Using an Onboarding Plan to Produce Stellar Employees

Apr 01, 2014

We often view technology as something that helps HR deliver benefits, process paperwork, and track applicants. It streamlines the transactional and makes process development more manageable. But, did you know, it can also strengthen the onboarding plan that binds your employees to the organization?

Onboarding Software

Consider the onboarding process. It’s your moment to make that first impression on your new hire. And with new hires making decisions to dig in or cut and run within the first 90 days…well, you need that first impression to really hit a home run. Using the right onboarding software is the first step in creating a successful transition from candidate to employee. Without it, you risk a lower retention rate and significant impact on performance. According to the Aberdeen group, “A new employee that feels engaged in the company on their first day of work will have a greater incentive to stay at that company. In today’s environment, support for new hires is not only executed in the recruitment efforts, but more importantly, in a well-defined, formalized, onboarding process.”

Onboarding software introduces the new hire to a new way of life—the organization’s way. It’s not about living in a box and becoming the latest “robot” to join the firm. It’s about properly socializing your newest employee into the culture they will spend most of their time in. A strong onboarding plan allows you to prepare the new hire for “day one” by outlining what’s happening now, later, and in the future. Information forms can be completed well before the start date, which leaves orientation for sharing of company procedures, roles, and staff rosters.

The right onboarding software enables you to spend more time on the new hire experience and keeps the flow of information going in the right direction. It helps to align employees with the business goals and gets them mission ready. It’s not a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity when competing for talent.

The Aberdeen group provides further data demonstrating this need: “Although 90% of companies believe that their employees make their decision to stay at the company within the first six months, many of these companies do not recognize or acknowledge how onboarding impacts retention rates and time to productivity. Instead, they rely on paper-based solutions that create added costs and often leave a bad first impression that negatively affects the company brand.”

Integration

Combining the onboarding system with performance goals is the best way to ensure that new hires become integrated and socialized as quickly as possible. The sooner they feel part of the team, the sooner they are performing and contributing. There’s nothing more dissatisfying to a new hire than to feel like they don’t belong and have no idea about what’s next. They feel lost, confused, and question their decision to join the organization.

Integrating performance goals will help create a “road map” to follow. New hires will have a clear picture of what’s next and how to get there. When there’s clarity, confusion is gone and there’s more room for creativity. Milestones are achieved and success is acknowledged. Employees are more likely to be loyal, creative and put forth more effort when they see the path to success. This positivity helps to align dedicated employees to the mission of the organization. As goals are achieved, business thrives.

Don’t Fake It

The last thing you want to do is have a terrific onboarding plan and then fake your way through the onboarding process. Without software in place, you limit your abilities. Invest in the software that works for you and fits your needs. Once implemented, get excited about it. This solution will drive your employee engagement and strengthen relationships.

With the right onboarding strategy, you’ll find that succession planning is a bit easier to create and manage. If the organization is authentic, employees will want to be a part of the bigger picture, creating additional pathways to success and incorporating ideas that will propel the business forward. They’ll be on board with your mission and will want to stick around to see how things turn out.

With a clear road map that includes performance goals, employees will start off on the right foot. Your onboarding strategy, coupled with the right software, is key to experiencing greater retention numbers and higher quality performance.

So, what's your plan look like? What criteria have you and your organization used to develop your onboarding process?

Let us know in the comments. 

Launching a Successful Onboarding Initiative