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On Boarding

Via Human Resource Executive : Does Your Onboarding Need Some Work?

According to a new survey, HR leaders think their organizations’ new-hire programs are lacking.

Onboarding—or the process by which companies acclimate new employees to their positions, and to the organizations’ policies and practices—can be a vital opportunity for new hires. However, it’s one many companies are missing out on, according to a new report.

New Hire Momentum: Driving the Onboarding Experience, by Kronos Inc. and Human Capital Institute, surveyed 350 HR leaders about their companies’ new-hire strategies. One of the most significant findings was that 76 percent of respondents—who represent U.S. companies of varying sizes and in different industries—said their organizations underutilize onboarding. Nearly a quarter of participants said their employer has no onboarding program at all.

Of those that do have an established strategy, the focus may need some work. Study organizers proposed there are three main types of onboarding content: people, performance and paperwork. Far too often, they found, new-hire programs center on the latter.

Survey respondents said that more than 40 percent of their onboarding programs for external hires are paperwork-centric, such as filling out benefits forms and going over compliance documents. But that’s not where the emphasis should be, they said.

Sixty-two percent of participants think the primary goal of onboarding is to integrate employees into the office culture. In reality, that “people” focus only accounts for 30 percent of onboarding for managers, and just 27 percent for non-managers.

Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., notes that many organizations aim to get new employees right “out on the floor,” leaving HR to “cover the paperwork.”

“The reality is, employees would be more productive if they had time to digest all of the change and newness that comes with starting a job,” Lauby says. “New hires would be more engaged if they understood how they fit into the organizational culture and how their actions contribute to strategic goals.”

Among the activities survey respondents said can best acclimate new employees to a company’s culture are meetings with key stakeholders and senior leadership, team-building activities and peer mentoring. It’s not just about making small talk with the person in the cubicle next to you; the study found that companies whose new-hire programs more strongly emphasize a people approach report better talent and business outcomes.

That statistic supports other research that points to the business case for good onboarding: For instance, a 2007 study from the Wynhurst Group found that new hires who undergo a formal onboarding program are nearly 60 percent more likely to stick with the company three years later than those who didn’t.

However, respondents in the Kronos/HCI study largely reported that their organizations weren’t well-positioned to support an effective onboarding process. Fifty-seven percent said managers were overtasked and don’t have time to invest in acclimating new hires. Other challenges include the inconsistent application of onboarding programs, a lack of tools to measure their effectiveness and insufficient technology to automate the process.

Lauby—an author, writer, speaker and consultant on HR topics—says companies can face those challenges by simplifying the onboarding process to three key elements: what employees need to know, when they need to know it and how they can get that information.

“Do employees need to know about performance expectations during week one? Yes. Do they need to know how to transfer to a different department? Probably not right away,” Lauby says, adding onboarding should be looked at as a “long-term process,” and one that also encourages new hires to do some self-learning.

“By effectively managing new hires’ time and company resources, employees can become productive at an optimal pace,” Lauby says.

Via Real Business : Does your employee onboarding go with a bang, or fizzle out like a damp squib?

It’s understandable that businesses want to get new talent onboard quickly, but beware you don’t immediately dampen the enthusiasm of your new hires under a deluge of paperwork.

Taking on new hires should add a spark to your business during the employee onboarding process, rather than it feeling like it’s burning out like disappointing roman candle. For Bonfire Night, we light up a box of fireworks to focus on the different kinds of onboarding experience that businesses offer onboardees when starting a new role..

The Rocket – getting talent onboard quickly

Rockets rush up into the sky, in an explosion of noise, to create dazzling and sometimes overwhelming displays.

It’s understandable that businesses want to get new talent onboard quickly, but beware you don’t immediately dampen the enthusiasm of your new hires under a deluge of paperwork.

Sending out a huge bundle of contracts, offer letters and supporting documents can be overwhelming for candidates, and can mean that you spend time chasing their return.

Make use of templates for things like offer details and contracts to ensure details are accurate and up to date.

Think about which documents are necessary and relevant to your onboardee, and which topics are better covered when they start working for you.

Using digital technology such as webonboarding makes it easier for candidates to complete, sign and return documents so that you can get them onboard without delays.

Catherine Wheel – whirling around to ensure the correct people are involved

Does hiring a new starter send you off in a flurry, firing off sparks in a whirl of chaos?

If getting someone new into your business means HR, Managers, IT, security, finances and contract departments running around in a state of confusion, then onboarding planning and organisation can help stop things spiralling out of control.

Having a central resource for information, and a well thought through onboarding process helps to save time and eliminate mistakes during employee onboarding. Using online software such as webonboarding can ensure everyone knows what’s happening and understands their role in welcoming a new employee to the business.

The Blaster – onboarding starts from the moment the role has been offered

Shooting off with a screech, all goes silent with this firework until it explodes with a boom and crackle of sparks.

