Too often, employee onboarding is treated as an afterthought. New hires may be handed a pile of documents to sign while they watch ancient videos alone in a back office or sent a bunch of links to unnecessarily wordy explanations of job processes to read on their own time. Even worse, some companies skip onboarding altogether, dropping new employees onto the floor to sink or swim.
Yet onboarding is one of the biggest keys to employee retention. It sets the stage for the employee’s entire tenure, creates expectations, and gives a first impression that can be difficult or impossible to shake. Employees unhappy with their onboarding experience are less likely to feel like part of the team, less productive, and ultimately less likely to stay more than a few months. Here are a few reasons to up your onboarding game.
Lowering Startup Costs
It’s expensive to bring new workers up to speed. But a strong onboarding program limits these costs by streamlining and scaling the process while providing the support new hires need to learn more quickly in the following days and weeks.
Your new hire has to learn the job, the workplace culture, and the expectations one way or another. Putting all the core concepts into a single orientation program means that managers and coworkers won’t need to spend their time teaching them, and the new hire won’t need to waste time learning bits and pieces haphazardly. After orientation, the new worker will be ready to move on to the specifics of the new role.
It’s only normal to feel nervous in a new setting. A strong onboarding program helps lower anxiety by giving new hires a stable and predictable first few days. It also lays out clear expectations for employee conduct, removing the stress of figuring out what to do.
Providing Realistic Expectations
A well-crafted employee orientation program takes away the guesswork. New hires quickly learn what they can expect on the job and what others expect of them. While no onboarding program can cover all of the day-to-day experiences workers will face, providing a framework of expectations helps them understand how to proceed no matter what the specific situation.
Ultimately, employee turnover goes up when workers aren’t treated as valuable or aren’t given the tools to succeed. A strong onboarding program reduces turnover by setting new hires up for success. It’s difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to keep replacing employees who leave, so it’s far better to invest in the ones you already have.
Need some new hires?
Contact Total Staffing Solutions for the light industrial or clerical employees you need. With more than 20 years of staffing experience, we know how to help you recruit and hire your next temporary or permanent team member.