It takes time to find the right people, and a bit more time to make sure you hold onto them.
A good company culture starts with a clear vision, but it becomes a reality through strong leadership and great people. So it makes sense to put some effort into finding those great people, and supporting them through those critical first few days and weeks – especially given recent research indicates a strong onboarding experience can increase retention rates by up to 25 per cent.
Here are three ways to make your onboarding process a success.
3 steps for successful onboarding
Step 1. Plan for their arrival
There’s no point investing time and effort into finding a great candidate, only to have them twiddling their thumbs for much of their first day. It’s a drain on your productivity and it doesn’t set the right tone when they’re hoping to make an impact from day one.
A fun yet structured welcome pack and training program is a great way to make new team members feel fully supported and equipped to add value from the moment they arrive. They’ll know what you expect from them in order to be successful, and they’ll also know where the tea is kept.
Step 2. Set clear goals
Using a tool similar to the one below, you can help new starters feel supported from the outset. Simply add tasks to the following matrix to build a checklist for those crucial first few weeks. It’s a good idea to try to assign responsibilities to different stakeholders within your business, so they get to know people and feel part of the team sooner.
These are the items that remain constant for all new starters. Things like contracts of employment, payroll information (bank and super details), agreement to company policies, site-specific workplace safety induction and any training related to company policy or relevant legislation. Much of this should occur as soon as possible, even before the start date.
Each employee may need different resources or training to perform their job competently. This could include demonstrations of tools they need to use, reviewing processes, meetings with key stakeholders, product and service knowledge building and customer service protocols – to name a few. Ideally spread these out over a reasonable period so your new staff member is not overwhelmed in their first days.
So important when hiring a new staff member. You might assign a ‘buddy’ to assist with their induction, introduce them to team members and conduct values training. Welcome packs or gifts are also a great way to kick off your working relationship. Instead of celebrating departures from the business, put more focus into celebrating the beginning!
Step 3. Replicate and automate
These days, HRIS software can make the onboarding process so much faster, easier – and engaging. Develop digital templates, use audio and video recordings to deliver key messages, or develop interactive activities to make learning new processes fun.
It’s possible to complete the entire recruitment process without a single sheet of paper. Cloud-based platforms let you create a customised ‘end-to-end process’ – from sourcing a new candidate to offering a contract of employment and gathering personal data. Automate workflows and checklists, and make sure every step is completed within your timeline.
Reap the rewards
A well-designed process for new starters will help make the transition as smooth as possible. It can also help you:
- Foster positive attitudes from the first day (and before), leading to increased motivation and commitment
- Help employees adapt to their new environment and become productive sooner
- Reduce employee turnover rates
- Reduce time and money spent unnecessarily on ad-hoc activities
- Minimise risk and ensure you comply with all the legal obligations of employment
Once your onboarding processes are up and running, you’ll have more time to run the business and achieve your vision – and more confidence your team is with you all the way.