The Importance of Employee Engagement During Onboarding

Posted by Jennifer Patterson  /  June 17, 2015  /  Employee Training   —   1 Comments ↓

importance-of-employee-engagementIn today's business environment, staffing can feel like a revolving door, which is especially frustrating when you consider the costs of turnover—both hidden and evident. What if you could alleviate the rising cost of employee turnover? Don't underestimate the importance of your onboarding plan.

Emphasizing the importance of employee engagement during onboarding

"Onboarding plans are intended to make new employees familiar with the overall goals of a company and support them as they embark on early projects all in an effort to achieve the perception of success (and productivity) quickly," writes Peter Vanden Bos of Inc. "The ultimate payoff is to reduce turnover and encourage workers to stay with an organization for a longer tenure." Many employers are so consumed with their recruiting process that they often think once they have hired the best talent, they don't need to invest in the onboarding process. Wrong. In order to set new hires—and the organization itself—up for success, the focus has to be on the recruiting process and onboarding, as they can make or break the rest of an employee's life cycle.

How to build an effective onboarding process for your new hires

Engaging a potential candidate from the initial impression is rapidly becoming more vital to an organization's success than ever before. Whether it be the first time he or she learns of an available position, or throughout the selection of the hiring stage, your potential candidates should get a glimpse into your organization's working environment, including the company culture, mission, values, levels of communication, etc. In turn, your potential candidate will become engaged with the inner workings of your organization from the start, and only become more engaged, productive and loyal over time.

Now that the importance of onboarding has been established, what tools and resources do you need to leverage in order to streamline your process? The truth is, if you introduce your new hire to the onboarding process and conclude it on the same day, chances are he or she will become overwhelmed immediately and disengaged over time. To prevent this, approach your onboarding revamp with a multi-level mentality. A multi-level or multi-step process helps break up onboarding into a series of hands-on activities and interactions. In doing so, new hires are more likely to digest the information you're delivering, and, as a result, become more engaged and likely to retain it.

This is where virtual training can play a vital role in your onboarding process. The reality is, as a manager, you likely don't have an entire day, week, or month to dedicate to training your new hires on processes and software. Direct your new hires to a dashboard of granular, how-to videos and webinars with which they can interact. That way you can focus on your core responsibilities, while your new hires will still get the education they need in order to remain productive and contribute to the growth of your organization. In addition to a comprehensive dashboard, create a test environment or have sample files readily available so that your new employees can familiarize themselves with your processes and software as they encounter them.

Assimilation can happen much more quickly

Now that you have provided your new hires with their initial learning opportunities, it's time to discuss the importance of establishing office relationships. By including introductions to all team and department members, your new employee can understand how his or her role fits among the others. Furthermore, establishing connections among employees can both boost morale and connect the new employee with subject-matter experts in both internal processes and the industry as a whole. You can facilitate quicker responses in case something goes wrong, as your new hire will know where to find this subject-matter expert.

The reality is the more engaged an employee feels in the greater company, the more likely he or she is to feel comfortable collaborating. And while you likely spent a significant amount of time developing your recruiting process to ensure that your new hires absorb your company culture and ethos, it's also critical to ensure that your employee doesn't lose that connection over time. The more connected your employee is to your organization and company culture, the more likely he or she is to contribute to your company in a positive and beneficial way.

Want to learn more about the different types of virtual training available, and how you can integrate them into your onboarding process? Download our complimentary eBook, "Choosing a Virtual-Training Method that Meets Your Needs."

Topics: Employee Training