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What really matters in the onboarding process – pandemic or no pandemic.

by Keylen Villagrana | Feb 26, 2021 2:04:12 PM

Surface level understandings of the onboarding process often center on helping incoming employees learn about, acclimate to, and engage with their new workplace. But really, effective onboarding techniques help organizations retain employees.

Higher employee retention rates reduce costs associated with rehiring and retraining team members, and a smooth introduction to your company’s culture encourages employees to stick around. A research study by Glassdoor found that companies with an effective onboarding process improved their new hire retention rate by 82%. First impressions make a big difference.

Building trust with your new employees.

So, with remote workforces becoming the new normal, how do you generate the same impact across a computer screen as you would in person? For some organizations, like Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific, for example, it’s all about truly understanding the deeper purpose of onboarding.

“Onboarding is really about building the relationship…It goes way beyond those tangible things,” says Jill Rodriguez, director of human resources with BBB Great West + Pacific BBB. “It’s that feeling that they get. It’s a feeling of being a part of the team and a part of the organization.”

You can have the latest software programs and extravagant gift baskets, but at the end of the day it’s about building a connection with your new employee. For Rodriguez, it’s about being transparent with your incoming hires and taking your time to build a foundation of trust. Ask yourself, how would I want to be treated if I was being welcomed to a new company?

Here are a few things our HR team likes to keep in mind to help generate a deeper impact and connection with employees, either remotely or in person:

Allow your new hire to help shape their onboarding experience. Ask them how they prefer to engage, their learning style and at what rate. Some employees are spurt workers who prefer the process to be broken up, while others may choose to stay focused for longer stretches.

Furthermore, it helps you more effectively train your employees according to what best fits their workstyle. Some workers rely on visual aids/videos, others perform better when given step-by-step written materials. Onboarding is an opportunity to find out how your team prefers to perform.

Onboarding is beyond the first week. A common misconception about onboarding is that it’s only a stage that occurs at the infancy of an employee’s journey. In reality, an effective onboarding process is split into stages throughout the employee’s development.

It’s crucial for an employer to check in throughout the employee’s journey to determine needs and further solidify their sense of purpose within your company. How can you continue to help your employee succeed? Hearing what your employee is struggling with can help you determine any needed next steps. Rodriguez schedules 30-60-90-day check-ins.

What is unique about YOUR company. Above everything else, get your employee excited about working for you! What drives your passion every day? What sets your business apart? Helping your employee understand your purpose and their role in helping you achieve it will instantly help them feel more connected to the organization. And you’ll develop company advocates in the process.

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