With 2017 projected to be a record year for companies to purchase cloud-based onboarding solutions, organizations are getting in the game to close the proverbial “back door” in order to retain top talent long-term. With hiring, retention, company culture, and the bottom-line at stake, HR professionals are on the move to make some changes.
Here are 6 steps to take in the onboarding process that will help you bring your new hire to being a company leader and influencer…or shall we say, a Rock Star?
Invest in a Process that Works
80 percent of companies don’t have an onboarding budget, and one-third spend $0 (yes that’s ZERO dollars) on onboarding. Admittedly, one of the big challenges of effective onboarding is keeping up with all of the processes and individual assignments. Today’s technology allows for streamlined systems using intelligent automation, paperless form technology, scheduling, and more, all while maintaining compliance. With so much costly turnover in today’s workforce, and the challenge to find and retain qualified workers, its time to take the onboarding steps necessary to properly assimilate your new hire, help them reach full productivity, retain them for long periods of time, and to save your company money.
With the speed of information, today’s workforce is more aware of happenings all around the globe. It has created a worldview for the average person that is very different from even just a decade ago. In a 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, it was found that 64 percent of employees want opportunities to support causes or issues they care about, and 78 percent say they want to participate in helping their company improve its business practices by providing feedback, ideas, and potential solutions. Making money and having a steady job is no longer enough for the average worker. Most people today want to be a part of something bigger than himself, whether that extends to their company initiatives, or to the community. Taking the time to explain a new hire’s purpose within the organization, and then explaining the businesses purpose within the community or its customers, creates an immediate connection point for the new employee to engage.
Set Clear Goals
According to an Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, only 39 percent of companies employ milestones and goal setting during the onboarding process. Earl Nightingale once quoted, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Goals give people direction, and certainly can accentuate purpose. When people have clear goals, it provides opportunity for accountability, as well as the chance to provide clear feedback when things are off-course. But setting clear goals for an employee, starting from day one in the onboarding process, has another little talked about benefit. Goals motivate the competitive! If you have someone who is competitive, you want to unleash their action (as long as its not at the expense of hurting others) to propel them to productivity. Set clear goals, and watch your new hire and company remain focused and engaged.
Clearly define job descriptions
In the same survey by Allied, only 58 percent of HR personnel incorporate defining a clear job description and/or job title in the onboarding process. When a new employee doesn’t know what he or she is supposed to do, it almost always leads to conflict with management. Employee-manager relations are the number one reason employees leave, and in this instance, one of the big contributors as to why one-third of new hires quit around the 6 month mark. A clearly defined job description provides certainty and boundaries for both an employee’s productivity and a manager’s expectations.
Assign a coach or mentor
The power of a well-connected and personable mentor can be a tremendous asset for a company, and for the benefit of any new staff members. The statistics vary for who new employees want their mentor to be, whether it’s a manager, HR person, or someone from another department. However, what doesn’t vary is the importance of a new hire having someone to show them the ropes. Having an assigned mentor creates a deeply needed personal touch for someone new on the job. Mentors can follow-up consistently, introduce the new hire to others, and he or she can be a sounding board for advice and more.
Only 37 percent of companies extend their onboarding past the 1st month. This practice is detrimental to the long-term retention of a new hire, as most new hires decide whether they will stay or leave within the first 6 months. Checking-in frequently helps create consistent conversation. It also gives new hires an opportunity for immediate or frequent feedback if they’re having issues. Most importantly, scheduling frequent follow-ups helps a new employee assimilate through relationship-driven communication. There’s no way to know if something is going awry unless you ask. So dare to ask! Consistently communicating with your new hire shows that you care, and it sets them up for the opportunity to be fully productive for a long tenure.
Follow these 6 steps to dramatically improve your onboarding process, and watch retention, engagement, and profitability soar. It will help develop your new hires to become fully productive employees and potentially great leaders and influencers for the company.
David LaMontagne is the Manager of Core Technology at Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, onboarding compliance platform named PRYDE. Designed to help HR personnel conquer onboarding challenges, PRYDE helps assimilate new employees and retain personnel long-term.