How to think of your employee onboarding process?
Employee onboarding can be challenging as companies grow and it is often approached in a reactionary way as a last minute task. However, research shows that a structured onboarding process has a crucial impact on employee retention. Moreover, on a human level, we can empathize how it feels to go through a bad onboarding process because chances are that we’ve experienced it ourselves.
If you’re already thinking about employee onboarding, Great! You might be wondering how to structure your process. Here’s some industry best practices to guide you.
Think of it as a holistic journey
Onboarding processes are the first touch points that reflect the brand and culture of your company. It is also the time a specific team within your company has its newest team member! Take advantage of it by proactively engaging your hires right from the get go. Using the journey mental model, we can also think of new hire needs along different points of time. Companies with great journeys have a holistic 90 or even 180 day plan that starts from the time the offer letter is sent. Journeys can be split into phases:
Preboarding: This stage can be defined as anytime prior to the first day of your new hire. You can use this time to leverage the excitement from the offer letter to create a plan around engaging your new hire by connecting them with their specific team and overall company vision.
Some specific communication ideas include:
- A welcome video from the hiring manager and the team
- Sharing company mission and values
- Key forms to fill and documents to sign
- How to prepare for the first day
- The agenda for orientation activities
Onboarding: This stage lasts for anywhere from 60-90 days or even more. The new hire has finally started their first day. So exciting! It is important to understand that they are in a new environment and unsure what to do; guidance is crucial. Take advantage of this by partnering up with your hiring managers to facilitate the right connections and making sure they have a smooth road to ramp up at their specific role! Be mindful that some roles could require more hands on training while some might not. Some important initiatives at this phase are:
- Sending welcome emails to your team introducing your newest team member
- Meeting with your new hire to discuss topics such as goals and responsibilities
- Setting up the meetings for your new hire with team and cross-functional key stakeholders
- Team managers crafting a training plan to quickly learn key processes
- Check-ins with your new hire at set intervals to make sure they are on the right path
- Getting feedback to facilitate improvement of your onboarding process
Your specific company and culture might have some other specific needs within each phase of your onboarding process. But the most important point is to be proactive at your approach and follow through by giving the new hire, which you worked hard to recruit, the amazing onboarding experience they deserve so they feel ready to succeed within your company!