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Here’s what you need to do for a successful onboarding
- Posted by: Bianca Braga
- Category: HR
Entrepreneur? HR manager? CEO or CFO? Whatever your role in a company, you have certainly been a newcomer to a team at least once.
You know very well what the first day of work at a new job looks like, how difficult it can be to interact with several new people at the same time and how great it is to have support at such times.
Of course, the speed with which we integrate / adapt in a company or a team also depends on how we are built as human beings, how introverted or extroverted we are, or how difficult or easy it is for us to learn something new.
Beyond the first interaction, in the first days or even the first months of work we need a support that will guide us, motivate us and help us perform.
Therefore, the existing onboarding process in your company should not stop after a few days, but should continue even for a few months, so that the new employees know exactly what they have to do and what is their mission in the team.
Your strategy should even cover a period of time before the new colleague joins the organization and ends, when he or she makes the decision to reshape himself or simply to change the company and the work environment.
And the “guide” below will help you understand the process and create the best strategies for integrating newcomers. Let’s see!
Onboarding – why it is important to exist in a company
The productivity of the new employee increases
Given that the tools and work processes differ from company to company, a new employee in a company, even if he has worked in such a position before, will not know exactly what he has to do. However, it takes time for the employee to become familiar. And during the integration into the new team, a mentor to guide and teach him is absolutely essential.
The company is becoming attractive to other candidates as well
We all want to work in a reputable company, and for that before applying or going to a job interview we document ourselves.
Candidates do this, ask their friends, acquaintances or search on various platforms for information about the work environment, about the team or managers.
The onboarding process has a strong impact on the employer brand.
And the latter influences a candidate when he is looking for a job. Of course, it is good to take things to the end, that is, not only to have the concept of onboarding in the company, but also to put it into practice.
Organizational culture is becoming stronger
Onboarding also helps to maintain and enrich the organizational culture. When people evaluate the job opportunities that come their way, organizational culture often makes a difference. By having a process of integrating new employees, a company clearly demonstrates its unique mission, values and characteristics.
Increases retention rate
An employee who fits perfectly into a team, knows exactly what he has done and what his goals are, he will always want to stay in that company. But this depends on the onboarding strategy and its effectiveness.
A high rate of employee fluctuation also leads to more costs for recruiting new colleagues. You know very well how expensive it can be to replace an employee who decides to leave.
Employees achieve their goals faster
The most important benefit that companies that have well-developed onboarding strategies get is the result of the employee and his involvement in the development of the business. This process helps them not only to get involved, but also to achieve performance, because they are offered clear directions to the company’s objectives.
Who handles the onboarding process
Once you’ve learned about the benefits of such a process, we’re sure you’re wondering who should handle it all. In the first place, everyone is thinking of the HR department and that they should organize and create a process for the most creative integration of new employees. And indeed, it is!
Much of this strategy is handled by a company’s human resources team. The HR supervises the new employee and coordinates the entire process.
However, there are several people who should be involved. The responsibility is not only on the HR team, but also on the managers or even colleagues with whom the new employee is going to work.
The direct manager of the new employee is perhaps even more important in this process.
In it, the employee must see a support, but also a model worth following. A bad relationship with the direct manager influences the productivity of the employees, affects their personal life, but can even lead to resignations.
Therefore, from the very beginning, a good relationship must be created between the two, there must be a transparent communication, but also constructive feedback from the manager. Throughout this story, the new employee also needs an ally.
Specifically, a colleague to mentor him, to integrate him into the rest of the team. Most of the time it is a senior or a colleague who plays the same role, but has more experience. This can be a good opportunity to get to know the work environment in which you are going to work, but also to interact with colleagues.
Start the pre-onboarding strategy
Until the new employee arrives in the company, it is important not to ignore the pre-onboarding process. Precisely to create an experience for the future colleague. The support you will provide to today’s candidate will give more confidence to tomorrow’s employee.
Give him the information before the first day of work begins. You can tell her/him about all the benefits she/he will get from her future job, about the company and its culture.
Schedule a check-in. A few days before the employee starts the new job, call him and ask him if he has any further questions or needs additional information. He will be pleased of the care you give him.
You can also send him an e-mail with information about what his first day of work will look like, when he should arrive, where he can park his car or where he eats lunch most often.
Get ready to meet your new colleague. The first impression matters to the candidates, they appreciate the effort the company makes to meet them. So, get her/him office ready, the e-mail accounts and everything she/him needs to get started.
Why implement a digital “onboarding” strategy?
