How important is the employee onboarding process? Well, if you’re serious about creating a workplace with high retention rates and productivity, then onboarding is very important.

Employee retention is a big deal, especially when you’re attracting top talent to your organization. But many companies overlook the benefits associated with onboarding and the role it plays in employee satisfaction with an employer.

When you implement an effective onboarding process, it can boost employee performance by 11.5%. This is especially important because around the world, only 29% of employers have fully-engaged employees.

And nearly 70% of new employees are more likely to stick with a company for up to 3 years when there’s a well-structured onboarding program.

Yet, only 37% of organizations have seamlessly integrated the recruitment and onboarding experience.

If you’re one of these companies, then it’s time to make improvements to your employee onboarding process.

Let’s take a look at why you need to improve your onboarding and seven ways you can do so.

The Benefits of Efficient Employee Onboarding

There are some businesses that try to justify overlooking their onboarding procedures. But the reality is they’re missing out on key benefits that could boost their overall business’s success.

For example, proper onboarding can give your new hires a positive start. And as we all know in business, first impressions make lasting impressions.

By giving your new employees a great beginning experience, it’ll make them want to stick around longer. But not only will effective onboarding help with retention, it’ll boost job performance and even customer satisfaction.

If your employees are well-trained and happy, they’re going to extend this in the workplace when dealing with your clients. There’s nothing worse than having disgruntled workers managing your customer accounts.

Even the relationships among workers can improve. When you’re onboarding efficiently, it can increase trust between senior management and employees.

The better the understanding of roles and communications between the two departments, the higher the trust.

If you’re looking to get the same benefits for your company, then here are some ideas you can use to enhance your onboarding.

1. Make the Onboarding Process Interactive

You remember being in a classroom at school listening to a boring lecture? And how your mind wandered off and failed to consume what the teacher was saying?

This is an issue that doesn’t go away with age so you can expect your employees to struggle if your training is boring. One way to counter this is by integrating interactive training sessions.

Not only will this engage new hires, but it’ll help them to remember their lessons. Some options you can use for interactivity include:

  • Using video content with a mix of polls and quizzes
  • Implementing visual content such as infographics, charts, and graphs
  • Providing practice tests and assignments
  • Implement live demonstrations

2. Integrate Automation Features

Automation is the future of the workplace. By automating your onboarding, you lighten the load for both you and your managers.

This can include using digital forms employees can fill out and sign. You can use tools like eversign to make this process seamless.

For instance, you can upload or scan documents into the platform and email them to new hires to review and sign. You can see which documents have been signed and which haven’t, allowing you to track down employees who’ve fallen behind.

This is ideal for documents you need signed during the onboarding process, such as tax documents, contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and so on.

3. Partner Mentors with New Employees

The purpose of onboarding is to provide new hires with a support system for adapting to their new position. But even with all the best videos, tutorials, and quizzes, the process can still seem a bit overwhelming.

This is why you want one-on-one support provided to new hires by mentors. These can be members of your management team or experienced employees who already know all the ropes.

Their purpose is to be there to answer questions, train on certain processes and systems, and to ensure they have someone to come to if they’re struggling. The mentor you choose should be well-acquainted with the company’s culture so they can distill this into new hires.

4. Collect Feedback from New Employees

No one knows your onboarding process better than new hires. These individuals went through the whole process with a fresh pair of eyes.

As a newcomer to your company, they can provide insights into what went well and what didn’t. This insight can help you to make improvements to your employee onboarding process.

For instance, you can give out surveys after new employees have been with your business for a week. This will help you to see how well they transitioned from the onboarding and training to actual work.

It’s also a good idea to survey new employees frequently over the first several months. You want to see how well they’re adapting, learning, and performing.

Evaluate their progress on projects and goals, how well they’re adjusting to your company culture, and how they’re doing overall.

5. Personalize their Onboarding Experience

Personalization doesn’t just work for marketing to your customers. It can also help guide your employees down a successful path with your company.

During the onboarding phase, you want to cover key information about their position with your organization. For example, you want them to understand what it’ll take to be successful in their role.

Go over the department’s goals and KPIs so they know exactly what they’re aiming for. It’s also a good idea to have a dashboard that shows their own personal KPIs.

This will help them to see how they’re performing so they know whether they’re on-track or require improvement. Then to help with retention, cover the career path they can take in your company.

In other words, how they can climb up the corporate ladder. What position can they attain next to move up financially and responsibility-wise?

With insights like this, it’ll help employees take charge of their careers and take accountability for their position in your company.

Be sure to offer resources to help them continue learning and growing in their position and potential career path.

6. Keep Your Onboarding Program Simple

When you’re bringing aboard a new employee, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them. There’s a lot to learn about the company, its customers, and their role in the company.

So to make the process easier, we recommend that you keep it simple. To do this, you should only focus on providing information that’s specific to their role.

You may be tempted to educate them about the entire company, trying to paint a nice overall picture. But this can be learned over time.

In the beginning, you want to take things slow and focus on their needs. And what new employees need is all the information possible to understand and thrive in their position.

Only provide essential information to avoid confusion and to reduce the length of the onboarding program. Making it lengthy will only build anxiety and make it harder to digest.

Keep in mind that the purpose of onboarding is to help your employees, as well as your management teams. When done right, your new hires can hit the ground running with little hand-holding.

Of course, this doesn’t mean managers shouldn’t be available to answer questions and provide guidance.

7. Give Onboarding a Social Touch

We live in an age that’s highly-social. We’re frequently tied to our mobile devices, social media networks, and messaging systems (both at work and at home).

You’ll find that a lot of today’s younger generations use social mediums to learn and grow. This is why you’ll find forums and social networks to be popular among young professionals.

You can create a similar environment in the workplace. For example, you can create an in-house forum your new employees can use to find FAQs and personal help from their co-workers.

Another option is to use tools like Slack and Asana to help co-workers communicate. This can help new employees become acquainted with their counterparts and receive help in real-time.

You don’t want to take an individualized approach to your onboarding program. Isolated employees don’t thrive as well as those who are social and engaged with their co-workers.

Creating a Better Onboarding Experience

Now that you understand the importance of the onboarding experience, it’s time to improve yours. With these seven tips, you can make that happen.

With the right tools, workflows, and systems, you can turn your onboarding experience into one that builds lasting employer-employee relationships.

So if you’re ready to create an atmosphere that retains employees and boosts their productivity (and your revenue), then get started improving your onboarding program.

Then let us know in the comments what changes you made and how it enhanced your workplace!