Effective employee onboarding helps to maximize productivity, reduce stress, and improve staff retention. In fact, employee onboarding is one of the best uses of HR teams, providing significant reward for both new employees and corporations or institutions. Well-executed onboarding leads to both increased profits and improved employee satisfaction.

Understanding Common Onboarding Strategies

Before you can think about modern onboarding or ways to improve, you need to identify typical onboarding strategies used in many companies. Onboarding Goals The goals of onboarding are relatively simple; companies wish to help employees adjust to the corporate culture, provide needed information for employees to do their jobs, and improve overall productivity of new hires. In companies that have devoted more time and attention to onboarding, the following goals may guide their onboarding processes. Quality onboarding:
  • Aligns new hires to corporate themes, culture, and goals.
  • Provides self-sufficiency for new employees.
  • Increases employee satisfaction.
  • Builds a good image of your company.
Onboarding Flaws Even well-designed onboarding programs can have some flaws, or fail at meeting all of their goals.
  • Employee onboarding is, at many companies, short. It may, at some companies, last only a day to a week. Even in industries with longer training periods, onboarding is rarely longer than a few weeks.
  • Onboarding programs may bore new hires or may fail to meet the needs of different types of learners.
  • Common onboarding strategies may not provide insights or information about the skills of new employees.

Implementing Pre-boarding in your Company

Onboarding often begins on the first day of work; however, more and more companies are introducing pre-boarding. In pre-boarding, a new hire received essential information before they begin, typically during the notice period at a previous employer. Pre-boarding does not have to be intensive to be effective, and it doesn’t even need to be face-to-face.
  • Provide employees with information about where to go, who to see, and how their day will go before the first day. Make sure that details about parking, security, and the cafeteria are included. Video tours are an ideal way to share this with your new hires.
  • Take care of essential paperwork ahead of time. This reduces the work required on the first day and allows employees to move straight to more active onboarding. Online video tutorials are an effective support for this paperwork.
  • Make sure employees have the name and contact information for key staff, including their supervisors and human resources.
Pre-boarding can be done via email, online, or through video. You can even provide pre-boarding information on paper when an employee is hired.

Improving Onboarding for your Hires

Modern onboarding is moving out of the traditional classroom, and in new directions. Implementing some of these ideas can make onboarding more exciting for your employees, help them get on-target with productivity, and work to create a unified (and happy) corporate culture.
  • Skip the long lectures in class. Consider using short videos and increased amounts of discussion and activity, particularly when working with groups.
  • Game up your onboarding. Think about the activities used at corporate retreats to help people bond and form relationships and integrate those into your onboarding.
  • Extend onboarding. While it may not be practical to lengthen full-time onboarding, assigning new employees an experienced mentor who isn’t a supervisor provides them with additional support, learning opportunities, and the ability to excel.
  • Encourage open dialog and set up regular check-ins with new employees to make certain they’re adjusting well.
Good onboarding makes a difference for companies, for managers and for new hires. Setting up your new employees for success benefits everyone in the office, from the top down.