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8 Must-Haves for Your Employee Onboarding Process

Starting a new job means confronting the unknown — new colleagues to meet, skills to learn, and processes to become acquainted with. An effective new hire program goes beyond ticking the boxes of an onboarding checklist (although you still need one!) and functions more like a months-long framework that accompanies new employees from the hiring process through to feeling comfortable and capable in their role. Below we look more closely at eight best practices for an effective onboarding process.

Key Takeaways

  • Employees who report having excellent onboarding experiences are over twice as likely to be satisfied with their employer.
  • Streamlining logistics improves the employee onboarding experience and allows HR and managers to focus on more impactful activities.
  • Regular conversations between managers and new hires offer a moment to clarify expectations or responsibilities.
  • Managers can leverage 90-day reviews to reiterate expectations and exchange feedback.

The Importance of New Employee Onboarding

An employee’s first 90 days in a new role are critical. According to Harvard Business School career coach Matt Spielman, an employee’s first three months in a role can predict their likelihood of success in the role, set the foundation for their working relationships across the team and with their manager, and even partially determine whether or not they’ll stay. In a 2021 article about improving the onboarding process, Gallup writers explained that employees who report having an excellent onboarding experience are “2.6 times as likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace — and consequently, far more likely to stay.”

Yet getting onboarding right isn’t easy, and only 12% of US employees believe their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. But by treating it as a process to be managed rather than a one-and-done activity, HR can create an onboarding experience that engenders high-performing employees and teams down the line.

“Onboarding is a project management task, and it’s all about identifying how we usher the project through to completion using resources like technology and other stakeholders,” said Emily Goodson, CEO of CultureSmart, a workplace culture consulting firm.

Here’s what you need to know as you build out or restructure the onboarding process at your company.

8 Must-Haves for Your Onboarding Program

1. Automated Approach to Paperwork and Logistics

Streamlining logistics improves the employee onboarding experience and allows HR and managers to focus on more impactful activities during employees’ first week, but this isn’t solely a job for the people team. HR must align with the hiring manager and IT to secure the right hardware, provide account access, and make introductions across the team.

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Source: Lattice, May 15, 2023 — By Catherine Tansey

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