Companies often treat the onboarding of new employees as an afterthought. What they don’t know is that failing to capitalize on a new employee’s excitement at being accepted for the position can end up costing them. According to Recruiting Roundtable, effective onboarding programs can improve an employee’s performance by as much as 11.5 percent. A report from SHRM also found that companies that offered an engaging onboarding program were able to retain 91% of their first-year employees.
The onboarding process is your company’s opportunity to make a lasting first impression on a new hire. Making it a good one can improve their on-the-job performance and boost morale and engagement. All the top companies are doing it; here’s how yours can revitalize the process:
Make data entry more efficient by automating it.
One of the most mind-numbing—but necessary—tasks that new employees have to complete during onboarding is filling out forms. However, repetitive manual data entry is tedious and inefficient. To combat this, look into ways to automate the process, either by using specialized software or by sending the forms to the employee before their first day.
If you are sending forms to be filled out digitally over email, include a set of instructions on how the employee can do so. Software such as Adobe Acrobat can enable your new hires to fill forms out using a computer, doing away with the need to print out the form.
Give them a memorable, personalized experience.
Companies are getting into the trend of sending new hires welcome packages ahead of their first day at work as part of the onboarding process. These kits can include a map of the office, the employee handbook or your company’s list of guidelines, a list of contacts including HR and emergency numbers, as well as practical office necessities such as pens and notepads, or branded company merchandise like caps, mugs, custom wristbands, and lanyards.
Why go through the trouble? These kits make the new hires feel both wanted and appreciated. They can help lower first day anxiety, too, by eliminating the need for the employee to ask embarrassing questions on their first day out, such as where the restrooms of the office are located. By treating your new employees well, you showcase your company’s culture and let them know that they’ve made a good decision working for you.
Gamify the onboarding process.
Gamification is the process of turning something into a game. Applying it to something traditionally viewed as a tedious activity, such as employee onboarding, can make that activity more interesting and interactive. In place of boring videos and PowerPoint presentations, you can provide eLearning resources to introduce new employees to common terms and industry jargon used in your company. Going a step further, you can borrow a page out of marketing solutions firm Bazaarvoice’s book by sending your employees on a scavenger hunt to induct your new hires into the company culture.
Encourage forming connections between new hires and tenured staff.
Anyone can feel unease and nervousness when they first enter a new environment. You can help relieve some of the stress by fostering a culture of friendship and camaraderie at the workplace. Take the time out to personally introduce the new hires to the team they’ll be working with. Allow time for employees to get to know each other by holding a mixer during lunch or after office hours. You may also wish to provide them with a company roster so that they can match names to faces more easily.
Wowing your new hires right out of the gate can be the motivation they need to become valuable members of the workforce and bring your company success. Treat them well and you’ll surely reap the rewards!