Enabling TechnologyTalent Acquisition

Accelerating Onboarding

Key ways to ensure new employees become high performers.

By Anita Bowness

When a new employee starts at an organization, they usually want to dive right in and start working. After all, they’re eager to make a good impression. HR and hiring managers also want to move without delay because the quicker employees are brought up to speed, the faster they can start making a meaningful contribution to the organization.

It’s tempting to get employees off to a quick start, but if you want them to stay with your organization for the long run, you need to develop a plan that ensures your onboarding processes are designed to set employees up for success.

Onboarding is all about making employees feel comfortable in their new role and helping them become top performers as quickly as possible. And HR benefits, too: According to a Booz Allen study, great onboarding experiences can increase retention rates for new hires by up to 25 percent.

What are some qualities of a great onboarding process?
The process should:
• Last beyond the employee’s fi rst three months;
• Integrate learning and training programs; and
• Ensure employees receive frequent, high-quality feedback.

Ongoing Onboarding

Some organizations view onboarding processes as just administrative tasks that follow a familiar rhythm: Take a few days during the employee’s first week to fill out paperwork, set up work stations, deliver standard, mandatory training, and you’re done.

But doing the bare minimum in onboarding shortchanges your employees and your organization. Research by the Aberdeen Group and Bersin by Deloitte has found that extending onboarding activities to six months or a year can make it more effective, both in familiarizing employees with company culture and supporting high performance. An onboarding process that extends between six months and one year has both initial activities and longer-term tasks.

Initial activities:
• Complete HR forms and mandatory training
• Get access to workplace and any communication/ IT networks
• Learn the organization’s mission, vision, and values
• Meet and get to know managers and team members
• Meet the company’s leaders and executives
• Set initial goals for the fi rst 30, 60, and 90 days on the job, and an action plan to help achieve success

Remember: You’re not just welcoming new employees, you’re laying the foundation for a great working relationship that’s built to last.

Longer-term activities:
• Set 30-,60-, and 90-day performance check-ins
• Launch training on products, services, and processes
• Assess learning needs
• Outline goals and establish regular performance conversations
• Create a career development plan
• Establish a relationship with a mentor
• Incorporate teambuilding events to kick-start working relationships

Tags: November 2015

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