You've done it: You've found the newest member of the team, and they accepted the job offer. It can be tempting to rest on your laurels and celebrate, but there's still plenty of work to do to ensure your new hire integrates well from day one.
While orientation and onboarding get used interchangeably, it's a mistake. Orientation may refer to introductions to co-workers and walking the employee through their first day. An effective onboarding program is a well-thought-out system that considers what's important to the employee experience beyond that first week.
Employee onboarding starts when you receive their signed offer letter and includes how you choose to welcome them to their new team. This article will cover what an employee onboarding process entails, what makes a good one, why it matters, and how using automation can help.
What Is an Employee Onboarding Process?
An employee onboarding process goes beyond your typical tour or introduction to team members on the employee's first day. New hire onboarding includes all of the activities that will help them succeed in their new role.
You’ve already made the first impression during the recruitment process. The candidate reviewed the job description in equal measure with the benefits package and reviews about the work environment on Glassdoor.
A solid first impression can sway a new candidate, but it’s a thoughtful and welcoming company culture that will make them officially converted and loyal. Interactions need to be intentional from their new co-workers to hiring managers to the HR team. When you have a well-planned employee onboarding process, each group can take ownership over their part in integrating their newest teammate.
When planning your employee onboarding process, consider:
- When does onboarding start?
- What are the critical milestones of a successful onboarding?
- How long does the ideal onboarding take?
- What is the best feeling a new hire can have at the end of their first day?
- Which company policies are most important to share first?
- What is the role of human resources beyond new hire paperwork?
- What are key indicators of successful employee training?
- What do new hire metrics look like after the first month? Six months? The first year?
- How often do we check in on employee satisfaction? Who does it?
- What are the indicators that the employee is fully engaged?
- What medium will we use to ask new hires for feedback?
Planning the administrative tasks surrounding the onboarding steps will also include:
- Collecting all relevant paperwork
- Signing confidentiality agreements
- Confirming proof of work eligibility
- Confirming dependent information
- Completing eVerify using federal systems
- Verifying all provided documentation and credentials
A plan will form by taking time with key stakeholders to think through the answers to these questions. An onboarding checklist or onboarding template will organize your employee onboarding process, making it easier to measure success.
If you're nervous about tracking the stages of the employee onboarding process between multiple teams, consider using Pulpstream. It helps by switching from manual work-arounds and paper processing to cloud-based account management and storage that’s easily accessible to all the right parties. The increase in secure collaboration creates better outcomes for onboarding and compliance every step of the way.
3 Things That Make for a Solid Employee Onboarding Experience
Think back to your last experience starting a new job, and it's easy to remember the things that impressed you the most. Some areas to focus on that help foster employee engagement include:
A Welcoming Work Environment
Working with a group of smiling and engaged faces sends a good message. Prep the team to let them know their new team member's start date. Providing everything they need for their workspace, including a working computer and all relevant supplies, makes a new hire feel like you prepared for them.
A quick walkthrough the employee onboarding software and troubleshooting their company email set up will make them feel supported.
When working remotely, it can help if the team sends a welcome email with some trivia about themselves to keep things light and foster some team bonding from the get-go. Even a virtual team lunch for that first day can be an excellent way to bond.
The overview includes everything from explaining the hierarchy within the office to providing all the phone numbers or extensions of the people they’ll be working most closely with.
Point out key contacts like members of the HR team who can answer questions about tax forms or other personal matters. If the organization goes beyond that office, giving the new hire a rundown of how the teams work together can provide clarity that comes in handy later.
An underrated aspect in this category is providing an itinerary for the workflow of the first week. Explain how training materials will be covered and provide time for any questions.
Sending a new hire to a LinkedIn training module is not what we mean by useful training.
Learning on the job is the norm, but new hires will start more confidently in their role if they're well prepared. They need context.
Aligning new hires with an experienced team member for on-the-job shadowing is an engaging way to ensure they have the information they need to be supported while making a new work friend.
Why Employee Onboarding is Crucial to Retention
Gallup estimates that U.S. businesses are throwing away $1 trillion every year due to voluntary employee turnover. The turnover can't be chalked up to business as usual either — the same report confirms that 52% of those employees state that their manager could have prevented them from leaving the organization.
What could managers have done to save the company the time and expense of backfilling these positions? They could have invested more time into building a solid foundation from the start with best-in-class onboarding.
New hires who develop a strong rapport with their managers and receive routine check-ins rooted in trust and respect don't quit. With a shift from patching holes in the talent bucket, it frees up the HR team to focus on employee engagement.
How Automation Supports the Employee Onboarding Process
It's understandable that as companies grow, it can get harder to keep track of each employee in the traditional ways, especially with so many organizations leaping toward a remote workplace.
Automation can support your existing infrastructure in ways that make sense. It doesn't have to be an overbearing change; it can be a tailored one that suits your team.
Pulpstream has demonstrated success helping teams use automation to:
- Track learning processes, milestones, and outcomes digitally
- Document and expedite personal improvement planning for staff by sharing information seamlessly across teams
- Handle complaints and investigations efficiently and effectively, so everyone feels safe at work
Having this support means your team of HR professionals can work more effectively with hiring managers to ensure that new hires have everything they need to succeed.
Make Those First Days Memorable
Automation will never replace the human touch required for employees to feel good starting a new job. It simply clears a path by reducing time-consuming processes. It allows for more time for meaningful and insightful interaction that can help retain top talent and the top training dollars spent to onboard them in the first place.
At Pulpstream, we want to save you time. With checklists created with logic-driven taskings, no-code process flows that automatically notify key players, and flexible apps, onboarding can take hours, not weeks.
Read our e-book if you want to learn more about bringing your employee onboarding process to new heights with no-code optimization. Or, get a demo to see how we can help you streamline your operations today.
The success of your employee onboarding process can have a massive impact on employee retention, even for remote employees, so there's no better investment of time and energy.