Unfortunately, onboarding doesn’t have a great reputation. Think awkward introductions, piles of paperwork and lots of waiting around. Your company can do better, and here’s why you should.
First Impressions Make a Long-Term Difference
According to Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of The Interchange Group, “Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged.” (SHRM, 2017) This may sound like quite a bit of pressure, but the saying holds true, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Poor Onboarding Leads to Higher Turnover
When we go to someone’s house or walk into a business, we expect a greeting. This simply is good manners. If an employee shows up for their first day and you’ve done nothing to prepare, you’re sending the message, “We don’t value you or our people.” And, just like that, your new hire is already thinking about looking for another job.
Your Company’s Reputation Is at Stake
Onboarding is an important part of your business model. Therefore, a disorganized, outdated and/or poorly executed program will cause new hires to raise their eyebrows. After all, if you can’t get new-employee orientation right, how many other problems does your organization have?
5 Ways to Improve Your Onboarding Process
- Start with a Warm Welcome
First and foremost, have your new hire’s workstation ready to go. Some organizations add excitement by decorating the space with free company swag. If you want to celebrate your newest employee’s arrival as a group, consider hosting a coffee break meet-and-greet or a pizza party lunch.
- Involve the Entire Team
You don’t want people asking, “Who’s the new person?” Give everyone a head’s up by sending out a new hire email. Introduce your newest team member and include a brief biography. Providing some background information allows everyone to connect more quickly.
- Personalize the Experience
Rather than telling new employees, “Here’s how we do things around here,” ask them, “How can your unique skills benefit our organization?” Recent research shows onboarding programs focusing on authentic self-expression lead to higher productivity and lower turnover rates. (Harvard Business Review, 2016)
- Avoid Excessive Paperwork on Day One
Of course, paperwork is necessary, but no one wants to spend their first eight hours on the job filling out forms. Try to limit paperwork time by sending things out ahead of time (preboarding) or spreading them out over the first few days. You want your new hires to be meeting people and learning the ropes, not buried behind a pile of forms.
- Have a Plan!
When it comes to onboarding, winging it is a bad idea. A pre-defined process lets you provide a consistent experience for all employees. Plus, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate your program and work toward making further improvements.
Are You Hoping to Add Top-Level Talent to Your Manufacturing Team?
Connectology places engineers, technicians, production managers and more with industry leaders throughout the upper Midwest. We can help your company find the right people and make a great first impression. Learn more about partnering with us today!