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The Importance of a Comprehensive Employee Onboarding Process

Christine Batten, PHR
by Christine Batten, PHR on April 17, 2018

onboarding processWhen it comes to the onboarding process, some employers think onboarding means the same thing as orientation, but it’s really much more than that. The onboarding process is an opportunity to make an impression on a new hire and is often the moment that a new employee decides whether he or she is going to remain engaged with, or even keep working for the company.

How FrankCrum's Onboarding Process Makes Hiring Easy for Glass Doctor

Studies show nearly one-third of all new hires quit their jobs within the first six months. On the converse, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they had a great onboarding experience. In an effort to stop the revolving door, organizations are now giving more thought to how to retain employees by strengthening the onboarding process.

The Onboarding Process: It’s About Making Connections

Oftentimes, the onboarding process includes packets of HR paperwork about policies and benefits. The paperwork is obviously important, but not as significant as making a connection. For example, show the employee where to park their car, the most popular lunch spots and that spot he or she will have to report to for a meeting later this week.

The building blocks of a successful onboarding process include “the Four C’s.” Compliance, clarification, culture and connection are all a vital part of onboarding new employees. The numbered list below is in order from least important to most important.

  1. Compliance is the lowest level and includes teaching employees basic legal and policy-related rules and regulations.
  2. Clarification refers to ensuring that employees understand their new jobs and all related expectations.
  3. Culture is a broad category that includes providing employees with a sense of organizational norms, both formal and informal.
  4. Connection refers to the vital interpersonal relationships and information networks that new employees must establish.

An employee’s first day is the perfect time to tell stories about the organization’s history, values, leaders and brand. Customize the stories to the individual new hires by listening to their stories and weaving both the employee and company stories together. Consider sharing employee stories, perhaps on video, which demonstrate the company’s culture.

Involve Company Leaders in Developing an Inclusive Onboarding Process

Involving managers in the onboarding process and training them to participate helps create a culture of accountability and consistency. When managers contribute to welcoming new employees, it makes the new employee feel welcomed and valued right out of the gate. After all, it’s about first impressions. You and your leadership team can work together to create your company’s first impression.

Onboarding processes don’t just last one day or one week. A program that drives long-term retention can take weeks and sometimes, even months.

Make Sure the Onboarding Process Includes Talk of Growth

Research shows the reason some employees job-hop is that they’re looking for opportunities to grow in the form of cross-training, varying assignments and occasions to share their ideas. Strong onboarding processes include a commitment to continuous teaching, training and coaching so that employees are always learning.

If learning is something your company values, you may offer a tuition reimbursement program or opportunities for career development. Sharing that information during the onboarding process shows new employees that you’re invested in their growth and future.

At FrankCrum, we handle the paperwork side of the onboarding process so you have more time to focus on culture and connections with your new employees. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you attract and retain the most talented employees.

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Christine Batten, PHR
Christine Batten, PHR

Christine has over 20 years of HR related experience with a background in labor and employment law.