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Is a poor onboarding process costing your business?

Posted on 12th July 2018 by

From the recruitment process to the employee’s first day of work, how long does it take for this process to put a new staff member in your office? How long from that day does it take to complete effective onboarding? Some claim that the longer this period of time is, the more money your business loses. In fact, some publications have recently made the claim that poor onboarding programs are costing SMEs collectively millions in losses every year.

So, with that in mind, what exactly is the onboarding process and how can you avoid it costing your business?

What is Onboarding?

The definition of onboarding is the process in which a new hire adjusts to the social and performance requirements of their new job, preferably in the quickest and smoothest way possible. There are those in the business world who claim that onboarding is nothing more than worthless jargon. While others have specific programs are procedures in place to ensure the onboarding process is as seamless as possible.

The benefits of a successful onboarding program are multiple, as are the issues that can arise from a poorly thought-out and poorly executed onboarding process.

Benefits of Good Onboarding

A good onboarding programme helps integrate a new staff member into your company culture as quickly as possible. But, what determines the success of your onboarding process can be difficult to quantify.

  • Is it the quality of the training provided during the process?
  • The rate of success?
  • Or is it a factor that is specific to your business?

There is no doubt that having an onboarding structure in place can be extremely beneficial.

There are several short term and long term benefits that a good structure can provide for your company:

  • Learning Curve: a good onboarding process should help to reduce your new hires learning curve, meaning that their productivity should be increased as well.
  • Communication: effective onboarding should help to facilitate effective communication between your new employee and management from day one. It should also help to give insight into their potential career path, as well as giving them access to mentors. Having someone who can be a guiding force during the onboarding process and early days of their career with the company can be a very positive factor for a new hire.
  • Retention Boost: companies with a good onboarding process are able to retain 58% of employees up to the three-year mark, compared to those that don’t.
  • Performance: giving new employees a direct outline of their responsibilities and what is expected of them from day one is known to help to boost performance. Though not necessarily a typical aspect of onboarding, it is always wise to include this role outline during the process to help ensure good performance from day one.
  • Attracts Talent: having realistic and outlined training in place can be one of the best ways to attract great talent to your business. Development opportunities are highly sought after by top talent, so having a dedicated and detailed onboarding process can be a very attractive factor to prompt them to join your business.


Onboarding Issues

Of course, there are also a number of challenges which come with implementing a successful onboarding program in your business. Though we may wish it, not everything runs as smoothly as the way we plan it.

While a comprehensive onboarding process can ensure a number of benefits for your business, it can also be costly.

This is because it is often time intensive and requires the focus of your key employees to conduct training. It also increases the time taken from your new hire starting to performing the tasks they were hired for.

However, you could consider it as sacrificing a small amount of work to ensure better longevity with that employee.

Employee help and support is vital to good onboarding

Establishing  Good Processes

Knowing that you need a good onboarding process and actually establishing one in your business are two very different things.

The exact process will vary widely depending on your industry, business structure and company culture. In fact, it is important to remember that the ‘perfect’ onboarding program can differ widely from company to company.

However, successful onboarding should always include some hallmark factors; clarity of role, formal learning, social integration and strong communication. Ensure these conditions are in your process to ensure higher success levels for your company’s long-term process.

Good onboarding processes will ensure your business benefits from improved employee retention, satisfaction and productivity.

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Author Phil Ainley, Marketing Manager