Greater employee engagement. Fewer sick days. Strong collegial unity. Happier employees. Resource-saving processes. Doesn't that sound great?
The many benefits (and there are even more) are measurable parameters that affect your company's pre- and onboarding—and which can be read directly on your company's bottom line.
Onboarding is a strategic task that has great significance for your employees' future in the company and 'time-to-performance'. On average, it takes 6.2 months before a newly hired manager has contributed as much value to the company as they have cost the company1. That time is minimized considerably with a well-thought-out onboarding process. The advantage? Faster success in employment. For the benefit of your employee's well-being and the company's efficiency.
If you get it right from the start, you can meet the needs and wishes of your new employees even before they set foot inside your company. And who doesn't want highly engaged employees from the outset?
60% believe that the company’s preparations before the start of the job are inadequate or non-existent.
88% want to learn more about the workplace before they start.
86% of new hires decide to stay or leave an organization within the first six months.
60% increased retention if the employee has completed a good onboarding process.
When new employees have to settle in a company, a well-planned pre- and onboarding process is absolutely essential. But how do you create such a process?
We give you three important points to focus on below, if you want to create pre- and onboarding processes that last.
You need clear process management
The lack of a well-planned process can often be traced back to the big question: Who takes the lead? If it is not clearly defined, no one does.
The list of tasks is long: Who is responsible for training and education, who takes care of defining the work assignments, and who gives feedback when the first tasks are delivered? Add to that practical duties such as ordering welcome flowers, setting up email and introducing new colleagues.
It calls for a clear plan for what needs to be done and who needs to do it. Structure the process and the onboarding program, so you don't end up with bottlenecks, lack of coordination and undefined roles and tasks. In that way, you are also closer to delivering a consistent employee experience across the company's departments.
Give your employees early experiences of success
A thing that is easy to forget is that your new employees really want to contribute from day one. This can clash a little with the consideration your company would like to show by giving employees a soft and easy start. But it is at the beginning of employment that your employees are the most motivated and committed—and you must remember to reward that.
For example, you can set goals for training, learning, and developing new skills. Before Monday, you must complete the following e-learning module or look over Jonas' shoulder when he processes a new customer case in the system. Next, it is good to set targets for employees' performance: During the next two weeks, you must (with supervision from Jonas) handle a customer case yourself. It doesn't have to be large, difficult tasks or projects. Start small. It will be a success for the employees to meet the expectations and goals—even if they are small. They will feel motivated to contribute. And thus, live up to their employment.
Automate the processes and get a clear overview
A powerful pre- and onboarding process requires a unidirectional flow and the involvement of the right people in the company. An IT-supported HR system can help create the necessary structure and overview, so it is not up to one person to remember everything. By running digitized onboarding processes, you can power automated flows that delegate tasks to the right people and track employee satisfaction with the onboarding program, work tasks, and the company in general. The large amount of data is essential for generating knowledge and achieving success—for both company and employees.
The value of an IT-supported pre- and onboarding process is not to be mistaken. It is a huge advantage to be able to collect all checklists, processes, data and documentation in one place. Not only does it ensure the best conditions for a problem-free pre- and onboarding process, but you also store the employees' master data in accordance with current legislation.
Endless 'to do' lists and so little time. So, what do you need to remember to deliver top-class pre- and onboarding processes? This is not a thorough list, and there are a lot of other practical tasks, but keep this checklist in mind when you go through your pre- and onboarding programs.
Send a welcome email containing practical information such as meeting time and place, lunch arrangements, parking, mentor, onboarding program, dress code and contact information.
Inform the entire company about your new, future colleague. The company must also be ready to welcome the new colleague, as it helps the employee to feel wanted and indispensable from the beginning.
Plan the onboarding process. Know what will happen in the first weeks of employment—both in terms of tasks and meetings, but also social gatherings.
The first day
Set aside plenty of time for introductions—to colleagues, the team, and CEO. Make sure there is time for informal small talk. It is a good sign that you as a company allocate the time and desire to invest in them.
Do a start-up meeting with the mentor or manager. Here, the employee receives a presentation of the company and the department as well as practical information about professional and social activities.
Review the onboarding program. Does it match the employee’s thoughts and wishes? Is there anything unusual—or not relevant? Perhaps you have noted an e-learning course the employee has already completed in a former job. Talk through the program thoroughly so you have a good, common starting point.
The first three weeks
Set goals for learning, development and for the employee's performance. This promotes successful experiences with your new employee. The employee will feel that you have confidence in their abilities as you let them contribute from the beginning of their employment.
Have an ongoing dialogue and reconcile expectations with the employee, so it becomes clear what role they are intended to play in the organization and whether it matches the desired tasks and current competencies or not.
Schedule a follow-up meeting and check in with the employee. Make room for questions and observations. It is usually after a few weeks that questions arise.
After three weeks
Remember: The onboarding does not end just because the onboarding program ends. It varies how long a good onboarding process lasts. It can be anything from three to six months (or shorter or longer), but as a rule of thumb, an onboarding process first ends when the employee is delivering what is expected in the position. Be aware that it can be demanding to provide a perfect onboarding experience, as you have to continue giving priority to onboarding for several months.
Provide ongoing feedback. As a new employee, you may be unsure whether you are performing well enough in the position. And be unsure of that for a long time. Give extra attention to (thorough) feedback on diverse tasks.
In Emply's onboarding module, you can easily communicate, follow up, and keep an overview of the entire pre- and onboarding process. It becomes easier to delegate tasks, so everyone has control over their areas of responsibility. When the practical tasks and checklists run automatically, you minimize the risk of errors and heavy workloads. Instead, you ensure a complete and professional employee experience.
Get unique insights that strengthen the employee experience
With all data collected in one place, you can easily extract important insights that you can use to adjust and improve your onboarding process. And the employee experience will be even better if you use one system for handling the entire employee journey, with data from recruitment to off boarding. You have access to the employee's entire history within your company, which you can use for skills development and follow-up throughout their employment. This makes you the world's coolest employer.
Reuse your pre- and onboarding initiatives for reboarding
It can seem like a daunting task with all the possible pre- and onboarding activities you can initiate. But it doesn't have to be—and the investment in the initiatives will be returned tenfold. You can easily reuse your onboarding activities for, for example when reboarding employees returning from maternity or other leave.
A survey by Inspired Beyond Babies shows that seven out of ten mothers consider changing jobs while on maternity leave (link in Danish). It is therefore crucial to maintain your employees on maternity leave, so they look forward to returning to work. Recycle initiatives such as small welcome videos and broadcasting new courses and system introductions before your employee returns—and enjoy how the system helps you remember to order flowers, get an office space ready, and convene start-up meetings.
> Read how temp staff and recruitment agency Moment A/S uses their onboarding initiatives to reboard employees after maternity leave, and how professionalized pre- and onboarding has created better HR processes.