By: Helios on April 11th, 2012

Print/Save as PDF

How Effective is Your Onboarding Process?

Total Rewards | Best Practices | Talent Acquisition

By Helen Trainor, Senior Recruiter

The MIT Sloan Management Review found that more than 25 percent of the working population will experience a career transition each year. Unfortunately, effective onboarding, or the process of assimilating new hires into the organization, is often neglected. As one of the most important functions of both HR and management, onboarding is frequently left to whoever the new employee will report to, direct line managers or recruiters. Organizations that put little thought into onboarding are more likely to have higher turnover, lower employee satisfaction, and suffer from disjointed and inconsistent practices.

A new hire will determine in the first three months if they have made the right decision to join the organization. An effective onboarding process can help to ensure that the new hire has a clear understanding of their role and the organization. Long-term outcomes of strong onboarding include role clarity, increased productivity and commitment to the organization. In Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests the following best practices as an effective onboarding process:

  • Implement the basics prior to the first day on the job
  • Make the first day on the job special
  • Use formal orientation programs
  • Develop a written onboarding plan
  • Make onboarding participatory
  • Be sure your program is consistently implemented
  • Ensure that the program is monitored over time
  • Use technology to facilitate the process
  • Use milestones, such as 30, 60, 90 and 120 days on the job—and up to one year post-organizational entry—to gauge employee progress
  • Engage stakeholders in planning
  • Include key stakeholder meetings as part of the program
  • Be crystal clear with new employees regarding:
    • Objectives;
    • Timelines;
    • Roles; and
    • Responsibilities.

There are many processes that will work and many methods you can use to properly plan, hire, retain, and refine employees to grow and assimilate into your organization's culture. One rule remains the same; the success of the organization relies on its core — its people. Take the time to develop and implement your onboarding process, we promise it won’t disappoint.

For additional reading, Helios recommends the following:
Onboarding: How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time by George B. Bradt
Successful Onboarding: Strategies to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization by Mark Stein
Creative Onboarding Programs: Tools for Energizing Your Orientation Program by Doris Sims