Onboarding is a Human Resource Management (HRM) term referring to the process of integrating and introducing newly hired employees into their new roles in an organization.
The onboarding process includes an orientation with other employees and executives, the setup of the workstation, familiarization with the equipment and work process, information on the company’s vision, values, and culture, expectations from the job role, and other training to maximize a new employee’s performance.
Usually, there is no time limit, but the onboarding process may last two or three days or even a couple of weeks. Ideally, a few months of onboarding guarantees a new employees will feel more confident and competent in their work.
When Does Onboarding Start?
The process of onboarding begins when the applicant accepts a job offer. It continues until the new employee is more settled at the workplace and understands their duties adequately.
Many organizations continue their onboarding process for a month or so, but HR professionals recommend that it is best to continue it for at least 90 days. Later, the employer can extend it to a year for a more transparent and effective outcome.
What Are the Onboarding Activities?
Onboarding has various ways and activities to welcome newly hired employees. There are no definite processes, so companies mainly opt for some common activities that will suit their image.
Following are some standard onboarding activities:
New hire paperwork
Employee identification handover
Policy and culture training
Employee handbook training
Job position training
Office and facility tours
Why Is Onboarding Important?
An adequate onboarding can make a significant impact on the company’s success. Research shows that proper and effective onboarding helps retain 82% of employees, increasing their productivity to 70%.
A good onboarding process also helps new hires reach their maximum productivity level at a faster rate. This process is most helpful for remote employees who already have difficulty communicating with their colleagues and executives.
However, poor quality onboarding processes are one of the reasons for more than 28% of new employees quitting their jobs after the first few months. Poor onboarding skills also diminish new employees’ enthusiasm and motivation to work.
What Are the Steps for an Effective Onboarding Process?
HR professionals and leaders agree that an effective onboarding ends only when a new hire is wholly integrated into the company and performing as expected. It is best if a company invests in providing all newly hired employees with an effective, efficient, and thorough introduction to the organization, even if they don’t have much to offer.
There are various onboarding approaches that a company can take to get the best outcome. Even simple things like providing company souvenirs or arranging a lunch meeting can make new employees feel welcome.
Some onboarding processes that an organization can follow are:
Communicating with the new hires regularly and later on a weekly basis.
Planning the new employees’ first workweek.
Setting expectations from the job position.
Being enthusiastic, positive, and friendly with newly hired employees.
Helping new hires to build a relationship with other employees.
Creating a secure and trustable environment.
Defining the roles and boundaries of each member of an organization.
Starting a new job is already intimidating and can be overwhelming at times. But an effective onboarding process can ease the worries of the new hires. It also benefits the company by retaining skillful and talented new employees.