When discussing employee onboarding best practices, many people still think about the mere process of hiring new team members. However, there is a lot more to successful employee onboarding than that.
Employee onboarding, in fact, is a long, complex, and ever-evolving process that business owners and managers should follow if they want to boost employee performance, satisfaction, and profitability.
To find out more about employee onboarding and how you can create a flawless process with every new person who joins your team, read our comprehensive guide below.
Employee Onboarding: What Is It, Exactly?
Employee onboarding is a holistic process that involves recruiting new talent, training them correctly and consistently, nurturing them over time, and enabling them to become their best-performing selves.
In a nutshell, employee onboarding is about transforming your new team members into top-quality assets for your company, both in the short and in the long-term. This requires a lot more than writing a captivating job advert or organizing a few interactive workshops to get them acquainted with your systems and processes.
Psychology and emotional connection are, for example, significant parts of a successful employee onboarding experience. It’s also important to stress that good employee onboarding practices have a similarly positive effect on business owners and managers, not just on employees.
Amongst many things, in fact, an exceptional employee onboarding process helps to drive greater employee satisfaction and retention, lower turnover rates, boost competitiveness, and increase revenue.
Seven Steps to a Flawless Employee Onboarding Experience
How can you design, develop, and deliver a flawless employee onboarding experience and reap all the benefits that we have mentioned? Below you will find seven ways to achieve this every single time you welcome a new team member.
1. Recruit Exceptional New Talent
Every employee onboarding journey begins with the initial recruitment of new personnel. And every recruitment process should focus on the following:
- Highlighting your company’s values, mission, and vision
- Describing the vacant role by providing as much information as possible, including working hours and arrangements (for example, flexible days or hybrid working), salary range, and benefits/bonuses
- Creating a simple, quick, and streamlined way for candidates to apply to the vacancy
- Making the effort to send a personalized response back to each unsuccessful candidate, with detailed feedback and reasons for the decision
- Contacting suitable candidates as soon as possible in order to secure an interview
Remember to also monitor your inbox and check your call history regularly in order not to miss or overlook a message or call from a potentially great applicant.
2. Highlight the Importance of Inclusion and Diversity
One of the most salient aspects that your job advert should incorporate is, no doubt, an inclusion and diversity statement. Showing that you support and encourage applicants from all backgrounds and walks of life to apply to the job presents your company as a modern, forward-thinking, and open-minded place to work.
Remember, though, that your statement should always be followed by tangible actions. A crucial part of employee onboarding, in fact, is the delivery of workshops, training sessions, and other events aimed at enhancing and celebrating the inclusion and diversity of your workforce.
3. Show Your New Team Members Around
You can choose to introduce your new employee to the rest of the team during your weekly stand up conference. This can be a quick and informal way for them to get familiar with one another and to also get a glimpse of how your team works and what it discusses during those meetings.
If your candidate is going to be based in the office, showing them around the company’s headquarters will also help them get a better feel for the work environment, including any tools and equipment used, any facilities available, and any other practical aspects, such as parking spaces, restrooms, and more.
4. Make It Official With an Offer Letter
You might be running a SaaS company or an ultra-techy start-up, but this doesn’t mean that you should not be sending your new employee a good, old-fashioned offer letter. Having a tangible welcome to your company will send a message of recognition, value, and commitment from your side.
Your letter can either be sent via traditional snail mail or via email, but, in both cases, it should include:
- A welcome message to your new employee
- A few lines that express your gratitude for having them on your team
- When their position is going to start
- What their main tasks and responsibilities are going to be
- What their hours will be
- Where they will be based
5. Welcome Them on Board
Once your new candidate has signed off and returned their offer letter, they will be ready to start – and you will be ready to begin their day-to-day onboarding.
On your new hire’s first day, ensure that you have a “welcome note” ready to be sent out to the rest of the team. Similarly, it can help to organize a “meet and greet” session with other team members, company managers, and collaborators.
The first few weeks at your company will be crucial to determine whether or not your new employee is going to stay for the long run. For this reason, you’ll need to provide them with consistent training and support – but don’t give them the impression that they are being micro-managed.
It can be complicated to strike the right balance between offering help and constructive advice and letting your employee get on with their work in an autonomous fashion. However, this is another essential aspect that will ensure a great employee onboarding experience.
6. Keep Engagement High Over Time
Few things are more off-putting for a new employee than seeing the interest towards them rapidly plummet as the weeks or months go by. In fact, new hires will continue to need – and expect – constant motivation and engagement over time, at least for the first year in their new role.
During this time, it’s critical for you to help them build solid, authentic, and empowering relationships with the rest of the team. If you need some ideas, you could try one (or more) of the following approaches:
- Schedule regular team-building events and activities
- Check in with your new hire on a bi-weekly basis through one-on-one meetings
- Organize regular company outings in informal, relaxed, non-business settings
- Praise and acknowledge your new employee whenever they accomplish something good and important
- Keep asking for feedback and demonstrate that your (metaphorical) door is always open when they need support, guidance, or motivation
7. Work with the Right Tools and Technologies
Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are the name of the game when it comes to ensuring a smooth, engaging, and fully-customized employee onboarding experience.
For example, have you considered incorporating chatbots? Research has found that some of the main benefits of using chatbots within your company include:
- Higher employee engagement and motivation
- Always-on troubleshooting
- Personalized support
- Cost and time savings
Collaboration software is another excellent tool to incorporate in your employee onboarding program. These are software solutions that enable team members to communicate and cooperate in a simple, fast, and secure way across different departments and, sometimes, even in different geographical sites.
If you run a hybrid office, for example, using collaboration software will help you maintain high levels of employee performance, productivity, and commitment while also keeping your staff engaged, motivated, and satisfied.
Employee onboarding stretches far beyond the simple recruitment and training processes. For a company to design, develop, and deliver an outstanding employee onboarding experience, in fact, several other factors are vital.
In this guide, we explored how to build the best employee onboarding experience for all your new hires. We focused on areas such as regular training and the use of collaboration tools, and we discussed ways to keep your new employees constantly engaged, motivated, and high-performing.
If you plan to create and execute an employee onboarding strategy, it’s important that you incorporate all these different aspects. Only by doing so will you be able to deliver an employee onboarding experience that surpasses your new hire’s expectations, lifts employee morale, and ensures maximum retention of talent.
About the author
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. She has written for sites like PageFly and MacSecurity. Check out her LinkedIn profile.