Why does onboarding matter?
Frequently losing new starters hits your bottom line, leaves the remaining team short staffed, affecting morale, performance, and customer experience. It can do reputational damage, too. In an age of social media, sites like Glassdoor mean an unimpressed former employee can spread their message far more widely than they could through word of mouth alone.
A successful onboarding strategy isn’t just about supporting the person that’s arriving at your business – it’s about empowering all the people who can make that arrival a success. Everyone from the IT to team members, buddies, and line managers, needs to understand their place in delivering a brilliant onboarding experience.
The onboarding experience should start from the moment of job offer, and last for at least 90 days afterwards. Helping plan out a 90-day onboarding schedule in advance makes sure everyone has thought carefully about how the new person will integrate into the team, and how best use can be made of their skills and experience. It also helps relieve stress for the new joiner, who knows what’s happening when, and what objectives they’ll be working towards.
One size doesn’t fit all when you’re onboarding new joiners. The right mix company-wide, global information about history, mission or values, with region, city or site-specific pages. From a 3D tour of the office, to a video welcome from your head of division, a presentation on your department’s key objectives, or a photo wall introducing your team members, you can deliver highly tailored content in any number of languages, without sacrificing overall brand consistency.
People like people. Whether that’s because they’re learning from them professionally, enjoy socialising with them, or they feel part of a team where they can deliver good work, the human factor is a powerful one. Strong work relationships drive both performance and retention. That’s why helping new starters build connections should be at the heart of onboarding.
What’s working? What isn’t? Where can you make improvements? If you’re not monitoring your onboarding, you won’t know. Such oversight includes not only the onboarding process itself, but also the performance of key staff – especially the line manager. Accountability is key here and an assessment by new starters of their onboarding experience should feed into this.
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