When envisioning onboarding an employee, does it bring about an image of handing over a new employee handbook and showing the new hire where the coffee machine is? Or is it a vision that recognizes that employee onboarding represents a premier opportunity for companies to not just enable, but also inspire their new employees?
Both visions take care of the nuts and bolts of the new hire process, but the second vision also shows that the onboarding process represents a wonderful opportunity for companies to enlighten and impassion their new employees. This key difference is the “secret sauce” that can make the difference between a new hire that feels they’re just another cog in the wheel, or an employee who feels they’re a valued member of the team — capable of making many positive contributions that will have a significant effect on their employer’s business outcomes.
The Provisioning Phase
All companies have a certain amount of administrative documentation that new hires must view, sign, etc. Some companies, larger ones especially, may decide to automate this process. Depending upon the size of the company and the type of position the new hire will be filling, the provisioning phase may include benefits enrollment, equipment assignment, training curriculum milestones, and setting up a mentoring relationship with someone in the company.
It’s important to consider that one of the most important aspects of the provisioning phase is the inclusion of feedback mechanisms, both for the new hire and the process stakeholders. If the process is efficient, the stakeholders will have more time to focus on more strategic activities that support the company. If the provisioning phase fills in certain critical gaps for a new hire, they’ll be enabled that much faster to become a valuable member of the team.
The onboarding process is an ideal time to introduce new employees to all the opportunities for growth in their new company. Employees who are provided with clear expectations for their current role, along with the necessary milestones they can work toward in order to advance their career, have the encouragement and guidance necessary to chart their preferred path of growth within the company.
During the interview process, companies often discuss the educational opportunities and/or advanced training they offer, however, the enlightenment phase of the onboarding process is a good time to reiterate these benefits. New hires can then incorporate these opportunities into their own personal strategy on how to advance their career. Offering educational/training perks benefits employers too, as employees who are provided with these opportunities are much more likely to stay with an organization.
Social interaction isn’t about casual conversation between co-workers or between a new hire and their manager. Forbes offers some great tips about how to encourage new hires to actively engage with others in the company. Some of their tips include developing internal connections by introducing them to key stakeholders, inviting them to lunch with the CEO where they can discuss how their efforts can make a real difference, and assigning them an onboarding buddy or mentor to help further their progress into becoming a full-fledged, contributing employee.
What Onboarding Means to Companies
Far too often, companies will spend the majority of their time and effort on candidate sourcing, screening, and selection, only to lose employees within the first two years of employment. Indeed says it best when they point out that not only does an expanded onboarding process help employees, it also helps companies by increasing their business performance.
“A successful employee onboarding program aids employees in feeling engaged with their coworkers. High engagement increases the productivity of employees because they feel that they belong to your company and they feel motivated to grow their skills and your company’s growth.”
Employee onboarding represents a premier opportunity for companies to truly invest in their employees. By promoting onboarding as an active, growth-oriented process, employers are much more likely to reap the benefits associated with the long and fruitful partnerships they developed with their team members. If you’d like more information on how to make the most of the onboarding process, you can read our helpful guideline here, or contact us!