Does your onboarding process start off with great intentions and then go quiet? Do onboardees drop out before they start work, causing the whole process to come to a crashing halt?

Sometimes it can take several weeks, or even months, between making an offer and new starters turning up ready to work. If they don’t hear from your organisation, onboardees may get cold feet, or be tempted away by another offer.

Onboarding should start from the moment the role has been offered. Engage with your onboardees early and keep in touch throughout their notice period. Make them feel like they are already part of your business and give them an idea of what to expect when they start work for you.

The Sparkler – keep the sparkle alive in the onboarding process

This all-round firework favourite dazzles and delights.

Remember, remember offering onboardees a sparkling start to a new job means your organisation should make an effort to impress them as much as they impress you. By demonstrating how your business values its employees from the moment you make an offer you can start to make them feel part of the team.

First impressions can have a big impact, and staff who are unhappy in their new role will quickly decide to move on. Those who have had an effective onboarding process and who feel part of your organisation are likely to stay longer.

Overall, communication is key and can help new starters to begin adding their own sparkle to your business success story.

Via Human Resource Director : Why are so many onboarding experiences bad?

Most employees look forward to starting a new job. But what if the introduction turns into a bad experience?

A recent online survey of 4,000 office workers in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand by cloud-based webonboarding.com revealed that over a third of new starters have had bad onboarding experiences in their organisations.

These experiences led them to regret joining the firm or to leave the job altogether. In fact, 22% of respondents changed their minds before their official start.

For example, 36% of those surveyed said they did not have basic equipment such as a computer on their first day. This caused them to feel like they were joining an unprofessional company.

Fifty-six percent of workers said they did not receive full training and have a sufficient induction plan – when support is seen as pivotal to the overall development of a new employee.

“The findings of our research have highlighted extreme flaws within the onboarding process that are having detrimental effects on global businesses. Major themes throughout were neglect, disorganisation and a lack of engagement,” said Adam Reynolds, CEO of webonboarding.

“Remarkably it seems to boil down to businesses failing to invest the time and focus you would expect to receive in the first few months of joining a new organisation.”

Among those surveyed, 71% said they would have settled into their role quicker had there been a better process in place.

Sixty-nine percent said a good onboarding process would have improved their overall job performance.

Reynolds highlighted the need to prepare all required equipment, materials and training for increased engagement of the new employee.

“Our aim with these results is to make businesses sit up and listen,” he said. “We wouldn’t treat our customers like this, so why would we treat new staff with such disregard?”

via Business News Daily : What Does Poor Onboarding Really Do to Your Team?

Getting your new hires started off on the right foot requires more than just offering them a quick tour of the office and sending them on their way. Giving employees the best chance at future success requires a successful and thorough onboarding program, according to new research from CareerBuilder.

Unfortunately, a number of employers aren’t taking those steps. The study found that 36 percent of organizations do not have a structured onboarding process in place.

Not having any process in place can cause a number of negative consequences for both the employee and employer. Specifically, 16 percent of HR managers said it lowers their company’s productivity, 14 percent said it brings on greater inefficiencies and 12 percent said it leads to higher employee turnover.

Lower employee morale, lower levels of employee engagement, lower confidence among employees, a lack of trust within the organization and missed revenue targets are among the other negative impacts of not having a thorough onboarding program.

Onboarding Process

“While onboarding is a critical component of setting new employees up for success from day one, this study shows some companies are neglecting fundamentals in the onboarding process – and running into serious consequences that can impact the bottom line,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement.

The study discovered employers use varying strategies when it comes to their onboarding process. Nearly half of those surveyed provide an overview of their process and how things work; 45 percent offer individual, ongoing training; 43 percent introduce new hires to key employees; and 42 percent provide an introduction to the company culture.

Additionally, more than 30 percent have a team welcome, ensure the new employee’s workspace and technology is ready before they arrive, and have goals and expectations for the employee’s role with defined milestones and success metrics. Some employers also provide detailed information on the company and growth opportunities and assign a mentor to the new hire.

The research revealed that HR employees would benefit from including more automation and technology into their onboarding systems. More than 40 percent of the HR managers surveyed who don’t capture onboarding information electronically spend three hours or more per employee manually collecting and processing the data, while 16 percent spend five or more hours. 

Onboarding Process

Those who collect all the information manually say they suffer from heavier workloads and higher stress levels. In addition, it leads to missing information, delayed start dates and candidates who end up walking away from the job because the process took too long.

“Employers need to establish a comprehensive checklist for every new employee and incorporate more automation to provide a better, more efficient experiences for employees, their managers and HR,” Haefner said.

Overall, one-quarter of employers have an onboarding process that lasts just a day, or less, with 26 percent having programs that last about a week. Twenty-one percent have an onboarding process that lasts one month, with 11 percent extending it over the course of at least three months.

