Why is Onboarding So Important?
Many companies drastically underestimate the importance of onboarding when they hire new employees. In fact, 22% of companies have no formal onboarding program at all, while 49% only have a partially successful process. What does unsuccessful onboarding look like? New employees are less productive, stressed, feel disconnected from the rest of the team, and are likely to look for work elsewhere.
Without successful onboarding procedures, companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on employee turnover and loss of productivity. Onboarding increases employee engagement and helps get them up to speed with seasoned hires much more quickly. The process benefits new hires, old hires, and company leaders alike.
What is Onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into an organization. It’s important to note the difference between onboarding and orientation. Orientation is an event, typically lasting one day, that usually begins the onboarding process. But onboarding continues for months to even years after an employee is hired.
The best companies start the onboarding process before day one. This allows new hires to get acquainted with the company before they’re expected to do any work. Employers can get administrative tasks out of the way and begin making employees feel comfortable in the office. Then, the onboarding process continues as new hires are nurtured into highly-productive, seasoned employees.
Onboarding Reduces Employee Turnover
Employee turnover refers to the number of employees who leave an organization and need to be replaced. In fact, about 33% of new hires will look for a new job within their first 6 months of working at a new place, and 22% within the first 45 days. This is much more expensive than companies realize. The actual cost of replacing the average employee is around 16-20% of their annual salary.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that today the average person holds almost 11 jobs before the age of 42. This number is predicted to grow as people entering the workforce today seem to be getting “pickier” about the places they work. As a result, employers are looking for ways to keep their employees around.
Actually, turnover is very avoidable. 87% of employees are less likely to leave a company when they are engaged workers. How can you get a head start on developing employee engagement? Onboarding! This helps introduce new employees to the company and engage them with company values. This means they’re much less likely to leave your organization to look for an organization that better fits their work culture.
Onboarding Allows New Employees to Be Productive Quickly
As new employees go through the onboarding process, they quickly get up to speed with the employees who have been with the company for longer. This lets them reach higher productivity levels much faster than if they had to figure everything out on their own.
Without onboarding, it takes around 8 to 12 months for new employees to reach their full productivity levels. This can result in losses of 1% to 2.5% of the total revenue for a business. In fact, the US and the UK together spend $37 billion annually on employees who aren’t productive. This is no surprise when so many companies lack an effective onboarding process.
With onboarding, companies enjoy 54% greater productivity from their new hires. The longest onboarding programs are the most successful. Most companies only spend 2 months or less on the onboarding process, and a fraction of these don’t include any kind of training for the new hires.
The best onboarding processes last from 6 months to a whole year. This is because 90% of employees decide if they will stay with a company within their first 6 months of work. Continuous training and engagement during this time will help employees feel at home and comfortable in the company. Following the critical 6-month period, new employees need to see that they made the right decision. This is where onboarding shifts from a training approach to one encouraging continuous development.
Onboarding Teaches New Hires About Their Roles in the Company
Proper onboarding procedures include training for employees. Training provides people with the knowledge they need to excel in their job role. New hires are also taught about the mission and culture of the company which helps them align themselves with these values.
It is through onboarding that employees learn how to meet the expectations of the company. When you’re thrown into a job with no idea of what’s expected of you, how are you supposed to perform well in your role? Employees need to know where their job role fits into the company and how their individual position is valuable to the company as a whole.
By aligning new employees with their role, they feel needed and important in the organization. This helps them associate themselves with the workplace culture. As a result of more intense engagement with the company, employees are motivated to work efficiently and are much less likely to quit on you.
Onboarding Reduces New Employee Anxiety
We’ve all experienced it. Being a new employee can be very stressful. Employers can reduce this stress by providing all the information that their new hire needs to fulfill their role.
A strong onboarding process results in much happier employees. It helps employees get to know one another and learn how to communicate effectively. Onboarding also helps people discover how their roles fit in with the rest of the company’s workforce. It facilitates the building of relationships, resulting in friendships that are a very important element of a happy working life. For example, most people will refuse a high-paying job if it meant not getting along with their coworkers.
Reducing new employee stress starts right at the beginning of the onboarding process, during orientation. Orientation days give new hires a first impression of the company and an idea of what they can expect working there. It’s important that these days are celebratory, welcoming, and informative.
To show new hires that your company values teamwork and positivity, use a Strayboots scavenger hunt. Break up a day of training and paperwork with some light exercise and friendly competition. Our fun events have been used by many big companies, like Wix.com, to introduce employees to a new office environment. Contact us today so we can plan you an orientation day that gets the ball rolling for successful onboarding.