Employee on-boarding is defined by the CIPD as “the whole process from an individual’s contact with the organisation before they formally join, through to understanding the business’ ways of working and getting up to speed in their job.”
The first few weeks for any new hire can be critical in forming a lasting impression that can impact performance, engagement and ultimately, retention. But 15% of new hires that resign within the first three months cite a lack of on-boarding process as a major contributor to their decision to leave.
No matter how prepared a new hire is for a role, change can be difficult. In the first few months, new employees have to get to know their new colleagues, learn the ropes of their role, integrate into an existing team, and figure out your company culture.
To ensure a new starter’s ongoing success, a well-defined on-boarding process can make all the difference. But what are the key benefits of delivering a good employee on-boarding experience for both you as an employer and for your new team member?
First impressions matter
The experience of any new team member starts with your on-boarding process. This starts the day you send a candidate an offer of employment. In your interaction with them between an offer being made and their first day; you have the ability to make or break their first impression of your company.
A study by the Aberdeen Group of senior executives and HR staffing and recruiting functions found that 86% of respondents believed that a new employee’s decision to stay with a company long-term is usually made within the first six months of their employment.
As such, a good employee on-boarding experience can make sure any new starter’s first impressions of you as an employer are nothing but positive.
Better employee engagement
Your on-boarding experience should set a precedent for what your new starter should expect as a member of your team. A good on-boarding process should educate your new starter on your business, your values, and what it means to be ‘part of the team’.
Making new starters feel welcome can be as simple as giving them some branded merch (think a notepad, pen or hoodie), a card signed by their new team and a lunchtime get-together during their first week.
Ensuring your new employee gets off to a good start and is engaged early on can also help to reinforce their decision to leave their previous position and come to work for your company. It’s no surprise that when it is done right, good employee on-boarding can improve employee retention rates by a staggering 82% (Brandon Hall Group, 2015).
It encourages compliance with company policy
Outlining your company’s policies and procedures early on in an employee’s tenure with you can help them to apply these to their new roles from day one.
During an employee’s on-boarding, detailing your company’s basic rules and procedures like who to go to with a grievance, dress code, clock-in procedures and so on will ensure they get off on the right foot with your company and any.
Make sure that your policies are easily available to all employees and that they know where to go to find the ones that apply to them. Online HR software can help you to effectively upload and categorise policy documents and make sure that the most recent copies are easily accessible for all staff.
It’s easier to attract talent
Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree their organisation does a great job of on-boarding new employees. As such, a good employee on-boarding experience usually means that new starters are more likely to be effusive about your company to their friends and family, making attracting future talent a little easier.
When developing your employee on-boarding program, bear in mind that a staggering 75% of new hires are likely to recommend an employer to a friend of a family member after a good on-boarding experience.
This can help to support your talent attraction strategy through word-of-mouth and employee referrals. These methods of attracting talent are significantly cheaper and usually have a higher chance of success than more traditional practices such as recruitment agencies and job boards.