On average, nearly a third of new employees leave within 90 days of getting hired, but a good onboarding program can help combat this. According to a Gallup report, employees who have a positive onboarding experience are almost three times as likely to feel prepared and supported in their role.
How do you build a plan to onboard new employees effectively?
This takes a lot of preparation and has become even more challenging with the rise of remote work. There are several steps you can take to ensure new hires have a positive onboarding experience. The first step is to create a clear onboarding plan that details specific steps you can take to set your new employees up for success.
3 Onboarding Phases
At Up Your Culture, we have defined three onboarding phases.
- Phase one is Preboarding and refers to the time between when your new hire accepts the position and their first day. During this phase, you want to do things like send a welcome email to the new hire, share interesting facts about the new hire with the team, give them access to your company’s onboarding materials, send paperwork they can complete in advance of their first day, and ensure your IT department ships all the technology they will need.
- Phase two is Orientation which is the employee’s first day and first week on the job. During this phase, you want to do things like arrange for a causal, virtual meeting with the team, schedule time with them to share the plan for the week, share company history and stories, provide more specifics about their role, and assign a fun activity like a scavenger hunt that will help them learn where to find resources they will need.
- Phase three is The Heart of Onboarding which typically lasts 90 days or longer.
6 ways to create an effective onboarding experience
1. Provide clear expectations. Focus on setting clear expectations for your new hire related to performance and metrics. This will help them understand what success looks like in their role at 30, 60, and 90 days.
2. Ask questions that will help you understand how your new hire likes to be managed. Work to better understand their goals, work style, key motivators, and learning needs. Share your work style and communication style as well.
3. Identify a few priority coaching strategies. Once you understand the new employee’s strengths and weaknesses and how they like to be managed, identify and commit to a handful of priority strategies that will help them grow over time.
4. Help them understand the company. Review your organizational chart with the new hire and explain who the critical stakeholders are related to their job. Have them schedule short appointments with a few key staff members, so they can better understand their role.
5. Assign an onboarding buddy. Pair your new hire with a work buddy which will help them feel more connected and give them a go-to person when they have questions. Microsoft discovered that those who were paired with an onboarding buddy were 23% more satisfied with their experience than those who were left on their own.
6. Describe your company culture. Clearly define your company’s Core Values and give your new hire the “rules of engagement” so they understand the unwritten rules of your company and team etiquette. For example, is it okay to turn your video camera off on large company video calls? Is it okay to use emojis in a business email? What is acceptable in one organization may appear unprofessional in another, so fill them in on the things that current employees know.
Creating an onboarding checklist of the specific action steps you want to take with each new hire will help you provide a good onboarding experience, set your new hires up for success by giving them confidence in their role, and retain top talent.