How a solid onboarding program can benefit your company

Effective onboarding programs often go unnoticed by employers and companies, overshadowed by the well-known costs and processes associated with talent acquisition. However, what happens after a new team member joins your company is equally, if not more, crucial.

Onboarding transcends providing a simple office tour and a rundown of policies. It goes beyond basic on-the-job training. The way you onboard new employees can have a profound impact, influencing everything from their productivity and job satisfaction to your bottom line.

Recent McKinsey research has put a spotlight on the challenge many organisations are facing: 40% of employees say they are likely to leave their jobs in the next three to six months even if they don’t have another job in hand.

So, why is it so pivotal, and how can you enhance your approach to welcoming new team members into your organisation?

The role of onboarding

Improving retention

Given the substantial time and financial investments associated with recruitment, minimising turnover is a top priority.

Robust onboarding serves as the cornerstone for creating an environment in which new hires feel genuinely welcomed and valued. It lays a strong foundation for building fruitful professional relationships and sets a positive tone and impression for newcomers. This, in turn, fosters greater job satisfaction and, ultimately, bolsters employee retention, a vital goal for any organisation. For more tips and information regarding employee satisfaction and mental health, click here.

Increasing productivity

It’s not just about keeping staff on the team, but it’s also about helping them contribute to your organisation’s success as much as possible. A well-considered and designed onboarding program will ensure they feel up to speed and confident about their new role. Ensuring that they have a strong degree of understanding and a confidence in their work will lead to improved work-ethics and productivity.

Setting culture

Company culture isn’t just some abstract idea—it’s the beating heart of a company. It spells out why we do what we do, our mission, and the values that drive our team. If our onboarding program doesn’t make this crystal clear or fails to highlight how important our culture is, it won’t connect with new team members. That disconnect can make it tough for them to feel like they truly belong and are committed.

Sure, measuring the exact impact of company culture isn’t easy, but when it’s lacking or weak, it’s obvious employees become less motivated, and productivity takes a hit. So, from the get-go, during the onboarding experience, we aim to set the right expectations and vibe to make sure everyone’s on the same page. After all, our company culture is the foundation for the right mindset and long-term success.

Enhancing reputation

Your company’s reputation isn’t just about how it’s perceived by customers and clients in the market; it also extends to how it’s viewed internally. While we often think about reputation in terms of external stakeholders, it’s equally crucial to consider internal reputations.

Positive onboarding experiences play a pivotal role in shaping your company’s reputation among jobseekers. They create a lasting impression and make your organisation more attractive to top-tier talent in the future. Moreover, employees who have had positive onboarding experiences are more likely to enthusiastically refer friends and acquaintances to your company. A reputation for providing effective, welcoming onboarding sets the stage for continued success in attracting and retaining exceptional talent.

How to implement a strong onboarding plan

Every company is unique, and crafting an effective onboarding plan requires thoughtful consideration of individual circumstances and specific factors.
However, to assist you in creating and executing your customised onboarding strategy, here’s a general guide to get you started:

Step 1 – Invest in the planning stage

Onboarding can often feel unnecessary compared to the mountain of urgent tasks waiting for your attention. Nonetheless, developing a comprehensive onboarding plan will ensure you’ve included all the steps and tasks required to set the right tone and help new hires become productive contributors to the team.

Consider mapping out their onboarding experience in detail, down to the hour, and assign other employees to champion each task or session. Typically, one to two weeks of thorough onboarding is sufficient to empower new employees to start their work independently and confidently.

Step 2 – Consider a “mentor” system

By assigning an experienced team member as a mentor (or buddy), your new employee will feel like they have someone to turn to for advice, ask questions and to receive guidance. The more comfortable their initial experience during onboarding, the more confident they will be.

Step 3 – Allocate resources for training

There’s no avoiding it. New employees need the right physical tools, software training, policy awareness, and on-the-job mentoring for success. Equipping them properly not only enhances individual success but also contributes to the overall success of the team and organisation. According to a Gallup report, 87% of millennials say that career development is important in a job. Providing opportunities for employees to develop their skills, take on new challenges, and advance within the organisation can increase engagement and retention. 

Step 4 – Open up communication channels

Establishing a culture of regular and open communication is paramount for providing effective support to new team members. Whether through scheduled face-to-face check-ins, ongoing feedback, or close collaboration, the key is to maintain consistent, two-way communication channels. This approach ensures that your new hires feel supported and valued from the start. Research has found that employees who receive regular feedback from their managers are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged at work than those who receive feedback once a year or less.

Step 5 – Ask for feedback

New employees often seek feedback to gauge their progress in their new roles, but it’s equally important to encourage feedback from them. They are in an ideal position to offer insights and suggestions about their onboarding experiences. So, take the initiative to ask for their input. This not only helps you continually enhance the onboarding program but also improves the welcoming experience for future hires.

Consider setting up end-of-week check-ins for the first few weeks with a team lead or manager. These check-ins serve as a valuable opportunity to assess their progress and provide any needed assistance. More importantly, they provide a platform for new hires to offer feedback on their onboarding experience, ensuring that it can be refined and optimised for future recruits. The goal is to create an environment where feedback is encouraged and valued, rather than making employees feel micromanaged or untrusted.

Let’s build your onboarding program

At Scotford Fennessy, we’re not just experts in finding the right people for the right roles; we’re also deeply committed to continuous improvement and growth. These principles are woven into our company culture and values. We recognise the vital importance of a robust onboarding program and the impact it has on an organisation’s success.

If you would like to have a pressure-free conversation about how we can help you develop an onboarding plan or find new talent, please get in touch with us today.

The Right People Make Life Easier

We’ll make sure your business gets the right person. The first time. We want you to invest in someone who is a good fit for your company culture. Someone with aptitude who can capitalise on opportunities and realise your business goals.

You know how important it is to get recruitment right, but it’s not an easy process without someone to guide you through it. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll find the person you need for tomorrow so you can focus on what your business needs today.