From XU Magazine, 
Issue 19

4 Reasons to Improve Onboarding and Increase Retention

The transition from new hire to employee is more important than you think. Without a structured, simple and effective process, you are at greater risk of losing employees in the first few months…

Onboarding new employees can be a stressful time.  Documentation needs to be completed, forms filled in, records captured and the new employee must be happy to settle into the role in a short period of time. Several steps of the onboarding process often get forgotten or put to one side. It is important to have a solution to manage a seamless transition from hire to employee.

The process of onboarding plays a much higher role in the long term employment of a new starter than you might initially think. The Society for Human Resources Management found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.  Given that the cost of employment is so high, retention once you have chosen the perfect person is even more important.

HR Manager

Naturally, the HR team have a large part to play in the onboarding of a new employee.  This is both in terms of compliance and gathering the correct information, but also in keeping the new starter informed, happy and comfortable to join the business.

Using an HR system that supports onboarding allows you to request required information before the employee starts. This could be legal documentation such as proof of right to work or accreditation such as certificates for essential qualifications. If your business needs to have certain policies accepted in advance of the start date, these can be shared through an onboarding system and acknowledgments collected.

Once the employee has started their new role, onboarding is not yet over. It is crucial to continue the process of integrating the new starter into the company and ensuring they are fully trained on systems and feel at home as fast as possible.

Aside from the obvious benefits of a slick onboarding process, you never get a second chance to make a first impression – make sure that the first experience of HR is a great one!

Team Manager

It is always exciting to have a new member in the team and it is usually up to the manager to keep that transition process as smooth as possible and get them up to speed quickly. It is important for the new employee to feel welcome and excited about working with their colleagues. One of the ways dedicated onboarding solutions can help with this is to encourage their manager to send an informative and friendly message before they join. This can provide key information about the first day, or anything else that may be helpful before the joiner actually steps into the office.

Having an option for open communication between the employee and manager can also be a great way to ensure any questions are answered in advance of the start date and everyone is on the same page.

Getting a feel for company culture and getting to know the team is essential to ensure a happy new starter.  Sharing information about the team members within an onboarding portal can help to integrate them from the moment they have accepted the job offer.

New Employee

A new starter in a business is going to be both excited about their new role and nervous about the first days and meeting their team. When an employee accepts a new position, they are often taking a risk, maybe having left a different job, or making a physical move to a new town. It is crucial to make sure they feel at home as quickly as possible. A good onboarding process can alleviate their concerns and work towards making this a successful hire.

Providing access to an onboarding portal can give them the chance to update the company with key information such as bank details or address to ensure a smooth first payroll. If they have any pre-booked leave, they can request this before they join and let their manager know they would like to have that time off.

Post start date, it is important to continue the onboarding process and keep the employee aware of the steps they should be taking through checklists and training records. The first few months are both exciting and nerve wracking for the new employee, and it must not be overlooked as a crucial time for employee retention.

End to End Integration

Find a solution that integrates with what you use, look for a mixture of HR Software and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) such as Hire by Google that integrate with your current productivity suites like Office 365 or Google. Go one step further and ensure that you end up with a full suite of integrated systems that work with other core solutions such as Xero Payroll.

A set of solutions that work together will save time, effort and training whilst improving accuracy between systems. As a result your employees will work better between solutions and you will achieve cost savings by reducing time previously wasted on error and duplication.

Providing a new hire with access to your onboarding solution straight away gives them the chance to become familiar with some of the tools you use, making them more comfortable right from their first day.

In summary

A successful onboarding experience helps you turn a candidate into an employee. Once you adopt the idea that onboarding does not start and finish on the first day, but starts from the point of hire and continues into the lifecycle of the employee, you will increase retention, job satisfaction and productivity.

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Why leave it there?

See how Appogee HR could support your onboarding process

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