By Nicola Choon
November 16, 2019 min read
If you’ve noticed that your employees are unengaged, frustrated, and leaving, maybe it’s time to give your onboarding programme some much-needed care and attention. It can’t just “sort itself out”—it requires some time and effort from your entire team.
To nurture your onboarding process into a self-running, effective, (yet welcoming) engine, start with identifying the main problems. Luckily, you’re not alone, and it’s possible to learn from a few common problems that other teams have faced:
At the same time, senior management may be putting off the development of a streamlined onboarding process, simply because nobody proposed a clear business case for it. Or, there’s a perception that your team just doesn’t have the resources to build one.
It’s easy to get caught up in explaining the nitty-gritty details of employee benefits and claims processes, only to neglect what’s actually expected of the role and who to approach for help. On the other hand, some companies focus too much on the big things like visions and values, while delaying more time-sensitive processes like applying for health insurance or work visas.
Gaps in information throughout the onboarding process can be confusing for new hires. It sends the message that workplace efficiency and culture is an afterthought, not a priority, and that they are expected to fill in the gaps for themselves.
The previous two points highlighted a tendency towards too little guidance. At the other end of the spectrum, some onboarding processes are so overpowering that they hold back self-expression and individuality to the point of dropping productivity levels. A study on employee onboarding techniques suggests that giving employees space for “authentic self-expression” can improve staff turnover rates by 47.2%—just by spending 15 minutes during the onboarding process to discuss how the company helps newcomers express their individuality.
It’s not great to leave your new hires swimming in the deep end without a life jacket, but neither is it effective to bury them in information about the company without opening up a two-way conversation on their own thoughts, feelings and experiences.
If you’re lacking in time and resources, consider building an online onboarding course as a one-off investment. Share the onboarding relationship across your team and ‘seed’ the community until it’s able to deliver a consistent, high-energy welcome to new hires without relying solely on one person’s time. Here’s how to give new hires an onboarding experience they’ll love [worksheet available].
Topics: Employee Training and Onboarding