The 5 most important benefits of onboarding (and how to do it better)
Effective onboarding is essential, as it sets each new employee on a course for success. Unfortunately, according to a recent Gallup study, only 12% of new hires believe they are fully prepared and supported to succeed in their job role after onboarding. That means many companies aren’t recognizing the importance of allocating ample resources to onboarding and those that do aren’t onboarding according to best practices. So what can be done?
The 5 benefits of an effective onboarding program
If onboarding employees hasn’t been a priority in your organization, or if you need to convince key decision-makers to invest more in onboarding, consider the following stats.
1. Effective onboarding can give you a competitive edge
Less than one-third of U.S. employees believe their company does a good job with onboarding. As Gallup’s report uncovered, many employees feel unprepared because their employers simply aren’t making the effort. And if they are, the onboarding programs are not tailored to the needs of the employees. And that has a major impact.
2. Onboarding impacts business outcomes
As part of SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines series, one report focused on onboarding revealed that a full 60% of employers believe that effective onboarding positively impacts productivity and 53% believe it positively impacts customer satisfaction. It just makes sense. When you give employees the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, they have more confidence, better results and a greater sense of purpose. And this benefit extends to the customer experience.
3. Onboarding impacts retention
This is a big, if unsurprising, one. Excellent onboarding has the power to improve employee retention by as much as 82%, according to Brandon Hall Group. Retention and hiring present monumental challenges right now, especially for frontline industries. By some estimates, more than 37 million U.S. employees will quit their jobs in 2022, so the Great Resignation is far from over. In order to help keep your retention as low as possible in light of the current challenges, a foundation for success needs to be established right from day one.
4. Effective onboarding can increase employee engagement
Effective onboarding can build confidence, proficiency and community—70% of the employees Gallup surveyed who had excellent onboarding experiences said they loved their jobs. It’s easy to connect the dots from a strong start to higher overall job satisfaction and a more positive company culture overall.
5. Onboarding gets employees up to speed more quickly
It takes the average employee 12 months to reach their performance potential. In today’s high-turnover economy, that kind of time commitment is nearly impossible. In many cases, you’ll be training new employees before your departing employees have even mastered the fundamentals. Effective onboarding can help people reach their potential much faster and help you to keep operations running smoothly.
How to onboard new employees more effectively
Understanding the benefits of onboarding is the first step, but knowing how to get the job done is another story. There’s a significant difference between having an onboarding program in place and one that’s highly effective. That’s because onboarding in itself isn’t the solution. You have to onboard employees in a way that actually delivers measurable benefits for your team and your organization.
1. Make it a priority
Don’t treat onboarding as an afterthought. Establish a formal employee onboarding program complete with standards and protocols, and make it a priority for every new employee. Onboarding should begin before the employee even walks through the door for their first shift. For instance, you can prepare them by digitizing the new-hire paperwork ahead of time and briefing them on essential information like where to park and where to go when they arrive on their first day. Some of these steps can be incorporated right into the initial hiring process.
2. Emphasize more than just training
Basic training is an important part of the onboarding process, but it’s not the only important part. In fact, it’s essential that you differentiate your onboarding and training processes. Onboarding should include connecting new hires with their fellow employees, answering their questions and ensuring that they have everything they need to do their new job. More than anything, it’s about making them feel at home.
3. Focus on the most important knowledge up front
New-hire training can be overwhelming. Employees have to absorb a ton of knowledge in just one or two shifts. So when organizing your training, make sure to start with just the fundamentals. What does the employee need to know in order to do their job today? Then you can build on that with ongoing training that covers the supplemental details. The last thing you want to do is inundate your new team member on the first day.
Experience the full benefits of onboarding
If you want to streamline your onboarding for better employee engagement, confidence, performance and retention, Axonify can help get everyone connected and up to speed quickly.
Short, engaging, device-enabled daily learning modules are delivered to employees in the flow of work, so they can absorb the basics right away and continue to improve their skills for as long as they’re with you. Each lesson is tailored to the user, and there’s even a built-in communication tool to help your new hires become part of the community.
Regardless of how you go about it, the important thing is that you make effective onboarding a priority. If you do that, the benefits will be felt across your entire organization.