Onboarding is about more than making a first impression. In order for onboarding to go smoothly, candidates need to not only have all their paperwork done, but they need to have a firm grasp of their responsibilities and role within their company. And while you need to guide a candidate through their first day on the job, what separates good onboarding from bad is that good onboarding leaves candidates empowered, rather than afraid.
Sailing Through Paperwork
Get all of the humdrum prerequisites out of the way as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to get most of the legal forms, benefits packages, and other new hire detritus out of the way electronically before they even step foot in the door. Paperless onboarding will help them feel more productive on their first day and beyond.
When you expedite the onboarding process, it makes your new hire feel like they accomplished a lot on their first day. But when you look at the other side of the coin, the outlook isn’t as favorable. Poor onboarding will make their day a never ending stream of paper, and 43% of new employees say time and money are spent on ineffective onboarding processes. Ouch! So while it may seem textbook to you, speed is a key part of empowering employees on their first day.
Get Everyone Involved
Modern onboarding is more than just paperwork, though. It may be HR’s job to get the paperwork filed, but everyone needs to lend a hand in making sure a new hire feels empowered in the workplace. Department and team leads will know their areas best, so as a way to make sure the new hire knows how every part of the business connects with each other, they should pitch in at key points in the introduction.
Share the responsibility so no one person has the burden of accountability for the process. Managers should take special note of their role in onboarding, and should act as liaisons between departments. This is because 33% of new hires say their manager had the greatest influence on the effectiveness of their onboarding. Managers shouldn’t be solely accountable, but they should be aware of their role as orchestrators in the onboarding process.
Establish a Timeline
If you want to empower your new hires, you need to think about their performance long-term. Studies show that new hires have meaningful experiences that will shape the way they work for years to come during the first 90 days of employment. So while your employee’s first day is important, you need to have a plan that will hopefully cover those first 90 days.
Remember what we said about having every department touch on onboarding in meaningful ways? You can extend that strategy past the first day easily. Even in a business with very specialized departments, knowing how workflows operate between design, marketing and accounting give a new hire a better sense of how they work, and will allow them to develop more practical solutions to business problems. This, mixed with more department-centric training, makes for more well-developed employees who are a bigger asset to business.
With onboarding, the first impression matters, but so do the second, fourth, and ninetieth impression. It’s an ongoing process, but you have to hit the ground running for it to work. You need to spread the work out a little, but keep it specialized. Onboarding at its best is a great mix of seeming contradictions, and bringing them together is what separates a good introduction to the workplace from a bad one.
Bio: Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.