An increasing number of employers have prioritised Onboarding as a key HR program for enhanced sustainability and improved performance.
The ability to support new or re-assigned employees to become productive and fit into the business as soon as possible has become more critical than ever.
After all, 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days and nearly 33% of Millennials look for a new job within their first six months on the job!
Best practice Onboarding is a systematic and structured process. It connects employees to the right pieces of information and the right internal and external stakeholders in an appropriate and timely manner.
When it’s done well, Onboarding can be one of the most effective, rewarding, and sustainable investments that any business can make, especially when it is a structured Onboarding program rolled out across the newly appointed employee's first 90 days.
According to The Oxford Handbook of Organisational Psychology, a well-structured Onboarding (Organisational Socialisation) program should help the new employee address the following:
1. The need to belong, which focuses on wanting to develop and sustain robust interpersonal relationships.
2. Social exchange theory, which refers to a person's perception of who they are within a specific group or community.
3. Uncertainty reduction theory, which helps an employee feel like they belong in the business, becoming more productive in a quicker time frame.
4. Social identity theory, which supposes that people have the need to decrease unfamiliarity regarding a person or situation by learning about it.
Research on the impact of effective Onboarding programs shows that it can help accelerate the integration of new employees into the business and reduce unwanted employee turnover.
So what can a successfully structured onboarding program look like?
Based on our work with employees, we believe that an Onboarding program should start before Day One and deliver the following:
1. Provide a context of onboarding the new employee beyond their own job description - importantly to the wider business.
2. Make onboarding a process across the first critical 90 days.
3. Help the new employee understand the nuances of your business culture.
4. Enable the new employee to network with internal and external stakeholders.
5. Allow the new employee to know where they can make quick wins to impress others and gain confidence.
Providing an Onboarding program makes sure your new employee understands how they can see where they can add value quickly so they feel they belong, are part of the team, and are definitely adding value to the company.
With a structured Onboarding program that supports them across their first 90 days, new employees will feel much more engaged when they notice that their employer is willing to invest time, money and resources - not just an orientation day or two that throws them in the deep end to muddle through.
The end result is a “win-win”: With an onboarding program, employees will be more confident that they can contribute to the team. They will be more effective - with the added benefit that their employer will benefit from increased retention and improved time to productivity.
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