Employee onboarding is the getting-to-know-you period for a new worker and his or her employer. And it's as much about the employee getting to know the
employer as it is about the employee learning how to do a job!
Bare-bones employee onboarding offers little more than training on immediate job tasks. During strong employee onboarding, however, an employer may cover benefits, the firm's fiscal health, and department organization, along with giving the new employee a big dose of culture and values. It's an opportunity to give new hires "the big picture" of what a company is all about, and onboarding helps new employees figure out where they fit into that big picture.
Consider the following case for strong employee onboarding:
Hiring is an expensive process, in terms of both time and money. Looking for a new team member requires human resources staff and hiring managers to write job postings, sift through applications, schedule and conduct interviews, and build job offers (and counteroffers!).
Once an offer is made, then there's the cost of creating a new workspace, equipment, and, in some cases, paying for relocation expenses. According to a study by the University of California at Berkeley, the average cost of replacing blue collar workers is $2,000, and professional employees may cost up to $7,000.
That said, employees who complete a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to be at the company three years later. It is thought that almost 90% of new hires decide whether to stay on within the first six months — so clearly, it's important to make a great impression right off the bat!
Strong employee onboarding makes new hires feel ready to get to work. They have seen the big picture and can start making connections between their position and those of their co-workers, and even the links between their department and other departments.
Managing to your values and strategy gives employees a solid foundation on which to work. Employees who understand their company's goals and are given independence to meet those goals are prouder, more committed, and produce higher quality work.
Strong employee onboarding is a way to really recruit another member to your team. Yes, new employees are on the payroll, but with strong onboarding, they buy into the culture and their decisions and performance are driven by the company's values. The internal brand is strengthened by strong onboarding, and, as a result, external clients are more likely to report consistent (and hopefully positive!) interactions with your company.
Your employees are the front line of your business. They’re the ones interacting with customers, talking about their job to their friends, representing you on social media. How they view see your company and how others will view it are joined at the hip.
The long and short of strong employee onboarding is that it produces a notable ROI for your company. But the intangible benefits of engaged, brand-minded employees may be greater than the fiscal rewards.
How does your onboarding process stack up? When was the last time your overhauled your onboarding experience? Please share in comments! We'll explore the wrong way to onboard a new employee in the next part of the Onboarding 101 series.