5 Ways to Improve Your Onboarding Process
When it comes to the onboarding process, the way this is handled can make a huge difference in terms of how new employees settle into the business. Your onboarding process can also impact your retention rates, as new staff members are often more inclined to stay if they quickly find their groove. And a high retention rate can make your business an even more desirable place to work!
Essentially, having a great onboarding process can only lead to positive outcomes. So it’s worth the time and effort to review your current process, and see where improvements can be made. We’ve looked at five easy ways you can improve your onboarding process below:
1. Review Your Training Programme
While your current training and induction processes may be more than serviceable, it’s unlikely that they’re absolutely perfect! Take a look at your organisational-level training first, such as health and safety procedures and financial processes. See if the way this information is conveyed can be improved on, and if any further information is needed.
Next, consider the training given within different departments. Ask each team to go through their training process, and see if everything that’s included is necessary. Does the training reflect the work members of the team carry out on a daily basis?
2. Talk With New Employees
As well as reviewing your overall onboarding process, it’s also important to check in with each new staff member individually. Perhaps once a week, have a chat with them about their progress, and how they’re settling into the job. You can also pass on any feedback you’ve received from other employees. These chats can go a long way to making your new staff feel valued and welcomed into the business.
It may also be a good idea to pair up new employees with a mentor or someone on their peer level, so that they have someone to check in with on a regular basis. If you or the hiring manager only has a one-to-one chat with new staff about once a week, this probably won’t be sufficient in terms of task-based or minor questions.
3. Ask Current Employees About Their Onboarding
If you really want to know what your onboarding process is like, ask the people who have been through it. They should be able to offer insights into stronger and weaker areas, especially if they joined the company relatively recently. They may even be able to compare the process to that of other organisations they’ve worked for.
One of the easiest ways to find out about people’s experience with your onboarding process is to create an anonymous survey. A survey can help you understand the opinions of your staff, and will show you what you’re doing right, as well as where you can improve.
4. Reach Out to Other Business Leaders
As a leader, you’ll undoubtedly have contacts within your industry. And because every leader will have a different approach to onboarding new employees, it’s sensible to speak to your peers about what their experiences have taught them. You can then use this information to help with your own processes.
Of course you may prefer not to speak with other leaders directly. If so, there are plenty of onboarding case studies you can find online – these don’t necessarily have to be within your industry. There’s plenty you can learn from the experiences of any organisation, regardless of their size or speciality.
5. Put a Formal Process in Place
Don’t just give vague instructions to those involved in the onboarding process – make sure everyone knows their role, and what structures to follow. Having a formal process will also ensure that no new hire will be forgotten, and are instead simply left to integrate themselves into the business.
The onboarding process should include plans for what a new employee will be doing on their first day, week, and month. It should also include a structure to help new staff members to be introduced to the rest of the team. This may involve team lunches, a buddy system, team email chains, or walks around the office, making introductions. In all likelihood, your onboarding process will include a combination of these things!
Overall, a proper onboarding process will include a formal structure, input and feedback from colleagues and other business leaders, as well as time set aside to chat with new hires. The process should furthermore be reviewed regularly, so that it’s always being improved upon.