Understanding and Implementing Preboarding for Employee Success

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

You may be fully staffed, but are people still checked in at work? The latest research says probably not: A staggering 59% of global employees report feeling disengaged from their work. While these people aren’t quitting their jobs because they need them, many are “quiet quitting.” Once you’ve lost an employee’s engagement, it’s very hard to win them back. That’s why you need to begin building engagement before day one – and preboarding is your ticket to long-term employee engagement.

When welcoming new employees, preboarding is an essential but often overlooked step of the onboarding process. Preboarding starts before the employee’s first day of work and helps to create a smooth transition for the new hire and the organization.

An effective preboarding process spells the difference between a new hire showing up with first-day jitters, feeling overwhelmed by new information, and your new hire showing up confident, excited, and ready to go. By taking the time to prepare for your new employee’s arrival, you set the stage for a fabulous employee experience and long-term employee engagement.

Discover what preboarding is, why it matters, and how to develop an effective preboarding process in your organization.

What Is Preboarding? 🤔

Preboarding, a stage of onboarding, is the process of preparing a new hire for their first day of work. It begins with the organization sending out welcome materials, including job descriptions, company policies, and other important information. This helps the new hire understand your company and the job they’ll be doing.

Preboarding also includes setting up any equipment or technology that the new hire needs, especially if they’ll be working from home. This could include creating accounts, installing software, or providing access to tools and resources.

Human connection is a critical piece of preboarding, too. Remind managers and the new hire’s direct team members to reach out, introduce themselves, and hype up the new hire for their first day.

Want your new hires to be WOW’ed from the moment they sign? Check out Enboarder’s Talent and Onboarding Solutions. 🤩

5 Benefits of Preboarding New Hires ✅

Delivering a positive preboarding experience isn’t just great for helping the employee get acclimated to their new role. Preboarding drives better talent and business outcomes, too. Check out five reasons to implement preboarding in your organization.

Faster Time-to-Productivity

Preboarding helps speed up the time it takes for new employees to become productive. By letting new hires familiarize themselves with the company before they start work, they can hit the ground running and begin delivering value from day one.

Preboarding also helps set the tone for the rest of an employee’s time at the company, allowing them to feel comfortable and confident in their role. All of this helps reduce their time to productivity and ensure new employees can quickly make meaningful contributions to the organization.

More Positive Employer Brand

Preboarding helps create a positive first impression and a sense of belonging before the employee even starts. Starting a new job will always be stressful, but making sure new team members feel prepared and welcomed, especially by their managers and teammates, goes a long way toward improving their perceptions of your company.

Preboarding also helps to clearly communicate the company’s values and culture to new hires, which can make them feel more connected to the organization and more likely to stay with the company in the long run.

Improved Employee Retention

Since it’s designed to prepare your new team members for their first day, preboarding helps you build momentum for engaging new hires from the moment candidates accept a job offer.

Preboarding enables employers to make a positive first impression and begin the employee-employer relationship on the right foot. If employees already feel engaged on their first day, you have a much better chance of keeping them engaged and motivated. It helps to build trust and respect from the start, which can improve employee retention and help reduce turnover.

Higher Referral Likelihood

A great onboarding experience is an incredibly valuable tool for attracting new employees. The more new hires feel welcomed and appreciated by your company – even before their first day – the more likely they are to tell their family and friends and encourage them to apply. By preboarding, employers can create an efficient and friendly onboarding experience for new hires as well as build relationships with those who can refer more qualified applicants.

Reduced New-Hire Anxiety

By providing new hires with information and resources before their first day, they can feel more prepared and less anxious about their new role. When new hires have the chance to review pertinent information – and know that they can access it when they need it – they can be more present on the first day instead of worrying about all the things they need to know.

4 Challenges to Preboarding 😩

For all the benefits preboarding provides, there are some barriers to implementing it effectively. Discover some common preboarding challenges and how to make the right decisions when designing your preboarding program.

Information Overload

It can be difficult for new employees to effectively sift through all of the information they need to acclimate to their job. Keeping track of preboarding information can be challenging when it’s scattered across sources – emailed documents, the company website, employee handbooks, and more.

