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Employee Onboarding: Investing in Onboarding Excellence

Date Published:
April 30, 2024
employee onboarding
employee experience
Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding is part of the employee’s lifecycle, which comprises the most significant phases that an employee undergoes during their time with an organization. This lifecycle starts with attraction, recruitment, and onboarding, through development and retention phases, leading to the final phase—separation.

Efficient onboarding is vital to a positive employee experience for various reasons. So, what is employee onboarding? What are the phases and procedures of this process? And what benefits does it bring to companies and organizations? 

Employee Onboarding Meaning

Employee onboarding is a process aimed at incorporating new hires into a company or organization, and it typically involves paperwork, orientation sessions, training, providing necessary resources and tools, and getting new employees acquainted and familiar with their new workplace, work culture, colleagues, managers, and company hierarchy. 

By the end of the onboarding experience, new employees are expected to become productive in their role, working efficiently within their team. Employee onboarding generally aims to enhance staff satisfaction and employee experience, in addition to bettering employee engagement and increasing retention rates. 

That said, the duration of the onboarding process differs from one organization to the next, despite having similar procedures across the board. As such, onboarding may last a day or span over 18 months. The duration will depend on the company’s culture and size, the team’s needs, individual needs, and the complexity of the role.

Phases of the Onboarding Process

Below is a brief exploration of the onboarding process and its phases and procedures: 

  • Pre-Onboarding

The pre-onboarding phase aims to prepare the new hire for their first day and set up an efficient and successful on-boarding experience. Pre-onboarding begins the moment the new employee accepts the offer, while some of the activities included in this phase can take place during the first few days of their time at work. 

Preparing for the employee’s arrival and first day typically includes setting up their work station, ordering necessary tools, technical prep like setting up HR accounts and other software accounts, and completing paperwork, which involves, for example, signing the employee contract, confidentiality agreement, and direct deposit authorization. 

Upon the employee’s arrival, companies give new hires a tour around the workplace—or a virtual tour—to get familiar with the office and meet colleagues and managers. Employers also introduce new employees to a mentor that they can refer to and learn from during the onboarding process.

This phase is exceptionally important for employee retention because new hires might have other offers at hand. Accordingly, employers need to leave positive impressions and keep their new employees satisfied and engaged to establish loyalty and prevent early departure. 

  • Initial Onboarding and Orientation

This phase is commonly known as orientation, during which new employees are provided with information about the company’s mission, vision, and goals, the work culture, and the company’s hierarchy, in addition to further insights about their role and daily tasks. 

This phase presents itself as a great opportunity to set expectations for the employee by communicating company policies, goals, and responsibilities regarding their role and performance. Expectations regarding performance can be determined during this phase or at the beginning of training.

  • Training

It is essential to train new employees to successfully integrate them into the company and enable them to do their jobs efficiently. Neglecting training and assuming that new employees know their jobs is not the best strategy. 

Training should establish clear expectations of the employee’s performance, outline processes and tasks for them, and clarify what they should expect from the company as well. 

Training is best achieved through workshops and seminars, shadowing experienced employees, and online learning modules. A positive company culture encourages employees to ask questions, no matter how simple or silly they may seem. 

  • Transitioning into the Role

Once the official training is finished, the new employee starts to transition into the role, becoming productive in their job and working efficiently within their team. During this phase, managers and seniors provide feedback to further improve the new hire’s work so they can better adjust to their responsibilities. An evaluation may be held to provide performance feedback and receive feedback from new employees regarding the onboarding process. 

Benefits of Efficient Employee Onboarding

Successful employee onboarding has various benefits for the new hire and the company. First, it quickly engages the employee in their new role and team, enabling them to become productive in a short amount of time. This type of support leaves a positive impact and impression on the hire, encouraging them to remain in their new position. This is highly significant if they have multiple offers. 

Put differently, efficient employee onboarding integrates employees into the company smoothly, achieving higher levels of employee engagement and performance. Additionally, the training phase ensures efficiency and productivity, allowing the new hire to contribute to the company’s goals sooner rather than later to achieve the desired business outcomes. 

New hires are likely to have a positive employee experience at the beginning of their life cycle and later on if onboarding is successful. Excellent onboarding can prompt their long-term stay at the company, enhancing retention rates.

Efficient Employee Onboarding Experiences with ZENITHR

ZENITHR is an excellent HR intelligence solution for employers looking to gain valuable, real-time insights into employee well-being, happiness, engagement, and other aspects. ZENITHR is powered by AI techniques that deliver action plans and recommended steps based on the workforce data provided by smart surveys. 

ZENITHR offers Employee Onboarding Surveys to collect new hires’ impressions, opinions, and feedback, and they are based on the BRACE Model, which refers to the following aspects: Belonging, Role Clarity, Adaptability, Continuity, and Efficacy. These surveys are the essential first step to initiating growth within the company and retaining new hires. Discover Zenithr for more details.

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