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The Mistake 65% of Companies Make While Onboarding

Employee Onboarding is finally beginning to receive the attention it deserves. Companies and their HR departments have acknowledged its importance after statistics like the ones below were published.

  • Great on-boarding ensures that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years. (O.C. Tanner)
  • Organizations with a standard process enjoy 50% greater new hire retention. (UrbanBound)
  • Employee onboarding can reduce the costs of turnover. The organizational costs of turnover are 100-300% of the replaced employee’s salary. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Unproductive employees who don’t understand their jobs cost U.S. and U.K. companies $37 billion annually. (UrbanBound)

Though 78% of today’s businesses have created onboarding programs, not all of them have reaped the benefits they expected. One possible reason for this inefficiency is waiting until a new hire’s first day to begin onboarding. And that’s the mistake many of today’s businesses and HR departments tend to make.

Onboarding on the First Day is Too Late

Many HR personnel believe that showing employees the ropes shouldn’t start until they step into their new roles. However, this decision greatly affects both new hires and a company’s HR.

By not leveraging the time between accepting and starting a new job, companies affect their new talent’s transition. In most cases, your newest addition may be wrapping up assignments at their former workplace. If they were a valuable asset who can’t be replaced, chances are that their former employer will try retaining them. So, you need to build a connection with your newest addition to prevent them from rethinking their decision of joining your organization.

Another risk is if the newest addition to your workforce is planning a vacation or some ‘me’ time before joining you. By not communicating during their pre-boarding phase or providing them with HR materials such as your company’s policies and culture, you can’t expect them to be productive from day one. This is especially true if you’re planning to have them fill paperwork and shake hands throughout their first day.

Delaying onboarding affects the HR department as well. Considering the amount of work a new hire has to do on their first day, HR personnel will have their hands full ensuring that employee documentation and onboarding tasks are completed. As a result, they may devote less time to other integral talent management tasks.

Moreover, delayed onboarding allows less time for training. By not giving employees the time to learn, their understanding, retention, and adoption of workplace learning will be affected. Considering how 90% of new hires constantly question whether to stay or leave, the first six months of hiring them are very important.

How to Get the Most from the On-boarding Process

The sooner you start the onboarding process, the better your chances of integrating new employees and ensuring their efficiency. Early onboarding also allows your new hire to feel prepared and comfortable before stepping into their new workplace for the very first time. However, you need a balanced approach so that new hires do not become overwhelmed with lots of information and piles of HR materials on their very first day.

Consider revisiting your onboarding plan to properly distribute the tasks assigned to new hires. This  helps devise a balanced plan which will not overwhelm HR or new hires. However, remember to stretch employees’ learning curve so that they do not decide to jump ship and cost you millions in turnover costs.

Better yet, automate employee onboarding to make it efficient. There are numerous solutions such as SilkRoad which you can integrate into your company’s IT infrastructure to optimize the process. A few of these even have mobile apps that you can use to attract tech-savvy millennial employees, simplify the onboarding process, and help HR personnel easily audit employee documentation and keep tabs on onboarding tasks.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you have a good early onboarding strategy in place? If yes, how has it helped you so far?
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