How to Take Employee Onboarding Process to the Next Level

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

December 3rd, 2018 employee onboarding  

Employee attrition has always been a major concern for organizations. Nearly 40% of employee turnover occurs in the first six months or less. Who’s fault is this? Should we blame HR for selecting flakey candidates who don’t understand the role? Is it the training team’s fault for not bringing them up to par? Or is it the fault of the managers for scaring away new hires?

The finger-pointing can go on and on. No matter who’s fault it is, this issue costs organizations a huge sum of money. We must stop the blame game and focus on stopping the real problem. Would a better recruitment strategy help? Not if the core of the problem is retention. How about hiring a retention expert? Maybe, but not every SMB can afford it.

But, there’s something even SMBs can do to retain their employees a lot longer: scale up the employee onboarding process. A great employee onboarding process has the power to retain 69% of new hires for at least 3 years. It can help the organization stem attrition and build a strong foundation of trust. So, a employee onboarding process that does the bare minimum to prepare your new hires doesn’t cut it.

You need something that will turn your new hires into loyal, long-time, productive employees for your organization. You need a great onboarding process that churns out superheroes who become torchbearers of your organization. Here’s how you can take your employee onboarding process to the next level.

employee onboarding process

What is Employee Onboarding Process?

Employee Onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to the organization’s environment and culture. However, the time taken to achieve that might vary from one organization to another.

A few organizations consider onboarding a one-day affair whereas others stretch it out for 18 months. However, for nearly all organizations, the employee onboarding process starts right after the offer letter is sent to a prospective employee. Here’s an in-depth look at the onboarding process flow.

A Good Employee Onboarding Process Flow

1. Releasing the Offer

Employee onboarding process starts right after the recruitment phase. Once an employee is selected, an HR manager sends a warm welcome email with a few essential documents like the offer letter, links to fill out digital onboarding forms, and policy documents. Keeping the approach transparent familiarizes the employee with the organization’s culture and lets them know what to expect.

2. Offer Acceptance

Once the employee accepts the offer, the best organizations will schedule a quick call to review the forms, benefits, policies, and set expectations. Keeping the new hires engaged will affirm their choice to accept the offer, and forge strong emotional ties with the organization. This is the right time to start sketching the agenda for employee orientation.

3. Waiting Period

Just because an employee accepted the offer doesn’t promise that they’ll turn up for the date of joining. During the waiting period, the employee might be open to offers from other potential employers as well. So, it is critical to build a good rapport with the employee. Let the employee know they’re valued. It’s a good idea to also plan the waiting period when you’re designing your employee onboarding process

The Welcome Swag:

LinkedIn welcomes its new hires with a swag bag that is tailored to fit the employee’s personal interests. Every swag bag includes a water bottle, notebook, a copy of “The Startup of You” (a book written by LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman), and other mysterious goodies.

4. The Day of Joining

On the first day, most new hires have mixed emotions. They feel anxious, happy, excited, and nervous at the same time. So, the primary duty of HR managers is to ensure that the new hires feel welcome and comfortable. Invoking a sense of belonging in new hires will make them feel more committed and focus better on their work.

Having a handy employee onboarding checklist will relieve the stress of HR staff. Here are a few things to do before the day of joining:

  • Keep the orientation schedule ready
  • Assign IT assets (workstation, email access, etc.)
  • Obtain necessary office supplies (furniture, keys, access card, etc.)
  • Set up a salary account
  • Assign a mentor or go-to-person who can help the employee settle down

5. Coordinating with Other Departments

It is essential to coordinate with key stakeholders (co-workers and managers) and notify them of the start date of the new hire. HR staff may enlist the help of other employees to decorate the new employee’s cubicle, organize one-on-one welcome meetings, and schedule an orientation session.

Two Truths and a Lie:

The employee onboarding process of clothing retailer Bonobos displays the brand’s inherent cheekiness. Here, every new employee starts his/her tenure starts with a game “Two Truths and Lie”. Right before a new hire’s first day at work, the HR managers send an introductory email to the entire organization. That email will include three facts about the new hire, out of which only two are true. The existing employees meet the new hire to uncover the lie and win a $25 store credit!

6. Training and Orientation

Orientation sessions give the new hire an overview of the organization’s culture and an insight into company goals. This phase offers new hires relevant information about the teams within the company, team processes, and company policies. This is the right time to set role-based goals and objectives for the next 30/ 60/ 90 days to show the new hires what they need to focus on.

Since a major portion of employees require some essential training to get started, most organizations schedule the training program to bring their employees up to speed quickly. Doing an assessment of skills will help them employers gauge the new hires knowledge and ability and develop a personalized role-specific training plan in-tune with their skill set.

7. The First Quarter

The major objective of this period is to review the expectations of the organizations and the employee and ensure they match. This phase needs to be filled with active dialogues about the progress and continued efforts of the new hire in becoming an integral part of the organization.

Here is an employee onboarding checklist list of to-do tasks that HR staff and the managers need to do for retaining the new hires long:

  • Discuss the employee’s experience and check if it matches their expectations
  • Review their performance and offer feedback
  • Check whether the employee has any concerns or issues
  • Talk about career planning and progression
  • Retrieve feedback about onboarding and any suggestions
  • Identify if they need any additional training

Etsy’s Bootcamp:

Etsy’s employee onboarding process is designed to help new hires learn about the organization and foster a strong bond with their coworkers by rotating the new employees through every team in the organization.

“You come in, spend a week with the team who hired you and then spend the next four to six weeks out on rotation with other teams.” Kellan Elliott-McCrea, CTO, Etsy.

Automating the Employee Onboarding Process

Onboarding is a human-centric process that demands a lot of time and energy, and technology goes a long way in facilitating it. Manual and repetitive tasks involved in the process can be automated to improve the experience and relieve stress for both employees and HR leaders alike.

Automation will seamlessly integrate the various stages of onboarding and enable effortless collaboration. HR managers can collaborate with stakeholders before releasing an employee’s offer, and an automated notification can be released to them all once when the employee accepts the offer.

In an automated employee onboarding process, HR managers have access to check the status of new hire documentation and verify whether the process follows the pre-defined onboarding workflow. Any delays or discrepancies will send automated notifications to all people involved. This added security ensures that the process is completed within the timeline and maintains the transparency throughout.

Level Up Your Employee Onboarding Process With KiSSFLOW

A good employee onboarding process plays a major role in deciding whether your new hire becomes a happy camper or a hiring horror story. KiSSFLOW will make your employee onboarding program effective and easy. The ready-to-use onboarding app in KiSSFLOW will map the specific tasks of the employee onboarding checklist to the appropriate stakeholders, eliminate paperwork, save time, and make the onboarding experience memorable.

Organizations can automate all the crucial and time-sensitive aspects of onboarding with KiSSFLOW’s cloud-based onboarding software. Its easily-configurable workflow and pre-built templates (based on industry best-practices), accelerate the implementation of your onboarding strategy and ensure a consistent onboarding process across all channels.

Take your onboarding process to the next level with KiSSFLOW. Sign up today for a new trial.

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