Did you know: One-third of new hires quit their job after about six months. An employees first days, weeks, and months are crucial to their success in their new role. In fact, about one-third of new hires knew whether they would stay with the company long-term after their first week. This means, having a seamless and effective onboarding strategy is important. Without a formal onboarding process, new employees may not get the clarity and direction they need to succeed which can ultimately lead to costly mistakes, high turnover, and low levels of productivity.
It is also important to note that there is a difference between onboarding and orientation. While orientation is a description of the company history, values, and mission, onboarding is typically about a 90-day process of orienting and integrating new hires so they can deliver results as efficiently, effectively, and energetically as possible. Below are 5 common mistakes to avoid when creating an employee onboarding strategy.
1. Failing to prepare for their arrival.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not preparing for the arrival of your new hires. Without an organized onboarding process, employees can leave with a bad perception of the company. Be sure all logins, phones, access to various platforms and applications, and computers are ready to go on the first day. In addition, preparing a detailed schedule for the first week can calm nerves and make them feel like a valued member of the team.
2. Not setting clear expectations from the beginning.
An important step of onboarding is getting to understand an employee’s goals, explaining the company’s goals, and then working to align the two. One Gallup poll found that only 50 percent of employees strongly agreed that they knew what was expected of them at work. Without clear expectations, it is impossible to measure achievements, which can lead an employee to feel burned out and unmotivated.
3. Over-reliance on employee shadowing.
While there are a time and place for employee shadowing, it is not a sustainable onboarding procedure. It’s important to recognize that for new hires to understand the larger picture of what is happening in other departments, and how the various groups work together, can make a massive difference to their competence levels at the new company.
4. Failing to deliver feedback early and often.
Onboarding is a process of creating successful habits and expectations. Feedback ensures that new hires are forming the right habits and tweaking anything that needs to be changed.
5. Not having an ongoing process in place.
Replacing employees is expensive! Onboarding should be an ongoing process, it is impossible for employees to learn responsibilities and expectations in a day or even a week. Aim to show employees what they need to know right away and then slowly acclimatize them to their new workplace and expectations. Informed employees are high-performing employees.