Day one for an employee sets the stage for their experience with your company and can play a pivotal role in retention, productivity, success, and failure. In fact, a study by Korn Ferry revealed that 98 percent of executives believe onboarding plays a key role in employee retention efforts. This is why a well-designed strategic onboarding process is crucial to have in place. However, for many, this is easier said than done as many companies have a transactional view of onboarding that only focuses on the administrative tasks that are needed for a new hire.
Remember, onboarding is about much more than the administrative tasks
Every new hire needs to fill out paperwork for compliance, payroll, benefits etc. In many companies, this is what constitutes their onboarding program (a half day of filling out paperwork and watching a few training and compliance videos.) This has a place in the process but perhaps it should happen before the first day of employment (see pre-boarding below).
An effective onboarding program should set the stage for building a relationship with the employee. Use this time to help the employee learn your culture, traditions, history, and rituals. Share the company vision so they can see where it might be in 5 or 10 years. And, use this time to help the employee meet the team and build relationships.
What can you accomplish before the employee starts as part of a pre-boarding plan?
Modern technology has made much of the traditional hiring paperwork that an employee would fill out on day-one available electronically. In addition to this, think about all the other pre-boarding activities that an employee can accomplish in the comfort of his or her home (video introduction from the CEO, video meeting of the team, etc). A nice touch to begin building a relationship with the employee is to drop a care package in the mail that shares some company swag before they begin their first day of work (hoodie, water bottle, branded facemask, etc.)
It does not end at day one or even seven. What is your plan beyond onboarding?
Onboarding an employee can last a year or more. They will not feel like they are fully part of the organization until they have experienced many of the “firsts” that all new employees encounter. Their first company happy hour, presentation, holiday party, annual performance review, etc. In addition to this 30, 60, 90, and 120-day check-ins can go a long way toward keeping the employee engaged and ensuring their success with your organization.
At KeyStaff we take onboarding very seriously. Our goal is to provide our clients with team members that are in it for the long haul and we take pride in setting them up for success on day one and beyond.