Change is inevitable, but it can be costly to your organization—especially if it manifests in a revolving door of employees. Did you know, however, that you can decrease the number of employees that turn over each year by improving the way your human resources staff recruits and onboards new hires?
In an article he contributed to Training Magazine entitled "New Hire Onboarding as a Driver of Employee Engagement," Kyle Lagunas writes: "Many organizations recognize the benefits that result from a highly engaged workforce—improved retention and employee and team performance, to name just a couple. But few organizations have strategies in place that foster engagement in a significant and sustainable way." In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Brandon Hall Group, the company by which Kyle Lagunas is employed: "54 percent [of organizations] saw significant gains in employee engagement metrics, including employee turnover, absenteeism, productivity, and employee satisfaction due to employee onboarding."
When should employee onboarding begin?
Employers should be onboarding potential candidates long before they become new employees. More specifically, the onboarding can begin when your candidates are reviewing your organization and your available opportunities. This may include your working environment, including the company culture, values, mission and even your team members. In turn, your candidates will become engaged from the very first impression, resulting in more productive, loyal new hires.
Business-skills training in your employee onboarding
In more instances than not, a successful employee starts with a successful onboarding. Beyond just educating your new hires on the anatomy of your organization, supporting them with coaching sessions, employee shadowing and recurring feedback will help them develop the skills they need to take on assignments early with ease and continue to build that momentum over time. This is especially true for millennials, who are commonly categorized as an age group that lacks business skills. According to a report conducted by ETS: "Millennials may be on track to be our most educated generation ever, but they consistently score below many of their international peers in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments."
Employee onboarding leads to better job performance
Despite the facts found in the report, your onboarding methods can be improved to turn every new hire into a loyal company asset. So formulate your onboarding process around more standardized practices, such as skill-building, company processes and business etiquette.
One way to assess your new hires skills is through an informal session with other members of their team. This way, your new hire can assess the skills they have thus far and ask their team members any questions they may have to grow with the group. Informal sessions are also a great way for your new hire to acclimate and find comfort in their department. To ensure that your new hires have the problem-solving skills they need to make clear, smart business decisions, help them hone their potential by distributing assessment tests during your onboarding to gather insights on the skills they currently have and what they need to work on.
The format can mirror the step-by-step plan of action featured on Fast Company: "When you approach problems systematically, you cover the essentials each time—and your decisions are well thought out, well planned, and well executed. Provide a checklist and mark off each item as it is achieved so that others feel that they are achieving their goals and moving away from problems, obstacles, and challenges as they take action steps. This will keep them motivated and in motion." Some other effective training methods for developing skills include training videos, webinars and even classroom training. Together or on their own, these methods help your new employees increase productivity and credibility over the course of their onboarding.
Now that you understand when your employee onboarding must begin, you may be wondering what the anatomy of an effective onboarding is. This may include an orientation of your company culture and performance values, insight into your business growth strategy, new hire activities, first-week feedback and more. By providing your new employees with the resources they need in order to perform well, you will ultimately free up management's time to grow the business.