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Creating the Perfect Employee Onboarding Programme

As a startup founder, you’ll know the people you surround yourself with is incredibly important. As a small, close-knit team you can keep track of employees and their experience quite easily. But what happens when you start to grow?

When expanding your team, the key to your success will largely be in your onboarding process. When implemented properly, these processes are able to eliminate misunderstandings, increase employee engagement, and, ultimately, allow your business to generate more revenue.

Considering this, it’s crucial that you implement an effective employee onboarding programme for your business. If you do, your hires will be far more successful. But what goes into an effective employee onboarding programme and what are some aspects you need to consider?

In this post, we’ll look at these questions in more detail.

Why is effective onboarding important?

Before looking at these aspects in more detail, let’s first consider why an effective employee onboarding programme is so important. Here, some benefits you’ll enjoy when you implement such a programme include:

Onboarding prevents miscommunications. A proper onboarding programme keeps everyone on the same page. In other words, the new hires know what to expect. Likewise, other team members know who the new hire is and what their role and responsibilities will be. Ultimately, this prevents miscommunication and ensures everyone what to expect from the new relationship.

Effective onboarding increases engagement. Starting a new job can be challenging for any new hire, as they need to face the unknown, meet new people, and take on a new role and responsibilities. A proper onboarding plan can help you eliminate this by making new hires feel welcome, at home, and up to the task of facing unknown challenges. This, in turn, increases employee engagement. According to research, 54% of companies that have implemented an onboarding programme show better levels of employee engagement.

Properly onboarded hires perform better. When new hires are more engaged, they also tend to perform better in their jobs. In addition, an effective employee onboarding programme helps new hires learn and understand your company’s processes, tools, platforms, and culture. Think of it as bringing them up to speed far quicker. This means that they’ll not only perform better but also work more effectively and contribute to the team faster.

Increased engagement leads to higher revenue. Now, think about it. When employees are more engaged and perform better, your business will be able to generate more revenue. In fact, engaged employees, on average, perform better than their team members who are not engaged. Moreover, companies that maintain high employee engagement levels are 21% more profitable than those companies that don’t.

Properly onboarded hires know what’s expected of them. When you use an effective onboarding process, new hires will know what’s expected of them from the outset. This has several benefits. For one, when they know what’s expected of them, new hires are far more likely to understand their role and responsibilities. This directly leads to another benefit. That is when new hires understand their role and what they should do to excel in it, job satisfaction increases substantially.

Turnover is expensive. It’s a fact, turnover is expensive. In fact, the cost of replacing an employee can amount to as much as one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. But it goes further than this. Turnover can also result in losing the best talent, which, in turn, reduces the productivity and efficiency of the team. When this happens, team morale and motivation tend to struggle, which then has a definite impact on your bottom line. Even worse, it could result in fractures in customer relationships.

The key principles of successful onboarding

Now that we’ve seen why an effective employee onboarding programme is important, it’s time we look at how you can create an onboarding programme for your business. To do this, you’ll first need to understand the key principles of successful onboarding. It’s these principles that will form the foundation of your programme and lead to successful results.

The 3 key principles are:

1. Learning the business.

You’ll empower your new hire to be productive and efficient quicker when you take the time and give them deeper insights into your company. For example, you should show new hires who your customers are, what they care about, what your business’s top priorities are, and its mission, vision, and values. Understanding these aspects will guide your new hire on how your company works and how things should be done, which sets them up for long-term success.

2. Learning the people.

Apart from learning about your company and its mission and values, new hires should also learn about the people they’ll work with. When they do, they’ll be able to build lasting workplace relationships which, in turn, increases employee engagement. And, as mentioned earlier, employee engagement is a vital component in helping new hires perform better and enabling you to generate more revenue. This is especially important if you have a remote or distributed team.

3. Learning the role.

Once your new hire knows more about your company and its people, they should also learn about their role. As such, they should know and understand what their role is and what their responsibilities will be. Here, your role should be showing them how you’ll measure their success, what tools they’ll use, and how they’ll learn to use them. And when they understand these aspects, they’ll be better equipped to succeed.

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A perfect employee onboarding programme

With these key principles in mind, let’s now look at the steps you’ll need to follow to develop an employee onboarding programme for your business. Keep in mind that these steps serve as a guideline and you should make adjustments where necessary based on your company’s unique needs and requirements. When you do, remember to take these onboarding practices into account.

Step 1: get the basics right

The first step is getting the basics in place. Ideally, you should do this before your new hire starts. The foundation of this step, taking into account the key principles mentioned earlier, is letting your new hire learn about your company, its people, and its customers. Your new hire should also learn what their role is and how they’ll be able to succeed in it.

So, you should provide your new hire with all this information. This could be in the form of a video presentation, a booklet, and any other form that will suit your company and its culture.

In addition to this, you should also take other steps to prepare for your new hire’s arrival. For one, you should ensure that all the tools they need to do their job are set up and ready. You should also prepare your team before the new hire starts.

So, tell them about the new hire, what they’ll do, and what’s expected of them. It’s also a good idea to ask your team to make themselves available to give advice and support as needed.

Step 2: have a plan

The next step is to have an onboarding plan ready for the day your new hire arrives. Here, your plan should spell out what your new hire’s first few days, weeks, or months at your company will look like. This gives them an idea of what to expect so that they’re not caught unawares by anything.

You could also outline what projects they’ll be working on initially and what they’ll need to do on these projects. The plan is thus a crucial component of your employee onboarding programme and helps to set new hires up for long-term success.

Step 3: assign a mentor

Although not strictly necessary, assigning a mentor to your new hire might be a good idea. This mentor will typically be a more senior employee that can help your new hire by answering any questions or addressing any concerns they might have. This makes the onboarding process more streamlined and allows your new hire to become productive sooner.

Now, the obvious question is how long this mentor should make themselves available. It depends on your company, the role, and the new hire themselves. Some might need assistance for longer, while others will be up and running quicker. Either way, even if this initial period has passed, it’s still a good idea for the mentor to check in from time to time.

Step 4: build connections

It’s absolutely critical that you help the new hire create and foster relationships with their teammates. Think of it, there’s no better way to make your new hire feel like a part of the team than letting them meet, get to know, and integrate with their team members.

Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use here. For example, you can schedule activities like lunch or dinner outings where your new hire can get to know their peers better away from a work setting. Another option would be to use any of the available team-building activities. The possibilities are basically endless.

The key is that, when you succeed in creating these connections and building relationships, your new hire will integrate quicker and your team will collaborate much better and be more productive.

Step 5: keep in touch

The last step is probably the most important one. It involves you keeping an open communication channel with your new hire and encouraging them to communicate consistently. This could be as simple as keeping their team updated on their progress, even when not asked, or asking for advice when they need it.

Part of this step is also that you communicate from your side constantly. As such, you should check in with your new hire regularly to see how they’re progressing in their role and if they’re settling in. This allows you to identify any issues faster. And when you’re able to identify these issues, you can solve them before they become more significant challenges.

The bottom line

When you want to ensure that any new hires are as efficient and productive as possible as quickly as possible, it’s vital that you implement an effective employee onboarding programme that incorporates onboarding best practices. When you do, they’ll be more engaged, perform better, and you’ll be able to generate more revenue.

Hopefully, this post helped illustrate the steps you should follow to develop an onboarding programme in more detail. As your business grows, it will be an invaluable tool in building your team.

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From online accounting to CFO & R&D tax services, we’ll help you hit your targets for growth. Our team is on hand to provide you with the guidance and assistance you need. Simply get in touch with us today to learn more and find out how we can help your business thrive.

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