The onboarding process is the first interaction an employee has with a company, and it sets the tone for their entire experience. A well-executed onboarding process can make new hires feel welcome, informed, and supported, while a poor process can lead to confusion, frustration, and high turnover. In the current year of 2023, with remote work and hybrid work models becoming more common, it’s more important than ever to create a stellar onboarding process and a great team culture that sets your employees up for success.
In this article, we’ll cover four key steps you can take to set up an effective onboarding process. We’ll also include stories from companies that have successfully implemented these steps and provide resources to help you create your own process.
Step 1: Define Your Goals and Objectives
The first step in setting up an effective onboarding process is to define your goals and objectives. What do you want your new hires to achieve during their first few weeks on the job? Which skills, knowledge, and behaviors do you want them to develop? What impression do you want to create about your company culture and values?
One company that has successfully defined their onboarding goals is a tech startup called Acme. Acme’s onboarding process is designed to help new hires quickly integrate into the company’s fast-paced, collaborative culture. They start by setting clear expectations about what’s expected of new hires in terms of communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. They also provide an overview of the company’s products and services, along with training on their software development tools and processes. This helps new hires get up to speed quickly and feel confident in their ability to contribute to the team.
To define your own onboarding goals, start by talking to current employees and managers to get a sense of what skills and knowledge are essential for success in your organization. Then, create a list of specific goals and objectives for your onboarding process, along with timelines and metrics for measuring success.
Step 2: Develop a Comprehensive Onboarding Plan
Once you’ve defined your goals and objectives, the next step is to develop a comprehensive onboarding plan. This plan should outline the specific activities and resources you’ll provide to help new hires achieve their goals and integrate into your company culture.
One company that has developed a comprehensive onboarding plan is a financial services firm called Invest. Invest’s onboarding process includes a mix of online training modules, in-person workshops, and one-on-one coaching sessions with managers. They also assign new hires a mentor who can provide guidance and support as they navigate their new role. This approach helps new hires feel supported and connected to the company from day one.
To develop your own onboarding plan, start by creating a list of the specific activities and resources you’ll provide, along with timelines and responsibilities for each task. Be sure to include both online and in-person components, as well as opportunities for new hires to connect with mentors and other team members.
Step 3: Use Technology to Streamline the Process
In the current year of 2023, technology plays an increasingly important role in the onboarding process. Using digital tools can help streamline the process, reduce administrative burden, and create a more engaging experience for new hires.
One company that has successfully used technology to streamline their onboarding process is a retail company called Shopper. Shopper’s onboarding process includes an online portal where new hires can complete paperwork, view training materials, and connect with their manager and mentor. They also use a virtual reality platform to provide immersive training on customer service and sales techniques. This approach has not only saved time and resources, but has also improved the effectiveness of their training.
To use technology to streamline your own onboarding process, consider using online portals, virtual reality training, and other digital tools to automate administrative tasks and create a more engaging experience for new hires. You can also consider using video conferencing tools to conduct remote onboarding sessions for distributed teams.
Step 4: Gather Feedback and Continuously Improve
The final step in setting up an effective onboarding process is to gather feedback from new hires and continuously improve the process based on that feedback. This will help you identify areas of the process that may be causing confusion or frustration, and make adjustments to create a better experience for future hires.
One company that successfully gathers feedback and constantly improves their onboarding process is a healthcare company HealthFirst. HealthFirst surveys new hires after their first month on the job to gather feedback on their onboarding experience. Based on this feedback, they have made adjustments to their training materials and mentorship program to better meet the needs of new hires. This has resulted in higher employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
To gather feedback and continuously improve your own onboarding process, consider using surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to gather feedback from new hires. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to the process on an ongoing basis.
Resources for Setting Up an Effective Onboarding Process
Setting up an effective onboarding process can be a complex task, but there are many resources available to help you succeed. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides a guide to onboarding best practices, including tips for creating an effective onboarding plan and using technology to streamline the process.
- The TalentCulture blog provides a wealth of resources on onboarding, including articles on creating an onboarding roadmap and using social media to improve the process.
- The book “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins provides a comprehensive guide to successful transitions in new roles, including tips for onboarding and integrating into a new company culture.
- Online platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy offer a range of courses on onboarding best practices and techniques, including courses on creating effective onboarding plans, designing engaging training programs, and using technology to streamline the process.
Setting up a stellar onboarding process is essential for creating a positive employee experience and reducing turnover rates. By defining your goals and objectives, developing a comprehensive onboarding plan, using technology to streamline the process, and gathering feedback to continuously improve, you can create a process that sets your new hires up for success. Use the resources available to you to design a process that meets the unique needs of your organization and provides a positive first impression for new hires.