Why Onboarding New Employees Is Critical to Organizational Success

Successfully onboarding new employees may save your organization time, money, and reputation. A well-planned process offers the opportunity for your new hire to start strong. Ultimately, it may even give you a competitive edge and boost organizational success.

Reasons Onboarding New Employees Is Critical to Organizational Success

7 reasons why onboarding new employees impacts your bottom line

In 2022, 64 percent of HR managers across industries anticipated that recruiting and hiring will grow significantly. Some of the industries most in need of talent were healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and manufacturing.

Hiring is competitive and time-consuming. Make the most of the time you spent finding the right person by onboarding them properly. Here’s how your business can benefit from prioritizing this aspect.

1. Improve retention and engagement

A well-thought-out onboarding program provides new employees with the resources, information, and tools needed to be successful in their new position.

The cover article from the May-June 2022 issue of Harvard Business Review highlights how onboarding can play a crucial role in employee retention. The article explores how Lululemon uses a 90-day onboarding to improve engagement and reduce turnover. Their 90-day new hire retention and first-year employee engagement are twice the industry average. Such astonishing figures are in part credited to their selection and onboarding.

2. Create confident employees

The goal of onboarding is to ensure your new hire becomes familiar with core values and policies. In addition to the tools and resources your company provides, you prepare your staff for every aspect of the job. This way, they’re more likely to feel more confident in their work.

It’s important to easily and quickly learn where to look, whom to ask, and how to handle tasks. So they can jump right in rather than guessing. And they won’t have to spend their days asking questions that could have been addressed in onboarding.

3. Reduce workplace conflict

Conflict reduction isn’t necessarily an obvious benefit of a strong onboarding program. Yet, these HBR contributors recommend that organizations take a proactive approach to minimize polarizing conflicts starting at employee orientation.

“Start early… Because people will be more receptive to the idea that their political convictions may distort their thinking if they encounter it as an abstract principle rather than in connection with how they’re behaving during an argument.”

Onboarding is also a good time to promote the organization’s commitment to open communication. Sowing the seeds before conflicts arise may help prevent unnecessary issues. What’s more, they also provide tools and an understanding of company policies.

4. Ensure better compliance

Sometimes people see onboarding as another word for orientation. But these two differ in one major way. Orientation is a single, short-term event. The onboarding process should be a series of events taking place over the initial 90 days of employment.

Spending more time on onboarding new employees allows you to cover all the important details without overwhelming them. For industries that deal with a lot of compliance, this is key to successful onboarding. Give new employees time to learn and understand the regulations. In turn, this will both benefit them and keep the company safe in the long-term.

5. Strengthen organizational culture

If culture is important to your organization, onboarding sets the tone. Aim to integrate new hires from day one so they feel included and welcomed. If they’re rushed around, ignored, or left to fend for themselves, they’ll quickly make assumptions about what the rest of their experience will be like—and what the culture as a whole is like.

This is why onboarding can’t be an afterthought. It has to be considered, developed, and executed just as with any other part of the business. It takes careful planning with your company values at the center of it all.

6. Cultivate soft skills

Some onboarding programs include an ongoing mentorship. A more experienced team member helps the new hire learn to navigate the company. This type of program benefits both of them as it helps develop leadership and collaboration skills.

Involving other team members in addition to HR provides a personal development opportunity. And it is the perfect chance to learn or display new soft skills. Leaders can also use this as an opportunity to see how mid-level employees do in leadership roles.

7. Improve managerial accountability

When the top leadership is involved in onboarding, mid-level management is more accountable for playing their role. It’s these managers who can get stuck in the weeds, and as a result, are unable to provide the onboarding experience new hires need. Yet such a program will hold everyone accountable for making it a valuable experience.

Onboarding can’t be overlooked

Successfully onboarding new employees is beneficial not only for the new hires, but for the company as a whole. In many ways.

Keep this in mind as you develop, refine, or re-think your onboarding. When done right, everyone has a chance to step up, connect, and play a role in the culture that makes your business successful.

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