Onboarding, a deadline for receiving and integrating a new employee, is a major issue for companies and HR is well aware!
How can we guarantee the same quality of integration of all employees and how can we offer new entrants a positive experience that will comfort them in the choice made to join the company?
17% of employees leave the company in the first 3 months
According to a study by Welcome to the jungle, 17% of employees leave in the first 3 months, 23% before the end of the year, and 33% are already looking for a new job in the six months since they started.
Therefore, it seems that the implementation of an effective and careful “Onboarding” strategy is a key point for HR, which will be eager to offer the new employee a smooth and efficient integration process.
To do this, more and more companies are turning to digital onboarding, an alternative that makes it possible to capitalize on common corporate content and business-specific content.
What are the basics of quality integration?
This integration will allow in particular:
- to receive the new employee in a positive and serene environment due to pre-boarding (the boarding phase that takes place before taking over the official position);
- to train the newcomer in the history of the brand, codes and values in a consistent and reliable way;
- to improve the socialization of the newcomer and to develop the feeling of belonging to the group. He thus becomes acquainted with his new team and with his privileged contacts more easily;
- to promote the exchange of information in order to make the employee operational faster, especially in terms of how to use the tools (tutorials, short training courses);
- to provide a unique and loyal experience to the employer, especially to reduce turnover (staff business route).
Indeed, a study estimates the cost of replacing a first-year employee at 27,000 euros (EU)
How is onboarding set up, do you master it and monitor it?
Consideration of the new recruit
There is no control of social management if there is no minimum acceptance by individuals. “Onboarding is a time of acculturation, meaning there is an exchange of values between two different groups of cultures,” said Gérald Gaillard, founder of Loocatme, which specializes in the arrival of new employees.
“When an employee arrives, he will have to inherit and adhere to the company’s values. After this agreement, we can talk about setting up an onboarding process “, he adds.
In practice, what can you do?
- Communicate internally upon arrival of new employee: notify all employees that a new employee arrives on a certain day at such a time;
- Notify the manager so that he is aware that he has a responsibility in integrating the new recruit, highlighting his role. His presence on the first day is strongly recommended;
- Create a visual environment to present the company, its values and employees, with photos, comments from employees…;
- The day of his arrival: organize a breakfast or lunch to make this first day more relaxed and convivial;
- Suggest a mentor for introducing the team, the structure of the company, as well as its organizational system, and discuss with them about upcoming events (conference, etc.).
If you want to go further and deepen, here is a checklist to follow!
Checklist for integration
Step 1: Prepare the action plan
Take stock of what already exists in terms of receiving and integrating new employees in the company.
Mobilize team managers and the human resources department to define onboarding goals.
Define the role and place of each of the stakeholders in the integration process.
Build a proper integration plan, for example in the form of a checklist.
Provide a training plan to support the growth of the new employee’s skills.
Create a mentoring system and set goals.
Volunteer as a mentor, with a sense of teaching and listening.
Use recruitment software, which is very useful for recording information and for efficient tracking.
Step 2: Prepare the logistical and practical aspects
Prepares the employment contract and prepares the administrative documents to be completed by the new employee (mutual insurance documents, etc.).
Set up the workstation: at least office supplies, computer and telephone.
Create access credentials for IT tools and software.
Set up your email address.
I foresee the provision of peripheral elements for the function of the new employee: badge, business card, service car, etc.
Step 3: Communicate with the future employee
Keep up to date with new recruits by phone and / or email.
Transmit the program for the first day as well as any other useful information, such as the dress code.
Indicate the documents to be brought for the administrative part (identity documents, RIB, proof of address, etc.).
Involve the future employee by asking him about his preferences on certain issues. For example: for the big day, do you prefer to have lunch alone with your manager or the whole team? Is he available and interested in attending an afterwork?
Make a contact request on professional social networks.
Step 4: Announce the arrival of the future employee in the internal teams
Assemble the targeted recruitment team to inform them about the arrival of the new employee, briefly explain their background and specify the objectives of their future role in the company.
Announce other teams about the arrival of the new recruit via email or the company’s newsletter or intranet.
Step 5: Welcome the new employee
Provide a welcome pack that includes essential information for any new employee, such as: welcome brochure, code of ethics, frequently asked questions, etc. To make the welcome “kit” more attractive and fun, it can be interesting to add some goodies bearing the company’s image: USB key, pen, notepad, etc.
Complete the administrative aspects with the human resources department: signing the employment contract, verifying the identity documents, presenting the internal regulations of the company, medical insurance documents, etc.
Indicate where the workspace is.
