Onboarding: Key to Employee Success and Growth

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

As with so many other moments in the employee experience, onboarding is your opportunity to either win or lose the hearts of your employees. Except employee onboarding is the first BIG moment. Underestimate the importance of onboarding at the risk of losing your top talent.

If you’ve ever sat through an hours-long new hire orientation (or maybe you’ve run them yourself), you know that traditional onboarding leans heavily on process and paperwork. But forward-thinking organizations know that to set employees up for success and drive organizational growth, you need to put equal focus on building relationships and connections with the colleagues, programs, and information that matter most. In this article we’ll dive a bit deeper into the importance of onboarding and how Enboarder’s customers have improved engagement, retention, and culture through modern onboarding.

Is Onboarding Still Important?

The short answer is yes. But we would argue that having a strategic onboarding program is more important than ever with more companies operating with distributed workforces.

In the days when people worked in the office five days a week, it was easier for new hires to passively get a feel for company culture and build those connections with co-workers IRL. Now most companies need to take into account remote and hybrid employees and build a comprehensive strategy around remote onboarding.

What’s the cost of ineffective onboarding? Not only will you see 30-, 60-, and 90-day quit rates go up, but you risk increased time to productivity, disengagement, and even potential legal trouble due to unintentional violations.

7 Ways Onboarding Is Important to Your Company’s Success

Think of onboarding as the first point of connection your new hire makes with their manager, their team, and the broader organization. Spark that sense of connection and belonging and you’ll see a myriad of benefits. Below are just a few benefits when it comes to the importance of onboarding.

Improved Employee Engagement and Retention

All of the workplace disruption over these last few years is leaving employees less than satisfied. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the “end of the honeymoon phase” for employees, citing research from Qualtrics that in 2023 new hires reported lower levels of engagement and feelings of inclusion and intent to stay than longer-tenured workers. Many of those employees who jumped ship for better titles and more money aren’t feeling connected to their new companies.

When you shift your thinking and put a focus on connection and experience during onboarding, you’ll see engagement rates soar. Case in point: Octave Health was not only able to scale its onboarding process as hiring increased more than 10x, but also achieved a 97.8% engagement in HR programs.

Building Company Culture

Culture is the “vibe” that permeates every level of your company. New hires can sense that vibe even before day one in every interaction they have – whether it’s with a recruiter, hiring manager, or interview panel. A connected onboarding experience will help you build company culture from the start.

Sarah Beardworth, HR director at Dermalogica, worked with Enboarder to build an automated onboarding workflow that connects new hires to culture. Here’s a small example: Dermalogica integrated Enboarder with Huggg so new hires can grab a free drink at a local coffee shop during their first week. “Our company pillars are personalization, human touch, and education, and I think that’s what Enboarder helps us bring is that human element,” says Sarah. Read the full story here.

Communication and Relationship Building

Process and paperwork have a place in onboarding, but a connected onboarding program will jumpstart those important ties between new hires and their hiring manager and new team. A really easy and effective way to do this is through a buddy program.

Becky Greensmith, systems & communications partner at Motorpoint, shares how integrating a buddy system into your onboarding program “takes a lot of pressure off the hiring manager” and provides that human connection that’s essential to feeling a sense of belonging.

Set New Hires Up for Success

A comprehensive onboarding program takes new hires on a journey, sharing the right information at the right time when it comes to the people, programs, and information that matter most. Rather than forcing new hires to “drink from the firehose,” you can guide them with helpful nudges and prompts that set them up for success. Curious how Cisco Meraki was able to get 88% of new Merakis prepared for day one? Check out our Q&A with Darren Gant.

Accelerated Time to Productivity

Improving a new hire’s first days on the job can go a long way toward improving time to productivity. Here are two tips to improve productivity early in employee journey:

  1. Customize the onboarding journey: Meet a new hire where they are. Control the frequency of communication. Look for employee onboarding software with no-code tools for modifying each new hire’s journey.
  2. Connect new hires with managers, co-workers, and purpose: Using your onboarding software, connect new hires with their managers first. Forging deep connections early on leads to better conversation so new hires can become productive faster.

Enhanced Employer Branding

As Gallup notes, building strong emotional connections between employees and their colleagues and manager during onboarding is critical for a strong employer brand. The better their experience during preboarding and onboarding, the more likely they’ll make referrals and the less time and money you’ll need to spend on recruitment. Gallup recommends clearly communicating how new hires are contributing to your company’s mission and allowing them to experience your brand as early as possible during onboarding.

Reducing Hiring Costs

A strategic onboarding program gets new hires excited to join the team and sets them up for success – making them less likely to walk out the door and reducing your hiring costs. On average, losing an employee costs one half to two times their salary when you have to go back to the drawing board and dedicate more time and resources to recruiting, onboarding, and training someone new.

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Build a Successful Onboarding Program With Enboarder

Thankfully, you don’t need to start from scratch to achieve these results and realize the importance of onboarding. Enboarder works with some of the world’s most admired brands to build connected onboarding experiences that drive engagement and retention. We can help you break through the noise and clutter to spark meaningful action by connecting people to the humans, tools, and information that will help them thrive.

Ready to dive deeper and see if Enboarder is right for you? Check out this webinar, “From Stress to Success: Enboarder’s Onboarding Walkthrough.”

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