The study was based on surveys of 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals across a variety of industries and company sizes in the private sector.

via SHRMNew hires skip out when the role doesn’t meet expectations

An employer is most likely to lose newly recruited employees when their job is not what they anticipated, according to a new survey.

Nearly all (90 percent) of the 1,817 executives polled in a recent survey by the Futurestep division of HR consulting, executive search and recruitment firm Korn Ferry said that new-hire retention is an issue for their organization. Over half (52 percent) said that 10 percent to 25 percent of newly hired workers leave within the first six months. Twelve percent of respondents reported their turnover figure for new hires during the first six months as between 26 percent and 50 percent.

“With low unemployment rates and increased need for specialized talent, keeping new hires is a critical issue,” said Bill Gilbert, president, North America, Korn Ferry Futurestep. “It’s incumbent upon recruiters and hiring managers to paint a clear picture of what will be expected of the candidate in his or her new role and to make sure promises of resources, job structure and reporting relationships are fulfilled.”

Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of respondents said new hires leave because they don’t like the company’s culture. Fifteen percent said new employees didn’t see a path for advancement, and another 15 percent said new employees didn’t like their boss.

“I found that the majority of organizations are not providing candidates with insights into their organizational culture in a meaningful way,” said Nora Burns, a Denver-based hiring consultant and founder of HR-Undercover, an advisory practice for which she has “mystery shopped” employers’ hiring and onboarding processes.
“One of the biggest surprises I faced while working undercover was reporting to work for my first day and discovering that the team I’d be working with was completely unaware that a new employee was starting, and the manager was completely unprepared for my arrival,” she said. “Employers set the tone of culture from the very beginning of the employment relationship, and having to dig out of a deficit that was created on Day 1 can be nearly impossible.”

Burns urged HR to move beyond just providing “the PDF identifying cultural values and/or mission and vision” and to work on better articulating how those elements may impact the new employee on the job from day to day. “There is a lot of sugar-coating, particularly with front-line and mid-level jobs along the lines of promoting how ‘fun it is to work here.’ Hiring managers may be too quick to move into sales mode and away from providing a realistic job preview in terms of both tasks and team dynamics.”

Honest job previews are key to keeping new employees, Burns said. “That includes not only the tasks, responsibilities and physical demands, but also insights into the level of collaboration, expectations of performance feedback and consistency versus change in the role.”

Burns also recommended actively involving existing team members in both hiring and onboarding to help reduce early departures. “It’s harder to walk away from a manager and from a team that you like, and it’s more difficult to dislike people who help you and clearly want you to succeed.”

Onboarding Should Go Beyond the Basics

Nearly all the respondents to the Futurestep survey (98 percent) said onboarding programs are a key factor in retention efforts, and 69 percent said they have formal onboarding programs for all new hires. Another 10 percent limit programs to entry-level employees.

However, 23 percent of those programs last only one day, and 30 percent last only a week. Nineteen percent of respondents run new-hire onboarding programs that last one month, and 3 percent have yearlong programs.

“Onboarding must be about more than just the basic administrative processes such as entering time, submitting paperwork and logging onto the intranet,” Gilbert said. “It should also help new hires understand available development opportunities to help them succeed in the organization.”

Nearly all (98 percent) of respondents agreed that mentorship programs for new hires would increase retention, but only 23 percent have a mentorship program for all employees. Another 20 percent have a program for entry-level hires.

“Mentorship programs are not only beneficial for new hires to learn about an organization, [but] they also benefit existing employees by helping them understand the viewpoints and experiences of those new to the company,” Gilbert said. “This allows them to have different insights and encourages them to become more agile as they go about their jobs.”

Using Data to Onboard

Nearly half (42 percent) of respondents say they use data collected during the recruiting process, such as candidate assessments, to help with onboarding once a candidate is hired.

Assessments that examine competencies, traits, drivers and experiences can provide valuable insights about candidates that can be customized into development and onboarding plans for new hires.

“Ignore prehire skills assessments during the onboarding at your own peril,” Burns said. “These instruments, and their results, provide guidance regarding what the candidate already knows and what areas require development.”

Candidate information can also be a great source when auditing the organization’s recruiting process.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they survey new hires about their candidate experience. Of those who conduct surveys, 52 percent routinely examine results to adjust hiring practices. Eighteen percent of respondents said they don’t do anything with the data, even though they collect it.

“Checking in with new hires about their candidate experience is critical to enhancing your hiring process,” Burns said. “It’s best done by someone who wasn’t directly involved in the new hire’s process, or through a well-written and truly anonymous survey in order to obtain fully candid and truthful information. Make it safe to provide constructive feedback on the process without fear that word will get out that ‘Betty complained about how long it took Bob to call her back between interviews.’ “

Of course, if the organization is unwilling to change what is being asked about, don’t ask it in the first place, she added.