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Understanding the Importance of Onboarding

August 18th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Payday HCM

A well-thought-out and well-organized onboarding system is crucial for any business aiming to strengthen its workforce and improve retention. It signals to new hires your dedication to developing each employee to meet their full potential within your company.

Onboarding is an often overlooked process, but it is something that we've seen the benefits of at PaydayHCM time and again. We’ve been in the business of helping companies simplify and improve their processes for nearly 40 years.

If you are struggling with your onboarding or feel that it could be better, we are here to help. This article will give you insight into the importance of onboarding and how it can help improve the performance and culture within your organization.

A Well-Organized Onboarding Process Shows That You Value Your Employees

When employees receive positive reinforcement and direction, they feel supported, they thrive and they become fully integrated within a company. This means better retention and engagement for all employees because of their integration into the company.

Current employees are more engaged and feel a sense of pride as they support the onboarding process. They feel a sense of pride as they help new employees acclimate to their work environment. A good onboarding process can be a powerful relationship-building tool.

A Mindful Onboarding Process Helps Identify Challenges or Concerns Early On

Some business obstacles are unpredictable but for many others, you can see them coming and proactively combat those challenges. Part of the way you can do this is through your onboarding process. Remember, onboarding is not just a week or two. It can take weeks or even months depending on the job.

Whether your onboarding process is 3 weeks or 3 months, you can use this time to head off any problems and address concerns before they get out of hand. The key to this is regular and meaningful check-ins throughout the training process. They need to be well thought out and planned to reap the benefits and build strong connections.

Go into each interview with a clear idea of what you want to ask about. More importantly, make time to listen to your employees and their needs and struggles. With well-planned, regular check-ins you are able to identify potential issues early on and revisit those in later meetings.

Having An Effective Onboarding Process Improves Employee Engagement

Gallup defines employee engagement as the “involvement and enthusiasm of employees in both their work and workplace.” They’ve also calculated a 23% average engagement among employees worldwide. That is staggeringly low and begs the question, why are so many unengaged?

At least a part of this disengagement can be attributed to poorly structured or neglected processes like proper onboarding.

The onboarding process is one of the first interactions with your organization and is significant for the new employee. They will either see disorganization or well-organized systems in place. They are either left to their own devices or receive regular and meaningful feedback and check-ins. They will either see a culture that is positive and welcoming, or they will see the same dysfunction that plagues so many other workplaces.

You can see how this would be pivotal for the new employee going forward. They will likely adopt the company culture and become active participants if they see positive signs, like good organization and meaningful interaction. If they see a status quo work environment, with the same problems common among so many other companies, they might start looking for another job immediately. In fact, a full 33% of new hires begin looking for new employment within six months of being hired.

The Quality of Your Onboarding Process Can Affect Employee Retention

As mentioned before, the onboarding process is tied to employee retention. In fact, “organizations with strong onboarding processes increase new hire retention by 82% and improve productivity by 70%.” With those kinds of numbers, why wouldn’t you want to improve your onboarding? You will create more stability, enthusiasm, and trust within your organization.

If you are experiencing high turnover or losing employees to competitors, this is one of the areas that you need to address. Remember how important that first impression is. Do your new employees feel like they are being led on an orderly path to success or do they feel like they are fighting through the chaos to get by in? It can be very daunting for new hires that are trying to adjust to a new environment.

Proper Onboarding Will Set Your Employees Up for Future Success

You want all your employees to succeed. That’s a given. But how are you helping them do that? Are you creating stability or raising doubts in your new hire’s mind? Onboarding should be a solid foundation on which your employees can build their careers or at least have a strong position within your organization.

The onboarding process preempts so many issues that may come up later. Here are the steps you can take to give your employees the best odds at success:

  1. Conduct Regular check-ins – Your regular check-ins as part of your onboarding will lead to regular one-on-ones and annual reviews.

  2. Create an onboarding checklist – Your onboarding checklist will be a sign of order and organization, assuring your new hires that they made the right decision.

  3. Present opportunities to build relationships – The relationships they form with their new coworkers through onboarding will lead to positive collaborative efforts going forward.

Where to Go From Here

There are a great many benefits that will come from an improved onboarding process. So what now? Well, we wouldn’t leave you hanging after all that. Want to know more about that onboarding checklist we mentioned? Hungry to know how you can help those new hires have the most fulfilling experience possible? Check out How to Ensure Your New Hires Have a Successful First 30 Days for more answers.

We also have in-house HR experts to guide you through this process, if you would like more help. We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years now. We can give personalized guidance, to strengthen and simplify your onboarding process. If you are questioning your onboarding process, let’s talk!

For more HR-related content, try 5 Ways To Improve New Employee Retention or 4 Reasons You Need Human Resources.

Payday HCM