The week before I started my new job, I opened my front door to a surprise delivery of flowers with a welcome note from my new team. I'll never forget the gesture - it suggested I was joining an organization that would go the extra mile. It made me want to go the extra mile, too.
The first days, weeks and months at any organization determines the make or break decision for new employees. If you fail to pay attention to this first critical phase, you'll be at risk of unhappy hires and the negative impact this could have on your company.
Risks of a messy process
A bunch of flowers is a great touch, but it can't end there. It's of utmost importance for HR managers to not underestimate the time (and effort) it can take for a new employee to feel at ease within their team and the organization. Letting them out figure things for themselves instead of proactively providing the right resources and guidance can result in employees feeling unsure and unenthusiastic in their new roles.
A great onboarding experience is the foundation of employee engagement and long tenure. Without this solid base, a new employee is more likely to resign. The larger the organization, the more complex the process, too.
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Beyond a warm welcome
Professional onboarding entails more than making sure people know what is expected of them and explaining how the canteen works. It's about providing employees with the know-how, resources and support they need to really become part of the organization.
It may start with logistics (like does the new hire have the necessary tech and access to platforms on day one?) but what a good onboarding program really does is ensure employee engagement in the organization's strategy and goals as quickly as possible. It provides clear expectations for meaningful contribution and gives employees the opportunity to find their feet with guidance and support.
More innovative programs foster relationship building, creating a sense of belonging within their team and a connection to the organization's culture. The connection between great onboarding and the operational and financial success of an organization can be seen in increased engagement and motivation, a better customer experience, lower turnover and higher retention at a fraction of the cost of recruitment.
So, how do you know if your onboarding program is achieving the results you're looking for across all departments? By encouraging dialogue and giving your employees a voice, you can gather the data you need from their insights.
Free Checklist: Successfully gather feedback from your employees
The step-by-step guide to creating your employee engagement survey.Download
Identify gaps and use the benefits
By creating dialogue with your employees from the get-go, you'll be equipped to make better decisions based on first-hand experiences about what your program is lacking or possible hidden issues within specific teams. Moreover, onboarding surveys facilitate:
- Insight into how aligned new hires are to key business strategies, or cultural fit
- Ongoing, clear and consistent channels of communication
- Actionable insights and learning at every organizational level
- Setting milestones to measure onboarding success
An onboarding survey can also enable you to capture and present data to stakeholders in concise and useful reports.
How to implement an onboarding survey
Our onboarding survey points out if the expectations of new employees have been met. All new employees receive a short online questionnaire after 10 to 25 (working) days after the start of their onboarding. To ensure they feel free to answer questions honestly, the survey is completely anonymous. The survey is quick and easy based on relevant and carefully crafted questions. For example, employees can share their experience of becoming part of the organization, whether or not they are equipped to meet role expectations and their insights into organizational goals.
From my own experience, I found that a reciprocal onboarding program, in which I was able to share my perspective and contribute alongside every other new hire to an ever-better onboarding program, helped me to feel energized and engaged, and identified potential pitfalls before they became obstacles.
Create your onboarding survey strategy with us to ensure the process is aligned with your organizationals goals. Effectory also offers surveying tools for the entire employee journey.