First impressions are hugely important, and you can count on your new hire wanting to make a great impression on the first day at work. Likewise, the first impression you create is just as important. According to an Aberdeen Group study, 86% of new employees choose to stick with or leave a company within the first six months. And if they find new employee onboarding to be a positive experience, they’re 69% more likely to stay for three years or more.
The “break-even” point, where new employees add more value to the company than they have consumed, is just over six months – the same general time period in which they’re deciding whether to stick with their new job or look elsewhere. A well-executed new employee onboarding process is about far more than ensuring W4 forms are completed. Here are some ways to accelerate and improve new employee onboarding.
The Four C’s
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) defines “four C’s” of new employee onboarding. First is compliance, which covers the basic rules, regulations, and policies. Second is clarification, where you ensure new employees know what is expected of them. The third C is culture, and that is your company’s particular organizational zeitgeist. The fourth C is connection, and this is the process of the new hire making new business and information connections within your company – with supervisors, colleagues, and support personnel.
Some New Employee Onboarding Can Be Done Before They Start
Some new employee onboarding tasks don’t have to wait until the new person officially starts work. Many HR tasks can be done ahead of time if you add new hires to your employee network as soon as they accept a position. For example, they can go ahead and enter vital employee information, upload a badge photo, and fill out forms for benefits, direct deposit, and tax withholding. Suddenly day one at the office is less stressful because so many tasks are already done. The new hire’s manager can also take care of processes ahead of time, like assigning a cubicle and arranging for a workstation.
Making Social Tools Available Can Help New Hires Climb the Learning Curve
Young people starting college often make it a point to develop a Facebook network at their new school before they arrive on campus. You can help them do something similar to the workplace. A new hire in your company network can start learning names and faces plus information that isn’t always included informal onboarding (like where restrooms are). Meanwhile, the company may consider designating a few key employees to interact with the new hire on the company social network to help him or her feel more comfortable.
Minimize the Risk of Human Error
When you present a new hire with a stack of paperwork on his first day, the risk of human error is high. What if HR can’t read his handwriting? What if a form gets lost en route to HR? By putting these processes together into logical online workflows, your cut error risk significantly. Form fields can be made to only accept certain types of information (like numbers in a Social Security blank), and once forms are completed, they can be automatically sent to the right recipient and trigger email alerts so affected personnel know to look for them.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Details
Obviously there are many procedures that have to be followed to the letter in the new employee onboarding process, particularly if you’re in a heavily regulated industry like healthcare, finance, or defense. But there are countless little things that nobody may think to explain to the new hire: how to use the copier, what time lunch is, where to get office supplies, etc. This information can be imparted through your company social network, or through a Wiki or FAQ page, your new hire can access prior to actually starting. The more prepared your new hire is on day one, the quicker the transition to productivity.
New hires want to make the best first impression, and your company should strive to reciprocate. Creating online workflows for new employee onboarding is easy with a powerful tool like ProcessMaker, the open-source workflow software that is intuitive enough for non-IT people to use. It comes with numerous built-in templates and tools so you can customize new employee onboarding perfectly. What’s more, you can try the ProcessMaker Enterprise Edition for free, or download the Community Edition of ProcessMaker and take care of everything except a welcoming cup of coffee for your new hire’s first day.