Here's How You Can Build The Best Employee Onboarding Experience

Employee onboarding is one of the crucial elements of employee retention and happiness. Here are the employee onboarding tips you should use in 2023.

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Every employer wants the new employees to hit the ground running. And that’s fine, but it might not always be realistic, nor is it always the best way to achieve long-term success and results. Experienced business leaders understand the importance of setting the stage for the new hires, and the importance of onboarding them for long-term success, instead of immediate gain.

If you rush your onboarding or if you skip certain aspects thinking they’ll pick them up later on the job, you’re setting the stage for a lot of frustration and quiet quitting right off the bat. And that’s not a good way to retain top talent, nor is it a good way to maintain a positive employer brand.

What matters for the long-term success of the individual is how much you invest in the onboarding process, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Here are the employee onboarding tips you should implement in your strategy to build the best possible experience that will lead to some serious results down the road.

Make Your Onboarding Scalable and Iterative

First things first, business leaders need to make sure that their onboarding strategy is flexible and scalable enough to ensure a positive experience for different types of hires. In other words, not every templated approach will work for every individual, but more importantly, you can’t expect the same approach to onboarding to deliver the same results over time.

Your company is constantly evolving, and so are the needs and habits of the modern workforce. That’s why you need to make sure that your employee onboarding process is scalable according to the latest trends in the job market, the needs of modern professionals, and the requirements of your various departments.

This means that onboarding is iterative as well, a process that you can constantly change and improve between hiring periods.

Maintaining a scalable onboarding process will allow you to better personalise and optimise the experience for new hires and their needs. Monitor the trends, identify their needs, and don’t be afraid to adapt.

Establish an Onboarding Buddy Program

The buddy system is one of the best methods of getting new hires up to speed and settled in quickly, and it can be the start of a good mentorship program in the workplace. Typically, you would use the buddy system to facilitate cross-department collaboration and eliminate department silos in your organisations, but you should also use it for onboarding success.

However, it’s important to note that an onboarding buddy is not the same as a mentor. Creating an onboarding buddy program means assigning a new hire with a peer or someone on the team who can bring them in on the company culture, the workplace dynamic, the tools they’ll be using, and more. This will greatly speed up the whole process and make the new employee feel like home.

On the other hand, a mentor is not a peer, but a highly skilled expert tasked with getting an employee ready for the next step in their career. This is something you should advocate for in your organisation, it’s an important part of the onboarding culture, and it leads us to the next important point.

Consider Mentorship for New Hires

Mentorship programs are an essential part of employee engagement, advancement, and overall happiness and productivity in an organisation. If you want your employees to keep bringing value to your company and stay with you through thick and thin, then you need to invest in their professional advancement through mentorship. But what about the new hires?

Is simple and straightforward onboarding enough, and if so, is it enough to get them started or to set them up for years of success? Obviously, the answer is no. Establishing a new employee mentoring program goes beyond traditional onboarding but instead of focusing on career advancement, this time it focuses completely integrating the person into the brand and its identity.

The focus here is to inspire loyalty and trust, to develop relationships quickly with other employees, and to complement the technical onboarding with everything the new employee needs to feel at home. To achieve this, you can use one-on-one mentorship, group mentorships, and even virtual mentorship.

Simplify and Streamline the Experience

Every organisation, depending on the complexity of its work and the industry, will have different needs for onboarding, as well as learning and development. But that doesn’t mean that your process needs to be too complex, taxing, or fatiguing. Yes, the new employee needs to go through a certain number of stages and a certain amount of onboarding material, but you should make these as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Streamlining and gamifying the onboarding experience are the two best ways to ensure people stay engaged throughout, and that they actually retain what they have learned. This will help facilitate agile onboarding in which new hires get settled in quickly, know exactly how to communicate with the team, and are in-tune with the company’s tools and software solutions.

This is the foundation of their onboarding experience and will allow them to get to work quickly and feel empowered to start contributing almost from day one.

Analyse Your Employee Engagement Strategy

A lot of the things that work for your existing employees are the thighs you should be implementing in your onboarding process. Happy employees are a treasure trove of useful information, and by analysing your employee engagement strategy and what makes them feel engaged, loyal, and productive, you can use the same principles to engage and inspire new hires.

Some of the best employee engagement strategies will nurture core values and principles like open and transparent communication, trust and cooperation, they will encourage feedback and work hard on inclusivity and diversity. These are all principles you should use to make onboarding a better and more rewarding experience for new hires to inspire them to become an integral part of the brand.

Don’t Forget About Your Temporary Workers

The gig economy has been on the rise in recent years, and especially in the post-pandemic world where people are working remotely and on a project basis. Companies need to bring in reinforcement quickly to ensure certain projects meet their deadlines, and remote experts from various industries are more than happy to take on project-based work.

Now, while a temporary workforce is only there to fill a transient gap in your roster, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be onboarded properly. While they don’t need the whole onboarding experience, they do need to feel welcome in your organisation, they do need to know the key objectives and expectations, and you need to run them through your software.

Work on those foundational pillars right off the bat and you should have no problem onboarding temp workers quickly to maximise their potential.

Over to you

The employee’s onboarding experience can be the key factor that will define their engagement, productivity, and the results they achieve while working for your brand. Don’t underestimate the power and potential that a great onboarding experience has, rather, be sure to use these tips to elevate the process and empower new hires to start achieving great things for themselves and your organisation. This way, you will grow and thrive together.

This article was guest written by Sara Novicic.

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