Employee Onboarding – 5 Best Practices to Improve Retention

What is an onboarding process?

Onboarding is the procedure an employer should use to help a new employee acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful member of the team. Onboarding should cover the following steps:

• Preparations prior to the start date;
• An introduction to tools used;
• Orientation of the office culture;
• A chance to meet the rest of the team;
• An evaluation of the full process afterwards.

Why is employee onboarding important?

SME business owners should view onboarding as an opportunity to ensure all new starts hit the ground running and grow to become loyal satisfied members of the team.

After all, you put a lot of management time and effort into finding the perfect candidate for the job. So, you should not stop there, employers should then put as much effort into ensuring that their new employee succeeds in their new position.

Communicate often and before the employment begins

Once you have selected the right candidate for the job, and before the employment commences, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the onboarding process runs smoothly and successful:

(1) Get the employees personal information; for example, the candidates name, title, national insurance number, proof of right to work in the UK etc;
(2) Notify all relevant departments; inform your HR support, payroll, IT and anyone else that may need the new employee’s personal details. Ensure that you follow up with all relevant departments and confirm they are prepared ahead of time for the new arrival.

It is advised that employers begin the welcome process before the employee arrives. The more information that your new employee has on your company and your plan for their first few weeks, the less nervous they will be on their first day. Before an employee starts, they should be aware of the following pieces of information:

(1) The companies dress code;
(2) Office hours;
(3) What time they should arrive on their first day;
(4) The schedule for their first week.

Introduce them to the team

Generally, the first day of employment will be filled with training and paperwork. If this is the case, you are missing the chance to really welcome someone to your team. Employers should:

(1) Give the new employee a proper tour of the office;
(2) Introduce the new employee to their colleagues (remember it is not easy being the new kid at school);
(3) Ensure their workspace is stocked, organised and ready for use.

Once the employment has started – set achievable goals

Give your new employee direction and realistic goals right from the offset. By setting easy-to-reach goals, your new employee will find instant success and feel motivated about their decision to join your business.

Explain the companies long term goals

You should explain to the new employee your future goals and vision for the company and let them know where they fit in that picture. Making your employee aware of their role in the company’s long-term goals will provide them with job security and an understanding of the mission that you and your team are working to achieve.

Arrange one-to-one time each week

At Employment Law Services (ELS), we recommend that employers put aside 10-15 minutes each week for the first 2-3 months of a new employee’s employment. This will keep you informed of any potential challenges they may be facing and provide you both with some time to stay connected and engaged and provide each other with feedback.

Employer considerations

Implementing a thorough and consisted onboarding plan takes time and effort. There are a few critical errors that employers should recognise and attempt to avoid ensuring a new employees induction period runs smoothly.

(1) Avoid overloading a new employee with too much information too soon; the first few weeks in a new job can be daunting for any employee. Therefore, you do not want to give them excessive amounts of work before they are ready.
(2) Don’t assume new employees will understand everything right away; it is important that employers remember that even new employees with lots of industry experience should be given the opportunity to properly digest any additional information they are given.
(3) Don’t forget to evaluate the full process; measuring the outcome of your onboarding process should be the key to improving it. Assess your metrics and take note of any improvements you find in employee performance, increased retention and time to proficiency. Once you have the answers to this, you should consider how to improve the value of a better onboarded employee.

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

It’s all very well having an employee who is qualified and experienced for the job, but if you want to get the most out of that employee an efficient onboarding process is key. If you are an employer who has any issues or concerns about the topics raised in this blog, give us a call today for your free consultation: 0370 218 5662.