The importance of keeping new hires happy and motivated cannot be overemphasized, especially in today’s tight labor markets. Insights from a survey reveal that 30% of employee turnover can happen in the initial 90 days. The impact of such turnover on the organization’s bottom line could be as much as 21% of the employee’s salary. First impressions matter - making it critical to make new hires feel comfortable and a part of the team from day one. Otherwise, new hires will look for better job opportunities by themselves or with the help of job consultants.
Avoiding these five common mistakes, to better engage new hires and move them to peak performance:
1. Delayed start of onboarding formalities
Research suggests that around 35% of high performing companies begin working on their onboarding processes before a new hire even enters the office. This means a vast majority of companies start the onboarding process only on the first day. Starting the documentation process beforehand through personalized outreach and share training/induction details helps new hires get acquainted with certain processes and feel more comfortable when they enter the office on their first day. Small initiatives such as a welcome note, an email with information on the company culture, dress code standards, and orientation schedule can be shared with the new hire before their first day at office to help them stay engaged and excited about their future at the company.
2. Piles of manual paperwork
Although paperwork is an inevitable part of a new hire’s joining process, in today’s digital world, savvy employees expect the same conveniences and innovation that they are used to as consumers. Loads of monotonous paperwork on the very first day of work can be confusing and demotivating for a new employee and result in human errors. 39% of companies report that lack of automation leads to poor onboarding processes and leads to managers not having the time to ensure effective onboarding.
3. Failing to have a buddy system
To make new hires feel comfortable and help them get settled in their new jobs, assign an onboarding partner or buddy. 56% of new hires say having a buddy or onboarding partner helps them to feel connected to their immediate team and to the company as a whole, and also helps them understand company policies and procedures, much faster. Buffer, for instance, assigns three buddies to every new hire – leader, role, and cultural buddy – to walk new hires through company values, role requirements, and cultural-fit.
4. Information overload
Overloading new hires with too much information as soon as they join is a major mistake that many companies still make. New hires often go through an induction/orientation process mostly on the day they join, which is aimed at informing them about the employer's mission, core values, and culture. However, often times, the orientation programs tend to be content heavy, with back to back presentations given by different executives on various processes/departments etc., making it difficult for new hires to comprehend. Prioritizing the important topics to be covered and wrapping those first and then slowly covering other topics as it becomes necessary is a good idea to keep the new hires engaged. Use of latest tools and technology such as videos, quizzes, and social media in the session also helps in breaking the boredom and drawing their attention. Canva, for example has a very engaging approach of onboarding – showcasing a fun filled and attractive video for the new hires, wherein, an employee appears on a skate board introducing the company, followed by funny introduction of various team members at different levels, and finally moving on to company culture, and various products.
5. Lack of constant communication
Lack of constant communication is one of the major issues that a new hire faces when they join. It is important to keep a pulse on how and what is being -done to keep the new hires connected, engaged, thus making them feel more valued. Setting up formal meetings and having informal conversation at regular intervals about their progress is a great opportunity for the employer to build relationships and help in creating the link with company culture for the new hire. Having a structured process for soliciting feedback and more importantly taking action on them is also essential for the successful transition of the new hire. According to a talent report, 53% of HR professionals agree that the employee engagement levels witnessed a significant increase, when the onboarding process is robust. Also, timely and well-planned communication has been reported to lead to less employee turnover and better engaged employees.
Nurturing new hires into rock star employees takes concerted effort and investment. Designing a simple yet effective framework can help organizations avoid typical onboarding pitfalls and drive a structured approach for two-fold benefits: enhance ROI on onboarding processes while maximizing new employees’ chances of success.