The Elements of a Stellar Onboarding Program

Attraction and retention are on the minds of company leaders everywhere right now. HireRight revealed that 52% of respondents in a study stated that their top business challenge was hiring and retaining talent. With low engagement and increasing turnover rates, organizations need to start investing in their talent from the start.

Strategic onboarding is one of the more effective tools at an organization’s disposal to get employees producing faster, establish the employee’s value and create strong professional relationships in the workplace. Here are some elements of a stellar onboarding program.

They Have Fun

The term “strategic onboarding program” doesn’t exactly get people excited. A successful onboarding program should be focused on setting the tone for their time with the organization. The onboarding process does involve a long list of to-dos, compliance matters and paperwork, but those are secondary matters in onboarding. Focus on establishing values, setting goals and talking about how to reach them and helping them acclimate socially. Rachel Emma Silverman, WSJ contributor on the topic of corporate management said:

“New employees tend to be greeted with stacks of benefits paperwork, technology hassles and dull presentations about company culture. But some companies—hoping to create a first impression that really counts—are turning to orientations that seem more collegiate than corporate, complete with co-worker networking sessions, time for new employees to tout their skills and even office wide scavenger hunts.”

Managers are Front and Center

Onboarding shouldn’t be considered “something that HR deals with”, everyone should be involved, especially management. Leaders should keep in mind that they are establishing expectations in these first weeks, days and even hours. Employees will either be excited to come back the next day, or they’ll start their job hunt again.

A recent study by Accenture reveals the number one reason that employees voluntarily leave their jobs is that they don’t like their bosses. Managers need to open their eyes and realize the importance of creating an employee-focused culture from the start.

They Aren’t “Wham, Bam, Now Get Working!”

A great onboarding program will extend months after the hire is made. No one is going to start off knowing everything and no one is going to get to 100% productivity within the first couple of months, especially without guidance. It makes perfect sense to continue the onboarding process until the new employee is fully acclimated, engaged and producing. TekSystems Director, Rachel Russell said:

“Employees sometimes think they should know more than they actually should in a given amount of time, so practical timelines are key to setting sensible expectations. Employers need to listen too because new hires want to start building relationships immediately – having the support of fellow team members is essential to a successful onboarding.”

Establish Values and Support the Company Culture

The company culture is based of the organization’s established values. These values should resonate through every part of the recruiting, hiring and onboarding process. Talent and leadership guru, Megan M. Biro said:

“Leaders: Don’t punt or opt-out of this most important and deeply personal employee onboarding process. Make it happen and now. Add a dash of creativity and spark to your workplace culture. It matters to the talent you will recruit and retain.”

Each of these elements is vital in an effective onboarding program, but strategy like this isn’t possible without the support of the right technology. Paperwork, compliance and the start of training alone are enough to bury your HR team. Lighten their load by choosing the tech that makes room for the people matters in onboarding.

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photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

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