How to Transform Your New Hires into Productive Employees (4 Steps for a Smoother Employee Onboarding)

How to Transform Your New Hires into Productive Employees (4 Steps for a Smoother Employee Onboarding)
The article is contributed by Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive Officer - Qandle - HR Software & Payroll Management Systems.

In any industry, onboarding is a critical link in the transition from a great candidate to a high-performing new hire. A proper onboarding process makes new hires feel more confident in their new role, gives them the tools they need to succeed; establishes the tone of their relationship with the organization,
and even improves employee retention.

A well-planned onboarding process assists new employees in adjusting to the social and performance aspects of their jobs swiftly, allowing them to become contributing and productive members of the organization.

According to research, organizations that focus on providing an inclusive and healthy environment from the start of onboarding a new hire are 25% more likely to produce higher profit margins. Employee experience cannot be compromised, and organizations must ensure that employees feel at ease and more connected to their employer, right from recruitment to retirement.

One of the first things HR managers need to decide is whether informal or formal onboarding is best for their company.

  1. Informal onboarding implies training a new employee about the new job without any formal organizational plan.
  2. Formal onboarding is a written set of procedures that assist an employee in adjusting to a new job in terms of tasks and maintaining a certain decorum.

According to research, organizations that engage in formal onboarding by implementing step-by-step programs for new employees to teach them their roles, company norms, and how to behave are more effective than those that do not. It is also necessary that employers consider the 4 Cs of onboarding - Compliance, Clarification, Culture, and Connection.

  1. Compliance - Employees must be taught basic legal and policy-related rules and regulations in order to be compliant.
  2. Clarification - It is the process that ensures employees understand their new jobs and all of the responsibilities that come with them.
  3. Culture - Culture includes providing new hires with a sense of formal and informal organizational norms.
  4. Connection - The term connection refers to the critical interpersonal relationships and information networks that new employees must establish.

According to a study, new employees who participated in structured orientation programs were 69% more likely to stay with the company for at least three years. Losing new hires who are not a perfect fit and are underperforming is a positive outcome; however, losing employees because they are confused and feel alienated indicates poor onboarding practices. Onboarding, when done right, results in:

  1. Higher job satisfaction
  2. Better organization culture
  3. Lower turnover
  4. Higher performance
  5. Lower stress and burnout
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HR technology can easily simplify and modernize hiring by automating background checks for candidates, screening job applications, and conducting an automated technical assessment. However, once hired, technology can be equally, if not more, effective in providing a great onboarding experience. Employee onboarding is no longer a one-day event but a continuous process that continues at
some level for at least the first 60 to 90 days. Here, we will talk about 4 steps that HR managers can follow to onboard proactively and thus, boost employee results and efficiency:

Training and Support
Goal Setting and Providing Feedback
Adoption of New Technologies
Reward and Recognition

Training and Support

According to data, three out of every four job seekers and employees look for an inclusive and friendly workplace when looking for job opportunities. Training and support, therefore, play a significant role in determining the employee's  initial experience and are crucial for instilling confidence, motivation, and a
sense of belonging to the company they have joined.

An effective training strategy is critical in assisting new employees to achieve their professional objectives and thus contributes to the overall success of the company. Modern training methods, such as eLearning and electronic performance support systems (EPSS) enable flexibility and can be customized and integrated directly into an employee’s job role. It Ensures that new hires receive mentoring and coaching without being judged. It also helps in creating a welcoming and supportive environment.

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Goal Setting and Providing Feedback

Around sixty percent of companies do not set any milestones or concrete goals for their new hires. As a result, it takes many new employees crucial time and effort to reach their full potential. Employees who do not have performance goals may perform below expectations because of a lack of clarity. By defining their goals and clearly specifying what is expected from them, HR leaders can provide employees
with targets to strive for. New hires can be a valuable source of information, and effective and continuous feedback fosters better problem-solving capacity and boosts innovation. Open listening to employees in workspaces can help build trust and break down the organization's silos. A rigid hierarchy and strict culture can, on the other hand, suppress employee creativity and foster in them a desire to
leave the company for a better, more transparent organization.

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Adoption of New Technologies

According to reports, when companies invest in onboarding systems, they can significantly decrease their direct and indirect employee-related costs, enhance levels of engagement with new hires, develop consistency across the organization, and extend support beyond the initial onboarding process.

Employees do not retain 100% of what they learn during training sessions, even with the best training programs. Also, new hires are expected to learn technical systems that require detailed step-by-step processes, such as ERP solutions, accounting software, and CRMs, which can result in frustrated employees who fail to complete the assigned tasks. With the advent of new HR technology, it’s required for companies to swiftly shift to Cloud and focus on Robotic Process Automation to reduce the burden of mundane administrative tasks. It will help in meaningful work and better engagement for new hires.

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Reward and Recognition

Employees and their efforts should not be taken for granted because they are the true powerhouses that enable a company to reach significant milestones. According to studies, one of the leading causes of employee dissatisfaction is a lack of praise and recognition. Managers should ensure that employees who produce high-quality results are publicly and consistently recognized and rewarded. Rewarding can also serve as a model for other employees to advance professionally and become more engaged.

Onboarding has gained lots of traction in the last several years, with companies realizing its true potential. Employee onboarding, when done correctly, can have an immensely positive impact on the organization and can lead to higher job satisfaction, organizational commitment, high turnover, and  a significantly
higher performance level.

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