Have you ever been excited to start a job, only to feel let down after your first couple of weeks?
Many teams work hard to create a thoughtful recruiting process but fail to put that same level of care into onboarding.
Put simply, employee onboarding is the process of integrating new team members into a new role and team. It’s an absolutely critical moment in the employee experience. The first few weeks and months of a new employee’s tenure are crucial for ensuring they’re engaged. They set the tone for the rest of an employee’s time with an organization.
Done well, onboarding can boost retention, engagement, and productivity. Done poorly, it can cause new hires to disengage and even leave prematurely.
Here are employee onboarding statistics to help you craft an effective orientation program.
The current state of employee onboarding isn’t great. According to Gallup, just 1 in 8 employees strongly agree that new hires at their organization receive an excellent orientation and onboarding experience.
There’s not much faith in most onboarding processes, so consider starting from a place of humility. Ask how you can make your team’s onboarding experience stand out in a good way. Investigate existing sentiment on the team to understand what parts of the current onboarding process are weak, and take feedback on opportunities for improvement.
Retention keeps HR pros up at night. It’s a persistent challenge to avoid high turnover, especially in the current market. Fortunately, organizations with strong employee onboarding processes can expect a new hire retention rate that’s 82% higher than their peers. Similarly, new hire productivity is 70% higher, according to the Brandon Hall Group.
Organizations that craft an excellent onboarding experience see a strong return, especially considering the high cost of employees leaving and hiring new team members. A robust orientation helps employees feel welcomed, understand their role, and see how their work positively impacts others. Guide the new hire, their manager, and HR with an employee onboarding checklist like this.
Dropping new hires directly into the middle of the action and expecting them to hit the ground running is a surefire way to start things off on the wrong foot for everyone. New hires should be onboarded thoughtfully without the expectation of contributing much in the first few weeks.
A week-long onboarding program might be the norm for some organizations, but it’s vastly inadequate for new hires to internalize a company's culture and fully grasp their new role. According to Zippia, new hires operate at a quarter of their full productivity during the first 30 days.
Productivity generally increases another 25% each subsequent month for new hires.
The first few weeks on the job are a major tipping point for new hires. 20% of employees who quit do so in the first 45 days of their job. When new hires feel like they’ve made a mistake taking a job or that expectations set during hiring aren’t met, they’re likely to see themselves out.
Successful onboarding programs are designed to address this by helping new hires understand their role in detail while also helping them feel like they belong on their new team. Hiring may seem like the hard part, but the onboarding phase is absolutely critical in keeping top talent.
People analytics is more accessible than ever, yet many organizations still don’t measure the effectiveness of their onboarding programs. More than half of organizations don’t measure the effect of their onboarding programs at all, according to Kronos. This is a huge missed opportunity.
How are you going to improve something if you can’t measure it?
By gathering feedback from new hires and examining metrics like time to proficiency, organizations can identify paint points in their onboarding process and improve.
Nearly two-thirds of organizations fail to include team leadership in their onboarding, according to Allied. How are new hires supposed to really understand their role and what’s expected of them if leadership isn’t involved in the process?
Effective team leaders should model the behavior they expect from new hires and help them understand how their role fits into the bigger picture. Leaders should also use onboarding as an opportunity to introduce themselves to new hires and invite discussion from new hires who still have fresh points of view.
Contrary to popular belief, onboarding starts well before a new hire's first day. Pre-boarding covers the time between a new team member's offer acceptance and their "Day One." According to Enboarder, best-in-class organizations are much more likely to engage with new hires before they starts than their peers.
It's not always easy to join a new team, so it can make a world of difference for new hires to feel fully prepared before they officially start their new job. By sending relevant information ahead of time and getting new hires acclimated to company culture, you can start their journey on the right foot.
According to Workable, the top challenge for employers hiring remotely is remote onboarding. In-person onboarding can be challenging enough, but when you add the distance and lack of face-to-face interaction, it can be even more difficult to properly onboard remote employees. That's why onboarding plans are even more crucial for remote teams.
The keys to successful remote onboarding are to set clear expectations from the start and provide the right tools. Make sure your remote employees know what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated. Additionally, create opportunities for social interaction and bonding, even if it’s just virtually.
How effective are your current onboarding efforts?
Onboarding new hires should be a top priority for any organization. It's a crucial time to set expectations and responsibilities while also making sure that your new team members feel like they belong.
To learn more about improving your own onboarding process, take a look at HR Chief’s Onboarding Checklist.