How to Give New Employees a Positive Onboarding Experience December 20, 2018

After numerous iterations of a job description, three rounds of interviews, and countless emails with the hiring manager, you finally hired the perfect person to fill your company’s open position. Now comes one of the most crucial times in the employee’s tenure—onboarding. It may not be hard to complete, but it’s where the company makes its first impression, affecting the employee’s engagement and vulnerability for turnover. Will the process be seamless and rewarding? Or cumbersome and telling of what it will be like to work there?

New employee onboarding lasts more than just a day of orientation. HR experts even say that how employers handle the first few days and months of a new employee's experience is crucial to ensuring high retention. With a pre-determined onboarding strategy and HR processes that make it easier for you and the employee, it’s possible to create a positive onboarding experience that keeps employees engaged from day one.

Build an Onboarding Curriculum

If you’ve waited until the employee’s first day to start thinking about onboarding, you’re already way behind—and so is the employee. In fact, companies with a formal onboarding program boast a 62% higher time-to-productivity ratio than those without.

With a plan in place before you’ve even made contact with the new hire, you not only save yourself time, but you create more tailored messages for the employee to hear in their first days at the company. You can even customize the experience by providing onboarding materials that already contain new hires’ personal and job-specific information.

When building your onboarding curriculum, consider the following need-to-know topics:
 
• Company history and culture
• Building basics (maps, conference rooms)
• Product/service overview and role-specific training
• Company processes and policies
• Benefits and HR forms

Automate New Hire Paperwork

Despite a wealth of digital tools available today, almost half of all HR departments are astoundingly still using paper to manage their most important documents. Moving to digital systems has numerous benefits, including:
 
• Saved time for both new employees and HR professionals
• Easier data collection and simpler communications
• Increased data security
• Simpler future reference and employee management

By collecting new hire information via electronic HR forms, you can easily use the data you gather to create a number of personalized documents that help tailor the onboarding experience, while keeping things organized for your department. Collecting the many signatures you need at onboarding is also much simpler by integrating digital signing tools. When you automate new hire paperwork, you can virtually eliminate the need for paper exchange during orientation and use the time to hone in on key company and role-related messaging instead.  

Continually Check In

Hiring experts consistently agree that effective onboarding is a process that takes at least 90-100 days (if not a full year) to complete. Yet, recent research shows that 72% say their program lasts one month or less. While orientation may only take a couple hours, days, or weeks, onboarding requires a feedback loop that ensures the new employee’s engagement and intention to stay.

Regularly communicating and collecting their feedback often requires a mix of data collection methods, including emails, in-person check-ins, and HR survey forms to gauge your onboarding program’s effectiveness, as well as the employee’s current engagement. Employee retention cannot be left to any one manager or department, but instead is the job of the entire leadership team to continually check in with employees old and new to catch problems early and correct them before it’s too late.

Grow Loyal Employees From Day One

New employees don’t sign on with your company to push paper around. A dedicated and automated onboarding strategy can help you harness new employee excitement to build loyalty and increase retention in the long term (even after the newness has worn off) by making onboarding processes easier than ever.

WebMerge for HR makes it easy to email online forms to new employees, collect data, and route it to the right people for eSignature, storage, or follow-up. When you digitize and automate your employee onboarding process with WebMerge, you can easily streamline human resources workflows, freeing up time for building true employee engagement. Digitize your next onboarding session for free with our document generation trial.



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