Companies need to take onboarding new hires seriously and utilize various workforce optimization techniques to ensure employees are quickly brought into the fold. How well a company onboards its new employees is a great predictor of how engaged and committed that employee will be to the company. According to the Work Institute, 60% of employees were more likely to still be with the company after three years when the company had a structured onboarding program.
Another study of HR professionals found that 53% of them believed the better the onboarding program, the more engaged the employee will be. And anyone who follows Gallup’s running employee engagement project knows that disengaged employees are a serious problem for employers, not just due to the employee’s own lack of productivity, but the toxic environment they create, in turn, bringing down other employees.
So start as you mean to continue, with an onboarding program that welcomes new employees operationally, technologically and socially into the company with these workforce optimization techniques.
Onboarding isn’t just about paperwork
Onboarding should start well before the new employee’s first day and continue with check-ins for well after. Some companies consider an employee’s entire first year their onboarding period, using a specific check-in process that goes beyond standard reviews.
In the week or days before the first day, a new hire can receive a welcome email that explains how the first few days or week will go, provides the names and contact information of a few key people, like their immediate manager, whoever will be shepherding them through orientation, and perhaps a peer or two. The company may also have one of the peer contacts reach out to the new hire directly to greet them and set up a welcome lunch during the first week. Social integration into a company is as critical as mastering the job requirements and tools.
Ongoing check-ins at scheduled points, say a month out, after three months and so on, are opportunities for the new hire to provide feedback, get feedback and continue to learn about opportunities and resources the company makes available to employees.
Actually, get rid of the paperwork altogether.
Everyone hates the paperwork, yet paperwork must be done. Speed up the process by using an automated workforce optimization tool that guides the new hire through each step based on workflow and business rules set by your company. It saves HR time from having to walk the new hire through it all, while making the guidance the new hire receives more consistent since it’s coming from the system instead of a person.
Schedule sessions to teach new hires how to use company technology
Every company has its unique mix of tools and technologies it uses to get work done. Even if a new hire used the same tool at a previous job, every place has its own conventions and customizations. A new employee will feel less overwhelmed once joining their team if they already have a degree of comfort using the technology they’ll need to be productive. This is another area where automated tools can help provide the training through webinars, step-through wizards and time to explore the set-up.
Take the same approach with the admin technology they’ll be expected to use as well. Putting up a “how-to” poster or guide next to the time clock they’ll be using each day is one option.Time clocks with larger screens may be used to provide some information on the quick onboarding training modules, including how to use the clock properly itself. A biometric time clock can offer placement guidance, helping new employees place their fingers or eyes in the right place to get a quality enrollment template that will be used to match future “punches.”
Create a move forward plan
A new job is all about new possibilities. A comprehensive onboarding plan includes a track that focuses on the new hire’s professional development at the company. This could include pairing the new hire with a mentor from day one and sitting with the mentor and/or manager to outline performance goals. The introduction to the company should also include clear information about standards for promotion, the availability of in-house up-training opportunities, and what external training support is provided.
Like any relationship, a company gets back what it puts in. If a new employee feels valued from the start, that this company is really investing time and resources to ensure an employee’s success, the employee is more likely to give that sort of commitment back. And having happy, productive employees remains the best workforce optimization technique around.
While ATS is passionate about time and attendance and excited to support organizations navigate workforce dynamics around timekeeping, we recommend you reach out to your regional and/or local HR chapter for more information on common workplace advice and procedures.