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The importance of Onboarding Part One

Imagine the picture, you have spent many months recruiting for a key vacancy, reviewing multiple CVs, interviewing questionable candidates, narrowing it down to the chosen few, arranging final interviews with key team members, conducting psychometrics, finally agreeing on the right candidate for the role and Company and preparing the formal offer of employment.

Then begins the hard work, potentially negotiating on salary and benefits, gathering all their required document, including now the need for an attested certificate of good conduct, a new requirement here in the UAE - waiting for candidate’s old visa cancelation, obtaining the new work permit, and confirming the start date once it’s through.

Phew! 

A lot of work and of course time – and as we all know, time equals money.  So, all done, time to step back, pat yourself on the back and mark this down as a job completed on your to do list! Unfortunately, not.

Did you know that 90% of employees decide whether they’ll stay with a Company, or leave, in the first six months?  The good news is that new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the Company after three years.  Losing an employee due to their experiences of being confused, feeling alienated, or lacking confidence is a sign of poor onboard programming and doesn’t make good business sense.

The first step in converting a promising job candidate into a successful employee lies in your Company’s onboarding process. 

When a new employees onboarding is conducted correctly, it leads to:

  • higher job satisfaction,
  • Company commitment,
  • decreased turnover
  • better performance levels
  • career complementing
  • lowered stress,


All of which will reduce attrition.  Companies with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity and 50% greater new hire retention.

Many companies confuse orientation with new employee onboarding and the two are not the same. Orientation is the start of new employee onboarding, but the actual onboarding is going through an onboarding process flow chart that typically includes: employee performance acceleration, performance objective setting, and instilling the company culture within the employees.

 An onboarding process does not need to be that complicated, Google found that a simple reminder alert email sent to the hiring manager the day before the new hire starts can reduce new hire time to productivity by a full month, a whopping 25 percent faster.

 Rather than burdening managers with a bunch of requirements and a structured process, it settled on a voluntary process that is owned by the new hire’s manager. The goal of this just-in-time reminder checklist is to prompt managers about the five small tasks that have proven to have the highest impact on the productivity of their new hire. The five critical tasks that are listed in the email alert are:

  1. Have a role and responsibilities discussion.
  2. Match your new hire with a peer buddy.
  3. Help your new hire build a social network.
  4. Set up onboarding check-ins once a month for your new hire’s first six months.
  5. Encourage open dialogue

 
The five recommended actions of this reminder email checklist cover increasing two-way communications, building the employees support network, and scheduling periodic meetings with the new hire. But the reasons why the approach worked are as important as the action steps in the message.

 In next weeks blog, I will be looking deeper into Googles onboarding process, detailing why it works, how this can relate to a much smaller business and how you can introduce something similar into your Company.

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Claire Donnelly

Written by Claire Donnelly

A Business Growth and HR Strategist helping medium size companies to Scale Up using proven systems. Claire is an MCIPD qualified Human Resource professional, with 25+ years’ experience working within various industries and 10 + years’ experience of HR practices throughout the Middle East. As a HR Generalist she has held a number of senior and Board level HR positions. She is experienced in working at both strategic and tactical levels.

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