5 Secret Tips For A Successful Employee Onboarding Process

In the first 90 days, as many as 28-33% of new employees quit, which is an expensive and time-consuming challenge—but good news, it’s also preventable! In this article, we’ll share 5 top-secret tips that will take your employee onboarding from mediocre to great, so you can keep your best people:‍

  1. Onboarding has the potential to make or break an employee’s experience with your company
  2. Day 1 is too late to make a great first impression
  3. Personalized onboarding is powerful (yes, swag matters!)
  4. Make sure they have a coach or mentor
  5. Use Technology as an Aid, Not an Obstacle

Read on to find out how to leverage these secret tips to make your onboarding more successful than ever:

The Importance of an Effective Employee Onboarding Program

Employee onboarding is a crucial step in the employee life-cycle and has the potential to make or break an employee’s experience with your company. According to Suzanne Hanifin, Managing Partner at Acumen Executive Search, “onboarding is your number one recruiting strategy.” Sadly, only 29% of new executive hires feel fully prepared to succeed after onboarding, and only 12% of employees say their employers did a good job of onboarding. Meanwhile, 70% of employees who had exceptional onboarding say they have the “best possible job.”

Communicate Prior to Your New Hire’s Start Date‍

It is important to communicate with your new hire before their start date. When a candidate is offered a position, they need to know what the company culture is like, their work schedule and if there are any aspects of the job they would not be comfortable with. But once they’ve accepted the role, it’s not enough to sit back and wait for them to come in on day one. Get to know them a bit better, make them feel welcome, and make sure they understand the priorities and expectations in their new role. Knowing what to expect, including what tools they’ll be using, and feeling welcomed by their direct manager, helps a new employee feel more confident walking in on their first day.

Customize the Experience‍

It’s understandable that executive leadership can’t personally greet every new employee, particularly in large organizations, but a welcome video goes a long way, as does the personal outreach from their direct manager ahead of time. Also, some company swag (helping them feel part of the team), having their new teammates engage with them, and giving them information that you think will help them better acclimate to their new team. This may be articles or case studies to read, videos to watch, or just a one-page overview of company values and culture. Regardless of how you deliver the message, make it personalized to them, make it genuine, and ensure your new employee feels like the valued member of the team they are!

Designate a Coach‍

Ideally, your company already has a formalized mentorship program, and is already assigning a mentor or coach to new employees. However, if that’s not already the case, you can still help your new employee onboard more smoothly by giving them someone to directly help them as they get started. A great option for an onboarding coach is someone who’s been at your company for longer than your average tenure, who’s still excited and engaged with the company culture, and who can advocate for your new employee even when they’re not in the room. Especially in today’s digital world, navigating a variety of tools and having to find documents can be challenging, so having a coach where your new employee feels comfortable asking for help is invaluable.

Use Technology as an Aid, Not an Obstacle

Technology can be a powerful tool to help streamline the employee onboarding process. However, it is important to make sure you have a clear idea of what your goal is and what you want to accomplish with your new hire, before adding any technology tools in the process. Some companies automate their onboarding emails to their new hires, including their “what to expect” documents, videos or other resources about the company, and all of the Day 1 information required to get started. Make sure your new employee isn’t feeling lost as they get started—or even worse, locked out of the tools they need to do their job—and your onboarding success rate will rapidly improve. It’s impressive to a new hire when their computer is already loaded with everything they need, and their email is set up and ready to go, and they have the logins and links they need.

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