Proper adaptation is a crucial part of every new employee's career cycle. However, research shows that up to 88 percent of companies don't have their onboarding set up correctly. Not only can a mishandled integration of a new employee spoil the atmosphere in the company, but it also costs the organization a lot of money due to decreased productivity, lower engagement, and increased error rates. So, how do you go about the right adaptation? Get familiar with proven practices.
Research indicates that a single disengaged employee with an average salary can set a company back around 350.000 CZK annually. An ineffective onboarding process frequently leads to low engagement, decreased performance, more errors, and diminished loyalty. Onboarding refers to the period of adjustment for a new employee after their arrival.
Onboarding is an integration process aimed at helping employees to be well-prepared for their role within the organization and to contribute to its goals and values. The initial adaptation phase typically lasts two to three weeks. Following that, a three-month probationary period is commonly used for thorough training and engagement of the employee. Here are five proven tips to ensure that your new employee feels comfortable and can deliver excellent performance.
1. Get Ahead Before Their Start Date
There's a shortage of skilled individuals in today's job market. Given the low unemployment rate, numerous professionals have an array of appealing job opportunities to choose from. If someone has shown interest in working with you, don't wait around—reach out to them promptly. In fact, you can kickstart the onboarding process even while they're in the midst of their notice period at their previous employer. Are you planning a team-building event or a company gathering? It's an excellent opportunity to invite the new colleague and get to know them better. You could even offer a trial day or introduce the future employee to their new team. By staying in touch and gradually integrating the employee into your organization, you minimize the risk of them being lured away and ultimately declining the job offer.
2. Setting the Tone on Day One
The initial day significantly shapes a new employee's opinion about your company, which can be challenging to change later on. Therefore, it's crucial to make a genuine effort to welcome newcomers to the company. The first day should be well-planned and have a clearly defined schedule. Feel free to engage other members within the company. Define roles clearly and provide opportunities for long-term employees and management to introduce the company's culture. Just be careful not to overwhelm new colleagues with an excess of information and unnecessary details that they can do without for the first few days.
3. Organized Welcome
No one enjoys working for an organization that lacks administrative order. Ensure all contracts, addendums, certificates, and related documents are prepared in advance. The new employee should find technology, system logins, or even a building access card ready upon their arrival. Also, consider a thoughtful welcome gesture, such as a company notepad, T-shirt, or another welcoming gift. These small gestures go a long way in fostering a positive start.
Our Giriton HR system can assist you with administration, allowing you to remotely sign contracts with new employees. It also keeps you informed about the contract's status, indicating whether a supervisor has signed it and tracking any pending signatures. All documents are accessible in one place, and the system offers an auto-fill feature for document creation, saving time and reducing errors.
4. Don't Only Rely on Memory
Everyone who has ever worked anywhere knows this. The first days and weeks in a new job are truly demanding. The amount of information that needs to be quickly absorbed is enormous. Therefore, instead of relying solely on newcomers' memory or notes, offer them supportive materials. You might want to gather essential details and practical information, such as a list of nearby lunch spots or a map illustrating the locations of the company's different offices, into a printed or online guidebook tailored for new employees. You can also prepare a checklist, a detailed list of tasks for a new colleague to complete during onboarding.
5. Gather Feedback and Evaluate
From day one, it's crucial to gather feedback from both the new employee and, for instance, their supervisor. This allows for potential adjustments in the adaptation process, preventing unnecessary misunderstandings and discomfort.
The entire onboarding process should have a clearly defined goal right from the start. It's also essential to evaluate the adaptation phase at its conclusion. Ideally, as the probationary period comes to an end, it's a great time to sketch out a plan for the employee's growth and career path.
Entering a new environment and having to establish connections can be challenging for anyone. To overcome this period and make the entire adaptation more enjoyable, the so-called buddy system works wonders. In this system, a newcomer is paired with a colleague as their “companion”. This person will guide them through tasks, offer practical advice, introduce them to coworkers, share lunchtime, and help them navigate the company culture and existing relationships within the organization.
According to a recent Hibob survey, 69% of employees dissatisfied with onboarding are considering changing jobs. However, implementing our tips and optimizing the onboarding phase to meet newcomers' satisfaction can increase your chances by 50%, according to the same study, of retaining these individuals for three or more years. These numbers, therefore, undeniably demonstrate the importance of effective onboarding.