The Importance of World-Class Onboarding Practices

The success of an employee’s first 90 days on the job is more important to both that person and the company than any other period of time they will work there. This is because how the employee understands the company and its expectations and acclimates to them will determine their success and whether they will stay with the company and become a contributing part of it. That process is called onboarding, and here we will discuss many of the reasons it’s so important.

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process a company uses to provide their new employees with the training and information they need to do their job, understand their role and what the company expects of them, and acclimate to the company’s culture.

Most people are familiar with the concept of orientation, but orientation is only a small part of the onboarding process. Orientation takes care of initial tax and benefit paperwork and legalities, goes over the rules and regulations found in the employee handbook, and assigns the employee a desk or a laptop. It can take between a few minutes and a couple of days.

Onboarding is far more extensive. It engages employees and provides them with the training and resources they need to succeed and become part of the company’s greater mission. Why should companies focus more effort on onboarding?

Onboarding can lower turnover. Turnover is extremely costly for a company, and not just because finding and training new employees is time consuming and expensive. The company forfeits any knowledge and productivity they invested in creating with every worker who quits. Losing employees is also hard on the rest of the workforce who have to scramble to make sure all the work gets done.

This means that any company with high turnover is not performing anywhere near capacity.  Too much effort is being spent plugging the holes in the ship’s hull, and not nearly enough is spent steering it. If you think this is uncommon, it’s not – up to 50% of turnover happens during employees’ first 18 months. That’s failed onboarding.

Onboarding provides employees with the tools they need to succeed. This ranges from important safety information and training to a fundamental understanding of what the company expects and how they can thrive within it. No one starts a job knowing how the company measures and rewards success. That’s learned over time, too often by trial and error.

Many onboarding programs will team new hires up with mentors who can show them the ins and outs they might never learn without a person available to help and guide them. Often personal connections tie people to a place far more effectively than even remuneration can. From the company’s standpoint, this is an opportunity to positively influence employee behavior from the outset and create positive relationships.

Onboarding reinforces the company’s culture. Every company has a culture. It can be hard for new hires to immediately understand it and adapt themselves to it. Learning about the company’s vision, mission, and core values is a big part of this, but it’s also seeing how these ideas play out in the day-to-day interactions between employees and between employees and management. If a new hire doesn’t come to understand the company’s culture, they will feel awkward, out of place, and they will be more likely to leave.

Another aspect of culture is seeing what the company does for its employees, whether that is career development, educational opportunities, social functions, or mentoring. If the new hire understands better what the company can offer to employees who invest their talents, they are more likely to stay and work harder.

Onboarding ensures compliance. Compliance with legal, safety, and regulatory requirements protects both your employees and your company from risk. Your compliance program should be a core part of your onboarding process, educating employees on how they should interact with employees and customers and conduct themselves on the clock and off if they are representing the company.

You want your employees to be performing their jobs to the best of their ability, and in a way that brings them satisfaction. If they feel good about the work they do, they will be more engaged and more likely to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Setting them up for this success begins with a successful onboarding program. If you believe your onboarding program could be more effective than it is now and would like help, call us at Prometis Partners. We are here to help brainstorm solutions and implement better strategies for business success.

Vincent Mastrovito

Vincent Mastrovito

[email protected]
(616) 622-3070
250 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 400 
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

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