"I am shattered. I feel like I slept for all of four minutes last night. I’ve just realised that I've left the tag in my new shirt - it keeps catching the back of my neck and I’m trying to snap it out whilst remaining inconspicuous. I am sat waiting in an unfamiliar reception. Crikey, is this how everybody feels on day one of a new job?"
The above it not uncommon territory for many new employees. Starting a new role is exciting but it can also be be stressful. New employees want to understand the business, learn what is expected of them, and make a positive contribution quickly. But it's not just the employees who are nervous, employers are worried, too, as they look for a return on their "recruitment investment" - recruitment is an expensive game and businesses, especially SME's, can't afford to get it wrong.
And so whichever way you look at it, there's no getting away from the fact that a good onboarding programme has a vital role to play in any business. A study of 264 new employees published in the Academy of management journal found that the first 90 days of employment is critical in building rapport and bonding with the company, management and peers. The study found that when support levels were high from the team and business leaders, new employees were more positive about their role and worked harder. In contrast, when that support and structure was lacking, new employees became unproductive and didn’t make it beyond four months. A 2007 study by the Wynhurst Group, showed that when employees go through structured onboarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organisation after three years. With this in mind, here are our 3 top tips for raising your onboarding game ...
Onboarding tip 1: Personalise the process.
Personalising and tailoring your onboarding programme is likely to result in higher levels of engagement and demonstrates clearly to a new employee that you've thought about their personal development. Customisation and personalisation of the process is naturally much easier to bring about in face-to-face delivery but you need to consider whether the technology you use to support the onboarding process can also support customisation and bolster things on the personalisationon front.
Onboarding tip 2: Don't just tell.
Onboarding sometimes doesn't get beyond telling, leaving a new recruit with an overwhelming amount of information on company policy, the headsup on who's who in the business, but not neccessarily helping the new employee feel more equipped to do their day job. A great onboarding programme covers all of important policy stuff but also builds in opportunities for an employee to reflect on their initial experiences, document their thoughts and ideas about their new role, and allows them to carry these important elements into the next stage of their development.
Onboarding tip 3: Ensure continuity.
Many businesses view onboarding in isolation, often leaving it disconnected from the subsequent development pathways that should follow initial induction. The very best onboarding programme is one that offers both personalisation and continuity, where an employee moves seamlessly from induction into personal development and beyond. To go a good job on this front, the right processes, and the right technology, are absolutely key.
Creating an onboarding framework in PebblePad for business.