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Understanding the Importance of Onboarding New Employees for Your Organization

Did you know that 70% of new hires decide if a job is the right fit within the first month, and 29% know in the first week? On average, companies have 44 days to influence a new hire’s long-term retention with a fantastic new starter experience.

As a learning professional, you want nothing more than to see your learners succeed – to know you helped them to achieve their goals. And, as an employee, you want to make an impact on your business. New hire onboarding is critical to your learner and business’s success. Getting it right sets up your new hires to perform better, your business to see retention increases and you to showcase the impact of your learning.

What is Onboarding?

Let’s ask someone who knows a thing or two about the importance of onboarding, BambooHR, “Onboarding is a human resources industry term referring to the process of introducing a newly hired employee into an organization. It’s an important part of helping employees understand their new position and job requirements. It’s the process that helps them integrate seamlessly with the rest of the company”.

The Importance of Onboarding New Employees

Think back to every new job you had – what kind of training did you get? Was it helpful? How long did it last? Which job did you feel most prepared for? Was it because of the training? While taking courses can be time-consuming if you’re already in a role, they can be a life-saver for new hires. It gives them the chance to ease into a new role or company (which, let’s face it, can be daunting no matter how many times you do it!).

Introduction to Company Culture

According to a Deloitte survey, 80% of organizations allow some level of remote and hybrid ways of working. That same report noted that 43% of businesses found that creating a remote company culture was one of their top challenges. Adding to that, only 28% of remote workers say they feel strongly tied to the mission and purpose of their organizations in 2023.

Crucial to a loyal, productive employee is a sense of belonging, something a stellar company culture can provide. This is your time to introduce your new hire to the tools and knowledge that will help them to grow and succeed in your business.

There Are no ‘Stupid’ Questions

This ties on nicely to our point on company culture. Regular check-ins make all the difference to a new hire. Just read what Meighan Newhouse, Forbes writer, had to say about her experience. Not only does it afford the new hire to ask questions and connect with their team, it allows the manager to see their progress and note any areas for improvement, benefiting everyone involved.

Understand the Role

Your new hire needs to have a solid grasp on their role, what’s being asked of them and performance metrics they’ll need to reach. Onboarding helps this to happen in a seamless way – the training should help new hires reach their highest potential by incorporating the company’s business strategy and setting clear objectives for their personal and professional growth.

How Does Onboarding Impact Employee Performance?

As a business that needs to deliver employee onboarding, you’ll have a key motivator – reduce onboarding time, roll out a training standard for every employee, etc. But, in reality, the importance of onboarding encapsulates much more. Organizations with stellar onboarding strategies start small – a couple of courses and a single goal to begin with – but they have a larger plan. They see the big picture; a full onboarding process that’s significant for your employees and the business as a whole. As an organization, it’s critical to identify the desired outcomes of your onboarding plan so you can work towards each one and measure their impact successfully.

A strong onboarding experience sets the stage for your employee’s and your business’s success; It engages your new hires, increasing loyalty and productivity, which, in turn, impacts your business. According to Gallop, businesses with a strong onboarding experience saw a 43% reduction in employee turnover.

Improved Performance

One of the clearest benefits employee onboarding has for an organization is its impact on productivity rates. Companies that have a strong onboarding process boast 70% greater new hire productivity when compared to those who don’t have any onboarding procedure at all. This means more success for your employees, your business and your customers. Read how Sonic Automotive boosted their profits and employee productivity with a learning solution.

Increased Retention

Reported as one of the top long-term benefits by businesses, onboarding increases employee retention. A great onboarding experience avoids the time- consuming, costly fallout of high turnover, and keeps your employees around for longer. In fact organizations with an onboarding process experience 80% greater new hire retention and 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. With employees showing less loyalty to employers, this is an invaluable tool.

Boosted Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a metric that every organization should keep a close eye on. It refers to how motivated your employees are to contribute to organizational success. It impacts everything from productivity to retention to customer success, and beyond. Studies show that onboarding is an effective method to get employees engaged from the very beginning, with one claiming 54% of companies with onboarding programs reporting higher engagement. This is due to your business setting a positive impression from the get-go and clearly establishing what is expected from each employee in their role. Read how Edrington increased learner engagement by 85%.

Cost Savings of Onboarding

Let’s face it. Hiring a new team member is expensive. On average it $7,500–$28,000 in hard costs to find and onboard a new employee, including job board fees, background checks, and the new hire’s training – it’s a pricey exercise. An effective onboarding process saves you money as there’s less turnover or risk of having an employee leave due to inadequate training. See how Hillarys saved an estimated 100K with online training.

Shorter Learning Curve

Onboarding plays a key role in accelerating the learning process and helping employees adapt to their new roles. When a new hire joins, it typically takes them up to eight months to reach their full productivity. That’s a long time. With a formal structure and effective training materials, onboarding cuts this time down. A streamlined and planned process ensures a more productive learning curve. And in turn, your employees are demonstrating their value to your company faster. Studies show employees who undertake longer onboarding programs gain full proficiency 34% faster than those in shorter ones.

Increased Likelihood of Reaching Goals

Onboarding not only helps engage and train new hires, but it also helps them reach their goals within your organization. It’s been found that 77% of employees who reach their first performance goals completed formalized onboarding. This number drops to 49% when no formal onboarding training has been provided. The reason? Onboarding provides clear directions to a goal and nurtures your new hires until they meet that goal, therefore increasing their chances of success.

Strategies for Onboarding for Your Organization

Pre-Hire Onboarding

Pre-hire, or pre-employment, training prepares new employees with a set of skills and awareness before officially beginning a new role. This training is often designed so your new hire understands workplace standards and your organization’s expectations of them.

By implementing pre-hire training, you can alleviate the difficulties faced during the onboarding process, ensuring a seamless transition and empowering employees before day one even begins.

Mentoring Program

This is a common knowledge-sharing method used to onboard new hires. New employees are paired up with a more experienced employee who guides and supports them throughout their onboarding. Not only does this provide the new hire with a friend to talk to regularly (especially if they’re remote), but it’s been proven to boost productivity and employee satisfaction.

Integrate Touchpoints

When you integrate with other tools or software, like an HRIS or LMS, onboarding becomes much more automated, providing a seamless experience for your learners and, most importantly, you. For example, some HR systems give you access to features like, prebuilt, automated workflows and checklists. While a learning management system integration automates learning management, gives real-time data, and offers a seamless learner experience, so you can put valuable time back into your team’s day.

So, let’s recap on why onboarding is important for your organization – when you take the time to invest in your new hires, it has a big impact on both them and your business. A good onboarding experience leads to higher productivity, engagement, satisfaction and retention for your new hires. This isn’t a one way street – you get to demonstrate the strategic value you and your team provide to the business.

Want to know more? Click here for the next article that’ll share how you can develop an employee onboarding plan.

New Employee Training Plan Template

Or, download the ‘New Employee Training Plan’ Template. In it, you’ll find all of the necessary information for them to succeed in their role, participate in company culture, and hopefully lay the foundation for a long, happy and productive time at your organization.

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