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  • Writer's pictureIlan Sebban

Essential Guide to Successful Onboarding: Preparing for New Team Member(s)

Photo by Gilles Roux on Unsplash

While there is no doubt a successful onboarding would have a major influence on employee's retention, performance and even productivity, I thought I would share key takeaways from recent reports I've read (Harvard Business Review, MYOB) on the results of poor onboarding, what new hires' experience with a company is actually telling us and share pro tips on how to champion the onboarding process moving forward.

But first, a few key takeaways:

  • 52% new hires satisfied with onboarding, whilst 32% found it confusing and 22% disorganised

  • Large companies employees generally more satisfied with their onboarding vs. SMBs

  • Up to 80% retention rates & 70% improved productivity with effective onboarding

  • Disengaged employee costs estimated an average 18% of their salary

The Importance of Preparing for New Staff Members

First Impressions Matter: As below graph indicates, the initial days and weeks set the tone for a new employee's experience. A well-prepared onboarding process demonstrates an organisation's commitment to their success and fosters a positive first impression.

Retention and Engagement: According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a well-structured onboarding process.

Productivity Boost: A structured onboarding process reduces the time it takes for new employees to become fully productive. By providing them with the necessary resources, training, and support from day one, you can expedite their integration into their roles and maximize their contributions.

Best Practices for Successful Onboarding

Here are a few pro tips for all leaders and managers willing to welcome a new team member the best way (and avoid them looking for another opportunity after 4 weeks)

  1. Create a Welcoming Environment: Before a new employee's first day, ensure their workspace is set up with all the essential tools, equipment, and supplies they'll need. A personalised welcome message or small gesture (like a welcome kit, or a lunch) can go a long way in making them feel valued and appreciated from the start.

  2. Develop a Comprehensive Onboarding Plan: Outline a detailed onboarding plan that covers the first days, weeks, and months of the new employee's journey. This plan should include orientation sessions, training modules, introductions to key team members, and clear goals and expectations for their role.

  3. Assign a Buddy or Mentor: Pair the new employee with a seasoned team member who can serve as a mentor or buddy. This individual can provide guidance, answer questions, and offer insights into the company culture, processes, and protocols.

  4. Provide Ongoing Feedback and Support: Regular check-ins with a new employee during the weeks and months are essential for addressing any concerns or challenges they may face. Celebrating achievements, even small ones is key and be proactive in addressing any issues that arise.

  5. Encourage Social Integration: In addition to professional development, facilitate opportunities for a new hire to socialise and build relationships with their colleagues. Whether through team lunches, social events, or informal gatherings, fostering a sense of camaraderie is vital for long-term engagement and job satisfaction.

  6. Seek Feedback and Continuously Improve: Encourage regular feedback from both the new employee and their manager will help to keep a high level of engagement but also to identify areas for improvement in the onboarding process.

Investing in thorough onboarding procedures not only ensures a smoother transition for new hires but also directly impacts your company's bottom line by reducing turnover costs and increasing employee productivity and satisfaction. Inadequate onboarding, on the other hand, can lead to disengagement, dissatisfaction, and ultimately, higher turnover rates. Let us know your opinion and comments on the topic or alternatively reach out to Rec-Partners to find out how we can help you today!

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