It’s a tale as old as time: you’ve been searching for a new job and after a long series of phone screens, in-person interviews, skill tests, or take-home projects, signing your offer letter, completing paperwork, and going through a background check, you are - finally! - ready for day 1. However, your first day is met with even more challenge and confusion: the onboarding process.
Maybe you are curious about what is expected of you in your new role, what your specific responsibilities, tasks, and goals are, how your performance will be evaluated, or how you will be supported. Perhaps you’re wondering what training, resources, and support systems are available, how you fit into the overall organization, your expected work hours, or future pathways for growth and development.
If this situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone - it’s reported that nearly 7 in 10 employees struggle to find necessary onboarding information when starting a new job. With a tight hiring market, getting off on the wrong foot with new hires can only exacerbate the many challenges (already) on HR leaders’ plates.
An effective onboarding process sets the tone for an employee’s time at a company and can make new hires feel welcomed, valued, and supported - leading to higher engagement and motivation. On the other hand, a poorly designed onboarding process can leave hires feeling confused, frustrated, and unsupported, which can lead to low morale and high turnover.
Onboarding directly impacts company culture
At a high level, onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to a company and helping them become productive members of the team. The need for an organized and well-delivered onboarding experience is clear: it can improve employee retention by a staggering 82%. Onboarding goes beyond just signing documents and getting logged into company accounts; it is an experience. Onboarding defines what it’s really like to work at a company and can be the difference between an employee leaving after 90 days versus staying for years. This experience must include a combination of resources, logistics, support, feedback opportunities, community, and a sense of belonging.
Employees, especially those in a hybrid or remote environment, crave clear expectations for training and orientation, a distinct onboarding structure, and a pace of learning that makes them feel adequately prepared. Case in point: research shows that 79% of employees state that it’s “easy to feel anxious or isolated” when starting a new job if they don’t have the full context of how and why a company works the way it does.
A full-scale onboarding experience - regardless of if it’s done virtually, hybrid, or in-person - must promote employee confidence, and engagement, and empower employees to assimilate into company culture. Onboarding is a journey, and its reinvention is needed for success in a post-pandemic workplace.
Better onboarding = higher productivity
In addition to helping new employees understand company culture, onboarding can help them more quickly develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their new role.
By providing new hires with the training and support they need to do their job effectively, onboarding can help them hit the ground running - ultimately leading to quicker contributions to the company’s success. This phenomenon is backed by numbers: research shows that a well-delivered onboarding experience can increase employee productivity by more than 70%.
Perhaps more shockingly, it takes the average worker 19 months to feel that they are thriving in a new job; indicating that onboarding has a much further reach than just a 30-60-90 day outline.
So, want your employees to ramp us up and be as productive as possible? Give them a runway to do so with a better onboarding experience.
The right technology matters
Effective HR tech gives employers the ability to deeply their onboarding experience…at scale. The right technology can facilitate check-ins, provide a repository for helpful resources, build in action items or dependencies, and automate a new hire’s journey over an extended period of time. Investing in the right technology can be as valuable as investing in the right people: 76% of workers said the ability to access information without having to ask for help would make them feel significantly more productive in their new role.
On the back end, technology can provide the C-suite with metrics on individual employee performance metrics, time to productivity, conversion, retention, and more. The power of effective technology can be, well, powerful, especially when many hiring teams still resort to using spreadsheets or other manual data tracking methods. At the end of the day, people data is still business data.
Shameless plug - Abode’s all-in-one platform sits between your ATS and HRIS to serve as a single source of truth that brings all data together. Teams can ditch their spreadsheets and use Abode to build, manage, and measure their onboarding processes. Abode enables companies to create and execute modernized and engaging onboarding experiences, all with Generation Z in mind.
Creating a positive, supportive company culture starts with onboarding: it is an essential part of employee experience, and it plays a critical role in helping new employees succeed at a company. By providing new hires with the support, training, and information they need to understand the company’s culture and excel in their role, an effective onboarding experience can help employees feel welcome, valued, and supported, resulting in better morale, lower turnover, and higher retention rates.
For more thoughts like these, or to see our platform in action, get in touch with our team at Abode.