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Onboard to Thrive: The Long-Term Benefits of Exceptional Employee Onboarding

17 November 2023

By Liam McConnell

Onboard to Thrive: The Long-Term Benefits of Exceptional Employee Onboarding

They say first impressions count, well how's this for an introduction to your business –

STAT ALERT According to Glassdoor, a new employee's retention can be improved by up to 82% and productivity by over 70% all by delivering a clear concise onboarding process.

When it comes to the 'Three Pillars of Recruitment', Attract | Hire | Retain - As a Recruiter I can only look on nervously and trust you have an excellent onboarding process in place, to nurture the undeniable talent I would have spent many an hour unearthing and discussing just how wonderful your company is. But then I suppose, we are all guilty of rushing the onboarding process from time to time. But it's such a vital part to the longevity of an employee’s life with you – After reading this, hopefully you will really see the value in that initial period.

In short: A good onboarding process should be a carefully constructed plan, structured and comprehensive, integrating your new arrival into the firm. Think beyond the first day, even beyond the first few weeks it's much more than that. It needs to run over a period of time. Of course, how long you design your onboarding would depend on many influences. But stop for a moment, think about all the factors it needs to include - Acclimatisation, cultural understanding, establishing positive relationships with many, Technology upskilling, On the job training, to name but a few – Basically, it's going to include multiple chapters.

So here it is, my 10 step guide to ensuring you deliver a calculated, triumphant onboarding process which will in turn deliver a much better chance of your new recruit having a long term career with you. It's all in the foundations!

  • Pre - boarding: Welcome communications. Send a welcome email or package before the new employee's start date, providing information about the company, their team, and what to expect on the first day. Try to ensure paperwork is completed before the start date. If anything, it allows fluent communication and you get to see how committed and enthused they are to join you.

  • First Day Plan of Action: Everyone loves a Company Introduction, but provide an overview of the company's values, mission and culture. Office Tour (In-Person but if not possible, Virtual - Familiarise your new recruit with the workspace. Meet & Greet: Make sure the key players in the business are available and have their diary blocked out to welcome their new colleague - Everyone can afford 15mins of their 'busy day'

  • On the Job Training:Role Specific Tutoring: Offer comprehensive training on the tasks, responsibilities and the expectations associated with the new role. Important to have clarity on this early. Technology and Tools: Provide training on software used, tolls, processes and anything else required.

  • Information and Resource Sharing:Company Policies and Procedures - Clearly communicate company policies, procedures and expectations. Employee Handbook: Provide a comprehensive employee handbook that serves as a reference guide

  • Mentoring: Pair up your new employees with experienced colleagues who you trust to provide guidance and support. Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins to ensure your new recruit has taken well to life with their new employer

  • Socials: Team Building Activities: Have something lined up, an activity to help new hires build relationships with colleagues at an early relaxed manner

  • Ongoing Support:Regular Feedback - Establish a system for ongoing feedback to address any concerns and guide professional development. Resource Accessibility - Ensure that new employees have access to the necessary resources and support

  • Evaluate and Adjustment:Feedback Collection: Solicit feedback from your latest member about how the onboarding process has been for them - Never just assume it's been a success. We can always improve for next time! . Continuous Improvement - Use the feedback to refine and improve the onboarding process for future hires.

  • Extend the Onboarding Period: As I mentioned at the top, a lot will depend on the size of the business but consider extending the onboarding process beyond the initial week to the First 90 Days, allowing for a more gradual and thorough integration.

  • Flexibility: Tailor to Individual Needs: Recognise that each employee is unique, and tailor the onboarding process to their specific needs and development styles.

(Most popular question I get asked) - How long should I onboard someone for? The duration of the onboarding process can vary based on the complexity of the role, the organisation's structure, and the industry. However, a well-rounded onboarding process often extends beyond the first week, with key elements continuing over the first few months to ensure a smooth transition and integration into the company culture.

Remember: An effective On-boarding plan doesn’t mean you have to forget about your day job, in fact it will have the opposite effect. Having a plan will ensure you are organised and while your latest recruit is becoming accustomed to how things work around here, you will be flying through that ‘to do list’ uninterrupted. If you do things correctly, you will look back in time and realise just how important that initial period was in the ‘Retaining’ stage of the Recruitment process.

Golden ruleJust because you have hired the ‘right candidate’ doesn’t mean they will stay with you. It’s your responsibility to nurture them.

If you would like more information on my 10 step plan to On Boarding feel free to email me

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