Your onboarding process is a key opportunity for you to win the hearts and minds of your new employees. It might feel like your hard work is all behind you by the time you have your agreements and policies signed off, but some intentionality and preparation at this stage will influence your recent hires very positively as they consider – at some stage down the track – whether they remain with your organisation, or quit.
During the interview and offer stage, you attracted your top talent with your value proposition, and set the tone and expectations for your new employee’s experience. Now it’s time to follow through.
Read on why and how a good onboarding experience is key to retaining employees and what you can do to keep them excited – or at least engaged.
Create an inclusive onboarding experience
Emphasising the values of the company – the one who chose that particular employee out of a number of candidates – is a simple way to make new hires feel welcomed. It demonstrates to them how their attributes are important to your company, and the qualities that make them unique matter to your brand and team. Intentionally incorporating new hires into the company’s culture ensures they have a solid footing early on and should speed their positive contribution to your working culture. With an inclusive onboarding process, new employees will have a meaningful experience from their first day, are engaged and more likely to remain with the company.
Paint the big picture
As a manager or colleague, it’s easy to forget what it feels like to be the newbie when you’ve accumulated so much knowledge and experience in the business. Your onboarding should acknowledge this. Try to ensure your approach to getting new staff members engaged in your company’s business model, mission and bigger picture is conducted with patience and understanding. By sensitively and intentionally sharing your current roadmap your new hire will be able to set priorities and better understand how they can fit in and contribute to the company’s success.
This might seem obvious, but it is a great idea to spend time on introducing new starters to other staff and teams, so they are able to meet everyone, have a better grasp on what each department does, become part of the team by building relationships and will be able to work more efficiently.
Invest in their career development
A lot of employees leave their current job because they can’t see any career opportunities for them. If you can incorporate career development into your onboarding process, you are demonstrating to new employees how they can contribute to your business while also advancing their career goals at the same time. Providing new hires with opportunities for growth such as welcoming their ideas, cross-training and learning new skills, helps your business while also allowing them to progress in their careers. When new hires realise their companies are willing to provide them with learning opportunities, they’ll feel more excited by their work, are motivated and productive, which leads to higher levels of employee engagement and retention.
Onboarding is a critical period for making employees feel included — it sets the tone for their journey with your company cultivating engagement and experience. As a solid and meaningful byproduct it also increases employee retention and reduces turnover. Unfortunately, not many organisations realise the importance of good onboarding experience and how it affects the way your new employees view your company. With an intentional and generous onboarding experience, new hires will feel they made the right decision in joining your company and will not jump ship any time soon.