3 Keys to Successful Employee Onboarding

July 25, 2022

With millions of workers poised to join (or rejoin) the workforce, a best-in-class onboarding experience has never been more critical.

Blog Post

When it comes to attracting the best talent in a competitive market—and retaining them around—first impressions matter. Especially right now, with more than 40% of U.S. employees poised to look for a new job within the next six months as a part of what some are calling the “Great Onboarding.” With HR professionals under pressure and at limited capacity, it’s more important than ever for onboarding to be streamlined and able to keep with the pace of hiring.

Yet, many organizations are still struggling with clunky, outdated, and manual onboarding processes that are more liable to drive new workers away than entice them to stay. And with HR under pressure from battling high turnover and ramped up hiring, effective onboarding processes are more critical than ever.

Bad Employee Onboarding is Endemic—and Fixable

Onboarding has been a consistent struggle for organizations, only made more challenging by today’s remote-friendly environment. One Gallup report highlighted that only 12% of employees thought their company did a good job of onboarding them.

So what’s the result of all this unengaging onboarding?

Poor onboarding can cause employees to feel a lack of connection to their roles, managers, and peers right out the gate. Consequently, companies lose up to 43% of their new employees in the first 90 days of employment. And in today’s employee’s market—where companies are challenged more than ever to hire and retain workers—it’s vital for HR to be at the forefront of onboarding innovation.

It’s time to ask yourself, “When was the last time you evaluated your company’s new hire processes? Are they providing the streamlined, high-touch, effective onboarding experience demanded by today’s workers?”

Nearly two years after shifting to fully remote or hybrid workforces, the answer for most organizations is still “no.” But, not to worry. There is hope.

3 Keys to a Successful Onboarding Program

Below we’ll explore a few new hire onboarding best practices to transform your onboarding process into the modern, best-in-class experience you need to find, hire, and keep top talent in a tough labor market.

1. Engage New Hires Immediately With “Pre Boarding”

Keeping your new hires excited about their new role. Research shows 83% of high-performing organizations begin onboarding prior to the new hire’s first day. You can start communicating with workers as soon as you hire them by:

  • Providing instant access to new hire paperwork via employee self-service tools
  • Introducing the company culture with onboarding videos
  • Sharing employee and management bios to give new hires a reference point
  • Sending motivational text messages
  • Shipping company merchandise to their homes
  • Adding them to groups on social tools like Community to facilitate immediate connection
  • Asking them non-work related questions, like what their personal interests are

Following these steps demonstrates your company’s investment in your new workers and commitment to having them on the team, a key element of a successful onboarding program. Remember, a new hire’s experience can define their level of engagement and, ultimately, determine whether they’ll stick around for the long haul.

Take a look at our new employee checklist to make sure you’re covering all of the essential pre-boarding steps.

2. Make it Personal with Onboarding Videos

A high-touch onboarding process can be effective, but it won’t be worth much if it’s comprised of generic, impersonal materials, or walls of text.

In a world where workers are used to highly customized, multimedia consumer experiences outside of work, creating a personalized onboarding experience for new hires that continues the conversation after the first day is critical. One of the best ways to customize the onboarding process is through video:

  • Welcome new hires with multimedia messages from their manager, CEO, and peers
  • Showcase the company workspaces
  • Explain day-to-day responsibilities
  • Explain the importance of their role
  • Provide an overview of your company’s policies and processes
  • Introduce employees to colleagues in different locations

Onboarding videos not only help personalize onboarding, but they also ensure every new hire gets the same message regardless of location.

3. Keep Operations Up-to-Speed for a Smoother Onboarding

Losing a good hire can cost organizations up to $30,000. In fact, an inefficient, clunky, or fragmented onboarding process can result in 20% staff turnover within the first 45 days of employment.

This is why it’s so critical to keep your onboarding process and tools current. The beauty of today’s HR and payroll tools is that many of them integrate seamlessly into existing tech stacks and freestanding tools. What’s more, today’s solutions are highly customizable, so businesses can choose the exact features they need—and leave the ones they don’t. Investing in the right HR technology is an important element of a successful onboarding program.

Organizations in all spaces can take advantage of these tools without undergoing the expensive and time-consuming process of completely reconfiguring their tech stack (or forfeiting other programs they already have in place).

Additionally, up-to-date technology means enhancing new employees’ interactions with HR professionals. Processes that have historically been fragmented or riddled with multiple different log-ins or repetitive data entry can be streamlined into an engaging experience for HR and employees through an all-in-one HR and payroll solution.

Prepare for the “Great Onboarding” with Great Onboarding Tools

Your employees are your company’s single biggest investment. Don’t let clunky, disjointed onboarding processes damage that investment or keep you from hiring the best workers. With the “Great Onboarding” on the horizon, high-touch, streamlined, multimedia onboarding isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s what your new hires want from day one and setting the precedent for a connected employee journey. And it’s the most effective way to protect your largest investment.

Losing out on talent in an already tight labor market? That’s not something anyone can afford.

Learn more about how build a strong onboarding program in our Ultimate Employee Onboarding Guide.

Make Your First Impression Count 

An impactful employee experience begins before day one. Make data collection, tax paperwork, and direct deposit setup seamless so you can begin engaging your new employees immediately with our onboarding tool. Help make your new hire’s first day memorable in the best way possible with less process and more human connection.

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