Step 6: Support the new employee in finding the company
Visit the company to present the headquarters, without forgetting to communicate the safety instructions.
Introduce the new employee personally to the different teams.
Have a lunch with the manager or a team member.
Introduce and describe the values and corporate culture to support the employer’s brand.
Guide a position with an explanation of how IT tools work, for example.
Increase the number of convivial events, especially through activity team building, to create cohesion between the new recruit and the other members of the company.
Involve the new recruit in internal meetings so that he can perceive the operation of the company, decipher its codes, understand who his clients are, etc.
Give priority to breaks because the first few days are often tried.
Step 7: Define the objectives and start the training period
Take stock of your position and the various tasks that make it up.
Create a roadmap describing the first missions, performance objectives, and deadlines.
Establish a training course during the probationary period, depending on the objectives to be achieved and the development of the necessary skills.
Step 8: Introduce the mentor / sponsor
Explain the operation of the mentoring system implemented and its objectives.
Introduce the mentor yourself.
Give the new employee and mentor time to get to know each other, for example, over coffee or lunch.
Allow the new employee and mentor to communicate and meet regularly in a formal and informal manner.
Step 9: Regular follow-up
Meet on a regulate basis with the new employee to allow them to express themselves, ask questions and express their feelings about the past.
Listening to and taking note of any difficulties encountered in implementing corrective actions.
Allow time at the end of the probationary period to collect feedback from the new employee.
Digitize HR processes
The digitalization of HR processes, with onboarding, is the main challenge that must be taken over from 2020.
The digitalization of media and relationships facilitates integration, making it more fluid, personalized and involved.
Digitize welcome packs: welcome brochure, company information, administrative documents
- Corporate social network;
- Continuing education online;
- Mobile application (optional);
- Configure the software.
How are the results of the onboarding project measured?
The Onboarding strategy has been implemented. Very well !
But what are the results? Is there a difference between objectives and actual observation? How is this difference measured?
In order to see the evolution of the results, measurable and quantifiable objectives must be set, which must be evaluated in the first months in order to identify the adjustments to be made later.
For example: reduce the turnover rate of directors by 5% (reduce it from 10% to 5%).
Choose the right indicators as measuring instruments
Choose the ones that help to observe the evolution of the implemented process. These indicators make it possible to identify errors and correct them if necessary.
Number of departures during the trial period
During the probationary period, new employees judge whether they will stay or not. It is a phase of experimentation, a moment of reflection.
If the departure is at the initiative of the employer, this refers to a problem related to recruitment. But, if the departure rate of the new recruit is high, it means that the person is disappointed or bored (the company’s culture is not suitable for the employee, poor integration in the team…).
Retention or rotation rate
When a new employee decides to leave earlier, the costs invested in recruiting (or even the training costs) are what go with it. And these costs are high.
The turnover rate of new recruits shows whether or not the onboarding steps have been implemented.
Turnover rate = [(Number of departures during year N + Number of arrivals during year N) / 2] / Labor force on January 1 of year N
Warning! The turnover rate partially explains whether onboarding is efficient or not, this indicator varies depending on the industry. Seasonal activities, for example, have a very high turnover rate because they recruit only for the season, with short contracts (example: catering). While if more technical activities (for example: industry) have a high turnover rate, this is not normal.
If the rate of absenteeism is very high, the causes to look for may be the distance between home and work (time and energy allocated to travel), the place itself (open space or not, stress generator…) or other sources.
Yes! The cause of a high rate of absenteeism may be the lack of the integration stage. Remember that the involvement of a new employee is directly related to the quality of his integration. The absenteeism rate is one of the indicators used to analyze the level of employee involvement.
Integration means full participation in the company’s business.
The living force remains the man and the people who contribute to this activity.
Not worrying about the integration of your employees involves taking financial and social risks that could be avoided.
Finally, there is no right or wrong onboarding strategy, it depends on your business model and your answers to some important questions:
- What do you need to know about your employees to give them a great, unforgettable experience?
- What do you have to do to get the most out of what you offer?
- What are the costs and benefits of friction in the boarding process?
- What is the ideal path for your employee to stay in your organization?
There are many benefits to reflecting on the integration policy, including participating in the company’s long-term strategy, reducing social costs and retaining employees and working for the employer brand.
To program a good integration system:
- Consider the employee before, during and after recruitment
- Digitize processes with easily accessible SaaS solutions.
And finally, measure the results of its implementation by determining the objectives to be achieved, pursued and corrected if necessary, using relevant and appropriate indicators.
What is your onboarding policy? Have you considered implementing one?