HR FAQS – Is onboarding a process or an experience?

Date: Friday, 24th May, 2019

Starting a new employee can be a time-consuming process if it’s done thoroughly, but the benefits far outweigh the initial time investment in the long run.  Essentially, we should be focusing on the employee experience as much as the process.

Onboarding is often mistaken for adding an employee to your systems and getting them set up on payroll ready for their first day, but in reality it’s far more than that.  For us, the onboarding experience starts as soon as you offer your ideal candidate the job and continues until they have successfully passed their probationary period.

So, what are the benefits?

Firstly, a strong onboarding programme will ensure the employee is engaged and motivated from day one, increasing the overall chance of success in them passing their probationary period.  From the first interaction your employee has with your company, they will be forming an opinion of you!  The smoother the pre-onboarding and first day process runs, the better impression you will give.  We all remember how it feels to have just joined a company not knowing anyone, the role or team culture or how things are done.  It’s a daunting experience and the easier we can make it from day one the better, so they can get stuck into their role and make real difference!

Once the employee is initially onboarded, understands their expectations, the company goals and objectives, we can then support them in terms of their initial training up to their probationary period.  Having a clear training and upskilling plan for the first 90 days, will not only reassure the employee their role is key to the business, but also give them clear direction in terms of what they need to achieve and deliver within their first 90 day.  At the end of this period, you should have an individual performing in their role and making a tangible difference to your business.

Regular support and documented feedback throughout this period is really important; ensuring they are aware what is going well and the areas of development and focus.  In addition, if they are not meeting your expectations, this will be nipped in the bud and additional support put in place to ensure they are value adding in your business as quickly as possible. If done well, what you will have is a well-equipped employee, who will tangibly contribute to your organisational goals by the time they reach their probation date.

So, at the end of the probationary period, they have had a smooth transition into the business, are fully supported and reached the required level of performance. 

How should they feel?

  • Motivated to deliver.
  • Committed to your business.
  • Like a valued member of the team making a tangible difference.
  • Will tell people about the positive experience they have had – great for your employer brand!

Ultimately, this will increase productivity and improve employee retention – win win! 

To get the most from your new recruit, your onboarding process should be a positive experience. In the words of Richard Branson, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.  This is pertinent throughout an employees career, but especially in their early days. 

If you need help in building a strong and supportive onboarding plan for your business then please get in touch.

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