Is a poor onboarding process costing your business?
Posted on 12th July 2018 by Caunce O'Hara
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 program, first and foremost, works to help integrate a staff member in your company culture as quickly as possible. But, what determines the success of your onboarding process can be a difficult thing to quantify. Is it the quality of the training provided during the process? The rate of success? Or is a factor that is completely specific to your business?
Whatever determines the success of an onboarding for your business aside, there is no doubt that having a specific structure in place for an employees onboarding can be extremely beneficial for your business in broader terms as well. There are several immediate and longer reaching benefits that such a structure can reap for your company, both short term and long term:
- 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.
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 a costly endeavour to undertake. This is because it is often time intensive, requires the focus of some of your key employees to conduct training and, ultimately, increases the amount of time it takes from the new hire starting to perform the tasks they were hired to complete. However, comparatively, you could consider it as sacrificing a small amount of work (which likely will not be up to standards in the first instance anyway) to ensure better longevity with that employee.
Establishing a Good Onboarding Process
Of course, knowing that you need a good onboarding process and actually establishing one in your business is a very different kettle of fish. 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. So long as you ensure these conditions are met in the structure of your onboarding process you should be able to ensure a higher success level – as well as less money lost – for your company’s onboarding process in the long term.
Once a good onboarding process has been established the growth of your business should begin to reflect this good practice; with boosts to employee retention, satisfaction and overall productivity.
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