When it comes to employee onboarding, you need time to be on your side
The time right after the initial hiring process is a critical time period. Employers need to provide the necessary onboarding experience and orientation tools that give the right first impression for the employee, as well as shape their future with an organization. The sooner new or transitioning employees feel a connection to the organization and are up to speed and productive, the more agile, flexible, and stable your organization becomes.
Some key components of employee onboarding include:
- Key Job Knowledge: You can help employees stay engaged and retain information better by delivering more practical job training in ways that tell stories and catch learners’ interest. Avoid information overload by telling employees only what they need to know.
- Culture/Mission: New hire training is a chance for an organization to introduce itself and its unique aspects. Make sure employees feel welcomed and excited to join your workplace environment.
- Initiation/Orientation: Onboarding supervisors should conduct the training in a centralized, well-designed and comprehensive orientation program that’s not just filling out HR paperwork. Engagement is also a key aspect of initiation and the new employee orientation process.
- Compliance: A part of orientation should include information about compliance and what is expected of the employees in order to avoid issues down the road. Knowing what applicable compliance laws relate to your specific organization protect the company and the employee.
Advantages of effective employee onboarding are more than just informing the employee about organizational systems and conduct. Onboarding training can help the employee and the organization in the long run through:
- Speed to productivity
- Cultural adaptation
Signs of a Poor New Employee Onboarding Program
On the flip side, when new-hire training is executed poorly and there’s a disconnect between the organization and the employee, it becomes more likely that employees will pack up and leave you wondering what went wrong. Signs of poor new employee training programs may include:
High Employee Attrition/Turnover
Poor new hire training doesn’t engage people and making them feel connected, which leads to higher turnover. On average, 25% of new employees leave in their first year with a company. Furthermore, the average tenure of employees age 25-34 is a mere three years. (Source: Case study: Aviation and Aerospace) Effective onboarding training combats these trends and helps retain top talent for the long run.
An employee’s poor work ethic may sprout from delayed understanding of core responsibilities from an onboarding process that’s unengaging, disorganized, or has too much information overwhelming the learner. Poor productivity also opens the door to decreased team morale and frustration from managers and leaders.
Greater Number of Preventable Mistakes
Similar to poor work ethic, ineffective new hire training programs that fail to give vital information, such as basic job roles or systems, to the employee can lead to misunderstandings about corporate processes and culture.
Employees may start out strong within the company, but their motivation and engagement quickly wanes because they feel no connection, and therefore have no investment in the organization’s goals and mission that should have been established during the onboarding process.
What an Effective Onboarding Training Program Looks Like
How can you improve and enhance your new-hire training and new employee orientation? For more than 35 years, AllenComm has designed and developed new hire training initiatives for many of the world’s largest companies. By tapping into our expertise, you’ll be on your way to effectively transferring key knowledge to employees in ways that help them adapt, adopt, and apply it soon. We’ll help you scale your efforts around effective new-hiring training keys, which include:
Give an Excellent First Impression of the Company
According to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, 86% of HR staff feel that new hires decide to stay or leave within six months. Simply put, your onboarding training and process is the most crucial time to make a good impression with new employees. What constitutes a good first impression? Be welcoming, give good instruction, show off your unique company culture, have room for feedback channels, etc. In the end, make your onboarding experience a memorable and engaging one for the employee.
Have Clear Learning Objectives and Timeline
Any successful program is armed with learning and outcome objectives for both the employee and employer as well as schedule of when these tasks and objectives should be met. Employee onboarding should have objectives such as:
- Employees have a clear first impression of the culture and work environment, including key elements identified by program sponsors
- Employees meet and understand the role of HR, direct managers and key co-workers
- Training gives employees a better understanding of their job duties, policies and team dynamics
- Training should help employees develop skills that are immediately put to use with relatable job tasks and practice
As for having clear timelines, map out what employees should accomplish and understand as they go through the new-hire training. A sample timeline with objectives could look like this:
- First day (readiness): Introducing the leadership, brand and vision of the organization
- First week (discovery): Training and introducing team dynamics
- First month (reinforcement): Training that reinforces the brand and vision of an organization as well as engaging training that puts learned skills to test
- First year (leadership): Career development and future company goals
AllenComm’s Approach: Case Study
A large aviation and aerospace company came to AllenComm with a list of challenges specific to employee onboarding in the manufacturing industry. AllenComm’s approach used a story-based video strategy to help accelerate affiliation and engagement, create an understanding of a shared culture and vision, and model a path for expert performance.
AllenComm’s approach includes:
- Use video as part of a strategic blend of motivational and learning resources targeting an employee’s first day, first week, first month and first year in an organization.
- Help new hires to positively answer the questions: How was your first day? How was your first week? How was your first month? How was your first year?
- Gather the best answers from new hires, ones that are structured as narratives. This onboarding creates narratives of affiliation—both shared narratives of company vision and individual narratives of purpose and direction.
- Complement other learning strategies and modalities with engaging video stories over time. While it may be more convenient to do everything the first day, timing the messages over the first year increases retention and engagement.
Through story-based video solutions, AllenComm was able to help improve new hire training that not only communicated the vision and leadership to new employees, but helped them understand their roles and how they fit into the organization as a whole. The result? AllenComm’s comprehensive video program yielded at least a 15% increase in employee affiliation for employees completing their first year.