Human Resources, Onboarding

4 Characteristics of a Great Onboarding Program

For today’s Advisor we have an article by Rickard Hansson, the founder and CEO of Incentive, a socially powered enterprise collaboration platform for mid-market companies and enterprise teams. Read on to learn about Hansson’s four essential qualities of an effective onboarding program.

When it comes to new hires, orientation and onboarding are important for successfully incorporating new employees into the workplace and making sure work isn’t disrupted as people come and go. They’re even more crucial for businesses that want to retain top talent—and isn’t that everyone?

While orientations are important, onboarding has a deeper impact on an organization’s bottom line. It offers companies an opportunity to promote company loyalty, display employee satisfaction, and increase productivity—engaging employees in order to retain them. Onboarding equips an employee with everything he or she needs to produce the expected work in a productive manner.

There are many different onboarding programs and methods for HR and hiring managers, and what works best may differ from business to business. While exact formats vary, there are four consistent characteristics of a great onboarding program that should never be compromised.

1. Consolidation

A successful onboarding program makes HR’s and hiring managers’ jobs a breeze by consolidating paperwork, onboarding materials, new employee training forms, project briefs, and more in one easily searchable place.

When businesses implement an onboarding program housed in a single online, searchable platform, HR not only saves time but new hires also have an easy way to find pertinent information whenever they need it. Time previously spent searching for documents, which averages about 1.8 hours a day, can be spent more productively and can result in the acceleration of employee performance.

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2. Social User Experience (UX)

Soon, Millennials will make up the majority of employees, approximately 75% by 2030, which makes user experience especially important. Millennials are used to living in an online world and operate most efficiently in a social environment.

Millennials want, and expect, the workplace to offer these same social tools. Having an onboarding process that incorporates social UX such as video or group chatting can make new Millennial employees feel more connected to peers and the organization.

3. Value and Culture

An organization’s onboarding program should reflect the company’s values and culture. This process is the first and most important impression of the workplace new hires will witness.

A bad process can depict a bad workplace and can ultimately hurt an employee’s perspective on the company. Millennials in particular are concerned with sharing similar values as their employer, and if they do not feel understood or valued, they might not stay long in the organization.

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4. A Sense of Community

Onboarding should be a time to easily integrate new hires into an existing employee base. But, it can be intimidating for new employees to jump right in and assimilate themselves into the company’s social landscape.

HR and hiring managers can soften the blow by providing an onboarding program that creates community through socialization. Whether it’s an online forum for new employees to interact or a daily video chat between new hires and senior executives, a platform with socialization capabilities will help new hires feel welcome.

As the workforce begins to shift to the new Millennial generation, businesses are going to need to update their onboarding processes to meet expectations. Whether it’s adopting technologies like a social intranet that fosters collaboration or setting up new processes for onboarding employees, HR and hiring managers will have to make sure they are taking a new approach to equipping employees with the tools they need to excel.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, we switch gears from onboarding to leadership—and reveal the five things that bosses wish their employees would tell them.