Onboarding can be a complicated and time-consuming process. But it beats the alternative.
A successful onboarding experience is critical to how new hires perform in your team.
According to Glassdoor, Successful onboarding can help increase productivity by 70% and employee retention by 82%.
And when due care and consideration is given to building a strong onboarding process, it pays off in the long run.
But you can’t possibly achieve that without clearly understanding what right onboarding means. So let’s begin with that.
The onboarding process is more than just a checklist
You’ve probably been handed over a checklist from your HR on ‘how to onboard’ new team members. And while they do lay out how to establish a relationship with new team members – they rarely communicate why it is essential for you to outline and establish your relationship this way.
It is important to understand that to guide these new team members to success, you need to discuss their work preferences, your leadership style, communication hygiene, etc. All of this while making it a pleasant experience for the new hire.
A successful onboarding process can help you establish a strong foundation for your team’s culture and everyday work.
Essentials for Successful Onboarding
Don’t wait for their first day
You’re new hires experience with you doesn’t start on their first day at work. It start way before – when they first apply for the job. So there’s no reason for you to wait for day one to introduce the company and its values to the potential candidate. Your job posting should reflect what you stand for and should give an insight to how your team accomplishes work.
Small gestures like acknowledgement emails, or getting existing team members to interact with the new/potential team member are encouraged during the onboarding process. It sends a warm and welcoming message across and helps in building a positive environment.
Share your story
Everybody wants that their team members should be invested in the team’s growth. But you can’t possibly expect your team to be emotionally invested unless you actually share your story and the vision you hold with them.
It’s likely that you already have a few great elevator pitch for the business. How about a pitch for the new candidates? Tell them what it would be like to work with the teams, how they will be valued there, and how they will benefit from working for you.
Incorporating this during the onboarding process helps in engaging team members right from the very start and offers value to the effort they are about to put in their work.
Focus on goals
We wouldn’t blame you if you’re already tired of reading how you should focus on your goals in everything you do. But if everyone tells you to do the same thing, there must be some reason to it.
You must keep in mind what your team is trying to achieve when designing the onboarding process. Because any new team member doesn’t just accomplish their task, they accomplish it with the entire team. So it is essential to identify that they will be able to seamlessly work with the team.
During the onboarding process, do not forget to communicate your goals with the new team member. When they have a clear picture of their goals on day one, they are more likely to pace quickly and settle in with the rest of the team.
When we were developing our own onboarding processes, we came across several questions that cross a every new team members mind in their first week of work:
- What should I begin with?
- What are everybody’s name?
- Who should I ask for help?
- How to communicate a problem?
- Am I doing my work right?
To set new team members up for success, you need to ensure that you provide them with full clarity on these things. Since problems vary from people to people, it is important that you rightly communicate and understand how your new team member feel. And build a secure space for them to talk.
Moreover, you could also have a buddy system where each new team member has a buddy (existing team member) that will guide them in their first two weeks.
The foundational block of successful hiring is a solid onboarding process.
It’s the first impression that is imprinted on the new hire when they join your team. So it’s only obvious that it has to be a good one.
Its primary purpose is to set up new hires for success by decreasing the time they take to be fully comfortable in their new team. But it also sets set the tone to how you establish relationships with your team. And how they perceive their work and how innovative they can be.
And onboarding can only be successful if you have strategically designed process that fit right for your team and goals.