Just recently I was reading some posts in a LinkedIn group, one, in particular, caught my eye. The poster had left his new job (he wasn’t working in HR) after what he called two miserable days!
On his first day, he was left alone to read through the company handbook, and his second began with being rushed round the company site saying hello to over a 100 employees! The rest of the day he was pretty much ignored and left to find something to do.
This to me is absolutely shocking and shows that no thought had been shown towards a new starter. OK so there may some companies/organisations that have the sink or swim culture but they are very much in the minority.
When you start looking and researching “Onboarding” you soon find horror stories abound.
When you get a new starter you are at risk of losing then over the first so many days (I use markers at 30 – 60 – 90 – 120 days), it’s madness not to onboard new employees, after all, they will have cost the company a great deal of money by the time they walk through the front door on their first day.
What does a good onboarding process look like?
Implement basics prior to the first day on the job
Make the first day on the job special
Design and implement formal orientation programs
Create and use written onboarding plans
Be participatory in nature
Consistently implement onboarding
Monitor progress over time
Utilise technology to facilitate the process
Recognise onboarding takes place over time- use milestones- 30 – 60 – 90 – 120 days on the job up to 1-year post-organizational entry
Engage key stakeholders in planning
Include key stakeholder meetings
Be clear in terms of the who, what, when, where of onboarding
Onboarding isn’t making the new employee spend a day ploughing through a company handbook nor is it sink or swim.
It’s the little things like making sure they have a door pass, computer password (many companies break the law (Data Protection Act/Misuse of Computers Act) by expecting new employees to either use a former employee’s password or borrow one from another employee (perhaps on leave)),
Orientation is important, spending a day in a different department to see what goes on. I know one company that makes all new starters (including if they will be working in an office) complete a week on the factory floor so they understand how the companies products are made.
The Aberdeen Group published a report called Onboarding 2013: A look at New Hires. In this report eBay was used as a case study and the following was discovered. Customer Retention Improved by 15 %; Revenue per Full-Time Employee 17% Higher for Best-in-Class Onboarding Organisations
Challenge: With nearly 30,000 employees in 28 countries around the world and minimal HR resources, eBay recognised their need to improve the new hire experience and create efficiencies through a comprehensive technology solution.
Solution: By using technology, the company has begun to improve the new-hire experience by automating both tasks and socialisation aspects of onboarding.
Results: eBay quickly reduced the administrative cost of onboarding by 25% and saved significant operational costs and improved productivity by reducing its onboarding process steps by 60%.
The report made the link that better onboarding produced better performance. In organisations with best in class onboarding, 91% of first-year employees were retained and 62% met their first performance milestones on time, compared with only 29% in industry average organisations and a poor 17% in the rest.
Aberdeen also found that the best in class organisations using technology to automate payroll forms, benefits enrollment, new employee forms, workflow, tasks management and provision tools to manage permissions/systems access. They also say that there is a strong correlation between onboarding and learning integration as they share similar productivity objectives, as 26% of best in class organisations enrol new starters in L&D programs compared to 11% of others.
In my next post, I will be looking at Strategic Onboarding and how it links to ‘Business Social‘
The report Onboarding 2013: A look at New Hires was sponsored by the Aberdeen Group and may now require a fee to view, please see: http://aberdeen.com/
The item was originally posted in the Numbers Game blog on 17 September 2013