Build a best-in-class onboarding program

February 3, 2020

Hiring top talent is just part of the challenge of overcoming high turnover and low productivity. Once you find the right candidate for the job, onboarding them is key to creating a connection. With a top-notch onboarding program, you can improve your employee loyalty, teamwork atmosphere and the reputation of your organization. 

Onboarding is the process of training and guiding new employees to help them acclimatize to your organization. When it is done right, onboarding programs can get new hires up to speed quickly, which improves the organization’s productivity. 

While it may seem like the bulk of an onboarding program begins after you hire your perfect candidate, it actually starts during the recruitment process. It involves the branding that your organization has and the reputation you have built. For example, on your company website, your careers page should promote the uniqueness of your organization. This will help you attract candidates who will best fit into your company culture. 

From recruitment to hiring, you can continue the onboarding process by providing your new employee all the required paperwork before their first day. You may also want to send them a package that includes all important policies or related information. That way they will be better prepared on their first day. 

If your organization is looking to build a best-in-class onboarding program, there are several things to consider. It can also be helpful to learn from other onboarding programs that have been successful.

Onboarding best practices checklist

Designing or revamping your onboarding process can seem like a challenge but with some planning, it can be a straightforward process. Here is a list of several factors you need to consider when creating your onboarding program:

  1. Begin before the first day. A good onboarding process starts long before your new employee shows up for their first day on the job. Once you have made the hire, it is a good idea to send out a welcome package to begin the onboarding process. It can include your company policies, organizational values and also what your new employee should expect in their first few weeks on the job. If you want to have an outstanding start to your onboarding process, consider adding extra details such as where they can park, office dress code and the name of the person they should check in with. Behind the scenes, start preparing for the arrival of your new employee early. This means have a desk, hardware and any login information set up before they arrive. 
  2. Connect them. New hires should be guided to connect with the team. This can also start before they arrive for their first day by connecting them to your social media sites. This helps them get a feel for the company and team before they arrive. It can continue by finding them a co-worker to guide them around for the first few days. For a more in-depth onboarding program, consider mentorship. Setting a new employee up with a suitable mentor can help them fit in much better and quicker than those without a mentor. 
  3. First-day success. When it comes to your new hire’s first day, have a solid plan in place to help them adjust to your company and their new job. This should include an office tour, advice to help them get acquainted, and details of their first assignment. There should also be a special lunch planned so that your new hire doesn’t have to eat alone at their desk. One of the ways you can gauge the success of your onboarding process is to ask for some feedback at the end of the first day. 
  4. Ongoing engagement. It is important to help employees stay connected beyond the first few weeks on the job. This will take a little planning but should include regular check-ins to see how they are feeling about their position. It is also important to help your employees continue their career growth. Keep them informed about opportunities and training that they may be interested in. Let them know about networking events that could help them connect to others. Consider asking them for feedback about your organization’s onboarding process. 
  5. Create a team. There is a lot of planning that goes into developing a high-quality onboarding process. To do it right, you may need to build a team that focuses on creating the best experience for new hires. It can be the team’s responsibility to plan for the first day, develop networking and social events to get employees connected and follow up with new hires to ensure they have everything they need to be successful in their new position. 
  6. Clarity. There may be a bit of confusion for your new hire and you can clear it up by developing a list of expectations to guide them. This can include details of their job and how it fits into the company’s productivity, measurable goals and key metrics they need to be aware of as well as information like dress code, behavior, etc. 

Conclusion

Having a top-notch onboarding process for new hires is one of the best ways to engage your employees early and build loyalty. 

After having invested in recruiting top talent, some companies fail to deliver a good onboarding process that can retain that talent for years to come. Onboarding is more than just ensuring the paperwork has been signed, it is the process of making the new hire feel welcome and part of the team. 

There are many steps that you can take to make sure that your organization’s onboarding process is best-in-class. These include start onboarding early, get your new hires connected to a mentor, have a first-day success plan and continue engaging employees over the long term. 

By having a solid onboarding program, you can reduce turnover and improve productivity for your organization. 


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