Remember when the biggest challenge of being the new kid was deciding which table to sit at for lunch?
The experience of being the new person in an office extends well beyond cafeteria politics. A new hire has a lot more on their plate: learning a new workflow, building relationships with the team and understanding the new role enough to become a self-sufficient employee. Acclimating to the reality of a new workplace is a complex and multi-stage process.
With all of these things happening at once, the onboarding process becomes a whirlwind of activities, check lists and check-ins. Sometimes, especially at fast-growing companies, employees get hired faster than the training team can even prepare a proper onboarding for them.
The cost of hiring a new employee averages at $4,000. And that’s just the “finding fee.” Depending on how many people are involved in the onboarding process, the cost to onboard a new employee is exponentially more expensive.
Start thinking of ways new hires can overcome onboarding challenges to save time, money and frustration for your business.
New Employees need to understand the bigger picture
Only 58 percent of companies provide clear expectations and job titles for their employees.
Onboarding extends beyond filling out paperwork and setting up a new workspace. Some roles, like many sales positions, have a clear numerical impact on the success of the company. Other strategies or service roles are more difficult to measure, though those employees still need an understanding of how their role impacts the company.
It is important that every employee knows how their work creates value to the team and the whole organization. By making the value of the role clear at the very beginning (within the first week or so), new hires will better understand how their daily work is impacting the success of the company. This leads to higher performance and better job satisfaction.
Somewhere between 10 percent to 25 percent of employees leave a company within the first 6 months of employment. Most of those new hires are leaving because their role is different from what they expected when they first joined.
When employees understand the strategic value of their roles and have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, they are more likely to stay for longer.
Keep in mind the technical learning curves of a new role
Just like the employee needs to know the strategic value of their role, they need to understand the strategic value of the software they use to be successful in their role.
Even if the position is not specifically a technical one, most new hires are going to have to learn how to use a new software or program as part of their onboarding. And, even if the employee has used the software in a previous role, each company probably has a different way of using it.
New hires will need some guidance both on following the new protocol and how to use the new systems necessary for their job.
However, be careful about dumping too much information at once. Give your new hires the information in intervals and within context of their daily work. Frustration with new systems can cause employees to become easily disengaged and feeling like they are not capable of performing.
Engage your new hires by fully enabling them to use the tools they need for their job.
Employee engagement and retention go hand in hand. When engagement increases, retention can increase up to 87 percent. Providing guidance and timely information is an easy win to engage employees and create a stronger workforce.
Place a focus on mentorship in your management
On the list of things a new hire needs to acclimate to, management style is one of the most important. A hiring manager has the ability to positively impact the onboarding time and efficiency by having clear communication with and being a mentor for the new hire.
In order for your new hires to onboard more quickly, provide clear guidelines on how the hiring manager will support their development. Many times, a formal mentorship program in addition to the existing manager-new hire relationship can aid the process as well.
Of the people who believe mentorship programs help new employees acclimate, only half actually have a formal mentorship program at their workplace.
Setting up a mentorship program takes some time, but the effects will be monumental for your new hire’s acclimation and onboarding.