The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming, leading to confusion and difficulty understanding and retaining the necessary information. It’s your job to cut through the noise to deliver the content new hires will find most useful when they need it most.

Logistical Complexities

Preboarding involves completing a series of administrative tasks and mandatory activities, like drug screenings. To solve this challenge, consider investing in an automated onboarding experience. Sending new hires pre-populated forms and documents as well as tools for automatically scheduling mandatory activities can help ease their sense of overwhelm as they work through the logistics of preboarding.

Technology Limitations

To successfully onboard a new hire, organizations need to have access to the right technology. Not having access to the right technology can hinder communication, training, and collaboration, causing delays in onboarding and the potential for misunderstandings. Automating the provisioning process can make this administrative task easier so managers can get new hires set up with the technology they need ahead of their first day.

Lack of Personalization

Without customization, new employees may feel like they’re just another number; this can lead to a lack of engagement and a decrease in morale. Personalization during preboarding, even something as simple as finding out and providing their favorite snack, lets employers show new hires that they care about their individual needs and interests. It can give them a sense of belonging and make them more likely to stay with the company in the long run.

5 Key Elements of an Effective Preboarding Process 🔑

Some aspects of preboarding you can’t do without. Before you launch your preboarding program, plan to include these five elements.

Welcome Package

A preboarding welcome package provides the new hire with the necessary tools to hit the ground running. This can help new hires get a better understanding of the company and its expectations and ensure that they have all the necessary information to start their new role.

Company Information

Include relevant company information during the preboarding process for new hires. This information should include a comprehensive overview of the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture as well as an overview of the history of the organization. This information gives new hires an understanding of the company’s purpose, vision for the future, and how they’ll fit into the organization.

Role Expectations

Include clear expectations for new hires during preboarding. This will help ensure that the new hire understands their job and the expectations of their new role. Provide the job description; company culture and policies, such as dress codes or the code of ethics; expected working hours; and any relevant performance metrics or standards.

Introduction to Team and Company Culture

To get team members off to a good start, give them an overview of the team they’ll be working with as well as the roles and responsibilities of each team member so they can see who does what on their team. Encourage managers and teammates to reach out and introduce themselves before their first day. This helps create an open, welcoming environment that facilitates successful onboarding.

Plan for the First Day, Week, and Month

A well-crafted plan helps provide structure and guidance during the onboarding process and can help ease any anxieties new hires might have. With a plan in place, new hires know exactly what to expect and are more likely to feel comfortable and confident in their new role.

5 Tips for a Successful Preboarding Process 👍

Want to start your new hires off on the right foot? Consider these tips for moving them from the hiring process into your workforce’s daily life.

Set Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations with new hires is an essential part of the preboarding process. It helps create a productive working relationship between the employer and the employee. Employers should provide detailed information about job roles and responsibilities, desired outcomes, and expectations for team performance.

Maintain Regular Communication

When preboarding new hires, begin to set the tone for a regular communication cadence. Provide managers with a communication plan template that includes setting expectations and scheduling consistent check-ins throughout the onboarding process.

Leverage Technology

Onboarding software can help streamline the preboarding process by automating tasks such as sending welcome emails, creating employee profiles, and providing access to online onboarding resources. Additionally, it can help ensure that each preboarding step is completed in the right order and on time.

Ask for Feedback

During and after the preboarding process, automatically send surveys to new hires to take their temperature on the experience. Asking for feedback helps you better understand the experience of new hires and provides them with the opportunity to share their thoughts on the process.

Make the First Day Special

Preboarding ends when your new hire’s first day begins, so make their start date a day they’ll remember. For example, plan their day to balance learning new tasks with meeting new people – and build in some time for activities they enjoy. Find out what their favorite snacks or drinks are during preboarding surveys and deliver those to their workspace on their first day.

Small gestures mean a lot when carried out with intention!

Create a Memorable Preboarding Experience With Enboarder®

Enboarder’s no-code workflow software provides a streamlined preboarding process that helps you create an engaging and seamless experience for new hires. With Enboarder, companies can create a preboarding experience that not only meets their business needs but also helps new hires feel welcome and ready to start work.

Want to learn more? Discover how to implement an experience-driven onboarding blueprint.

Become an Enboarder insider!