before delivering.
Creating a coherent journey
Every onboarding journey should be personalized. However, to do this, you will have to learn about your new hires and find a balance between their personalities, your company, and the onboarding journey.
You can do this by using feedback tools from your current employees to learn about what was lacking in their journey and analyze their needs. Deliver the right content at the right times to make the journey coherent and impactful.
Using feedback as a valuable tool
We just mentioned feedback and how important it is. There are various feedback management platforms that you can integrate with your project management and onboarding tools. With these tools, you can understand employee experiences while onboarding and working for you.
Use this data to analyze it and generate valuable reports that can help you improve your onboarding process. Not only can this help you deliver a better onboarding experience but make your employees feel great while working for you.
Personalization matters, but onboarding also needs to be consistent. All departments need to be guided with the same values, rules, and methodologies – they need to have the same type of content and questions adjusted to their new hires.
Furthermore, the core brand values should be the same, but there is room to brand onboarding for all departments differently.
Modern onboarding and feedback management platforms utilize machine learning to integrate all data and provide powerful analytics in a visualized matter.
In other words, machine learning automates analytics and delivers it in an understandable way so that your HR managers can save lots of time and quickly learn what needs to be done.
Machine learning can get all the relevant data from your whole data stream and help you recognize areas where you can improve the employee onboarding experience.
Create an assessment network
Companies get potential hires from multiple channels. Even though this is a good thing, it can make it challenging to track all applicants, their progress, and communication. Luckily, modern digital tools can help you bring all this data into a single platform and make management and assessment easier.
Retaining employees isn’t just about giving them a great onboarding experience. You will have to do a good follow-up by tracking their performance and progress.
One of the best ways to do this is by asking for their feedback regularly and creating an environment where they can say what they think. If not, you can always use anonymous surveys to get relevant information.
Redefining your onboarding process isn’t an easy task. You can’t do it in just a couple of weeks, and it needs to be done by your whole management team. It’s an ongoing process that generates data and insights through which you can slowly adjust the vital areas of your process.
About the author
Ogi is the founder of FirstSiteGuide.com
On his website, he is trying to help people build a successful online business with the right mix of skills. Besides his online tutoring, he really enjoys offline activities, such as mount biking and walking his frenchie Jumbo.