There is no time period more paramount to an employee’s career than onboarding, yet so many companies are failing at the process. With up to 30% of new hires quitting in their first six months and 22% leaving in the first 45 days, it’s clear that an effective onboarding routine is not only critical to employee productivity and success, but also for retention.
The importance of having a program
In 2012, a Workforce Mobility Survey by Allied Van Lines found only 28% of companies claiming to have a highly successful onboarding program. Even more shocking is last year’s CareerBuilder survey that found 36% of employers have no structured onboarding program.
Upon stepping foot into your office on day one, new workers should immediately be brought into the fold of your organization. When I talk about onboarding, I don’t mean simply handing an employee a stack of forms and a handbook and calling it a day. A comprehensive onboarding program should be built around getting your workers energized, engaged and connected to the company’s mission and goals. It’s important that they have a good experience and are ramped-up quickly to do great work.
Aligning your teams from the start
Particularly important to the onboarding process is ensuring that your IT and HR teams are aligned. You should guarantee that every new hire has the tools they need on their first day, as well as immediate access to company systems, applications and data. Creating a workflow that kicks off when a new hire starts ensures that no important steps in the onboarding process are missed, delayed or simply overlooked.
While it is important that HR and IT are aligned, responsibility shouldn’t fall on those teams alone. Onboarding is everyone’ s job — including senior leadership. At Appirio, our CEO and other executive leaders speak to all new employees and interns, helping connect them with company values. Not only does this set new hires up to be more productive, it increases the likelihood that they’ll stick around longer.
On top of making onboarding a priority, there are additional actions your company can take to ensure that employees are productive and engaged throughout their tenure.
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Enable anytime/anywhere access to data — Cloud-based, consumer-grade applications are essential to worker productivity. The technology you implement in your organization should closely reflect the technology your employees already leverage in their personal lives. That means allowing your teams to hold meetings and make decisions virtually, through multiple online channels.
Encourage real-time collaboration, regardless of location — By creating one source of truth for information and data, cross-functional teams will work better together and have higher alignment, thereby increasing productivity. Storing documents in a shared drive doesn’t count.
Maintain the highest levels of transparency throughout your organization — Transparency is key to building a data-driven organization. Every minute that workers have to wait for a manager to pull a custom report, they’re losing productivity. The easier it is for teams to look back and see what works well and what doesn’t, the more productive they can be.
As it turns out, increasing the engagement of your workforce doesn’t only benefit your team, it also benefits your customers. Forrester reported in 2017 that betterments in worker experience lead directly to improvements in customer experience, resulting in a happier, healthier organization in the long run.