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How to Improve Onboarding Within Your Organization

How to Improve Onboarding Within Your Organization

Onboarding is a crucial element of organizational success that is too often overlooked. Many organizations see this process as simple and opt to spend as little time acclimating employees as possible. But this process can impact the amount of time an employee is with your organization, whether they can contribute to your positive culture, and how effective they will be. 

Luckily, we have crafted a guide on best practices and how you can implement an effective onboarding process within your organization. 


What Is Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into your organization. When effectively onboarded, employees gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and behaviors to succeed in their roles. The process can be lengthy or condensed depending on the organization and will typically consist of filling out the necessary paperwork, meeting with new coworkers, and experiencing company culture firsthand. 

Effective onboarding offers genuine benefits for organizations. According to SHRM, employee turnover can be as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. And a Gallup poll found that an employee’s perception of an organization begins with their first interactions with the company, including the sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding processes. Unfortunately, Gallup also found just 12% of employees feel their organization does a great job onboarding new employees.



How to Maximize Employees' First Day

The first day is a critical part of the hiring process for employers. It is an opportunity to make a lasting impression on new hires and a good one at that. While it may seem obvious, hiring is only the beginning of the relationship with your employees, not the end. 

Employers need to think about long-term success. Teaching employees about the organization from the ground up can give them the tools they need for a strong start within the organization. One important topic to cover is your organization's values and core principles. This will immediately instill the mindset that you expect from your employees. You should also discuss your expectations for the employee and their role. Explain to them how they will fit within the organization and where they will make their mark. 

Another valuable topic to include is the organization's general logistics and cultural norms. Get your new hires acquainted with the organization's daily operations earlier than later. Include information about parking, entering and exiting the building, lunch rooms, etc. 

The key here is to incorporate as much information as possible into your onboarding training while keeping it streamlined. What are the office hours? When are lunch breaks? Are remote or hybrid opportunities available? How are raises typically achieved? How is time off allocated? All these are important questions your employee will likely want to know. Show your new hires that you intend to remain transparent and upfront with them throughout their tenure with the company. 

To ensure these topics are covered consistently with each new hire, you should develop an agenda that’s used throughout the organization. Here at BerniePortal, we have a Manager Handbook that outlines down to the minute what managers should be covering on an employee's first day.

Finally, it is always a good idea to reiterate how employees can access the information discussed in the meeting. If you’re using an HRIS, like BerniePortal, you should store it there. Ensure employees feel comfortable reaching out to you should they have further questions, concerns, or just want to know something else about the company. 



How to Prioritize Retention During Onboarding

An effective onboarding process aims to seamlessly integrate an employee into your organization so that they feel confident making a long-term commitment to the company. Creating systems for your onboarding process, like checklists, is the first step toward building a retention-based hiring process

HR teams that use the following best practices can get closer to perfecting their approach to retention-focused employee onboarding:

  1. Onboard Online: Create an efficient procedure by onboarding online with a human resources information system (HRIS). Onboarding online allows teams to eliminate the need for paperwork, decreasing the time it takes to onboard a new hire. Online onboarding enables teams to record new hire documents without additional steps.

  2. Onboard Before New Hires’ First Day: Begin onboarding before day one to bypass the stress of new hire paperwork. As a result, new employees can begin learning their position sooner.

  3. Compile a Culture Guide: Employees should review and acknowledge the company Culture Guide during onboarding. This elevated employee handbook should include sections on governing principles, operational policies, benefits, leaves of absence, and general standards of conduct. It should also be readily accessible to every employee at all times (HRIS onboarding software makes this simple and streamlined).

  4. Prepare an Agenda: On an employee’s first day, HR and hiring managers should prepare an agenda establishing a timeline of tasks and goals and the steps to get started. This is best accomplished by using a 30-60-90, a list of expectations, projects, and responsibilities that new hires need to succeed in their first three months on the job.

  5. Define Available Resources: It’s easy for new hires to feel overwhelmed on day 1. HR can alleviate some of this stress by clearly defining the resources available to them. These resources should include procedures, communication channels, and platforms where information can be accessed. 

The onboarding process is critical to an organization’s success and future growth. It may seem like a simple tool to acclimate new employees as quickly as possible, but it holds so much more value than that. Be sure to allocate sufficient time and resources toward strengthening this process within your organization. 


Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with onboarding and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics 

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