First impressions are extremely powerful. When it comes to establishing a connection between an employer and a new hire, they have the potential to shape the tone of the entire working relationship. It is important to pay close attention to the onboarding process as this is the first impression that an organisation makes on its new employees… and it only happens once. It’s a critical time to build rapport, set expectations, and establish trust. In fact, it is proven that effective onboarding can help improve employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. However, a good onboarding process should focus not only on getting the administrative tasks out of the way, but on making new employees feel great about their new role in your organisation.
How would you feel if you’re starting a new job, have all these employment contracts and forms to sign, but can’t complete it by the deadline because you don’t have time to find access to a printer? Or even worse, as an employer, think of a scenario where a counteroffer comes along, allowing your new hire to consider it and ultimately walk away from your organisation due to your long and complicated onboarding process?
A poor onboarding experience can leave new hires feeling disconnected, unprepared, and unmotivated. In this blog, we’ll explore the different ways that onboarding sets the tone for your new hires, and how you can make sure that tone is positive, productive, and welcoming.
Onboarding is a crucial process for new employees, and there are various aspects that they expect to receive from it. On top of the paperwork and welcome packages, new employees want to be immersed in the company as quickly as possible. They want to integrate into the culture, feel like they belong, understand the extent of their role, and be provided with the necessary materials to be able to do their job well. Before even starting in a role, employees want reassurance that they will have psychological security and comfort in the workplace, especially as they begin to adjust to their new surroundings. The best and most effective employee onboarding programs are those that engage new hires from the very start.
Yes, these tangible materials are important when introducing a new hire to an organisation. However, the way new hires feel and respond to the onboarding process is equally, or maybe even more important. Good employees are the backbone of every successful organisation so it is important that we, as hiring professionals, realise this and value them as individual contributors. An effective onboarding process has the power to make new employees feel special, valued, and essentially “wow-ed”.
How is this done? Let’s dive into it.
Online onboarding software can incorporate many different features. In this blog, we will discuss how new hires may feel when they secure onboarding packs, have access to digital signing capabilities, and receive automated text/emails/notifications.
An onboarding pack ensures that all necessary agreements, forms, and training resources are accessible for the new hire to receive in one convenient link. It can be viewed and interacted with on a phone, computer, or tablet, whenever and wherever. Doesn’t that sound good? Research conducted in 2019 by the International Workplace Group (IWG) found that 48% of respondents make use of their commute by getting work done on-the-go.
Online onboarding packs cater to this statistic as it’s convenient, quick, and easy for the new employee to use, even while on the bus! It shows that the organisation values the time of their employee and demonstrates adaptability, structure, and innovation. There is no doubt that your new hire will receive this and feel great about starting the job. The onboarding pack goes beyond just sending documents and resources, to reflect highly on the company and make the new hires feel valued and impressed.
Mobile-enabled signing capabilities can completely enhance the experience for new hires. It eliminates the need to print, sign, scan, and upload. As with the onboarding pack, this feature makes the candidate feel that you respect their time by offering a modern, convenient, and quick digital signature solution. Again, the convenience and user-friendly nature of this feature communicates to the new employee that “your time is valuable to us”.
How would you feel if you walked into your new job for the first time and none of the other employees, let alone the receptionist, knew who you were? I can imagine it wouldn’t feel very uplifting. This wouldn’t happen if organisation-wide messages were sent, notifying all employees of new staff and their start dates. Being able to schedule personalised two-way texts and emails that go to new hires and employees, demonstrates that you value them and wish to provide support and show your eagerness to have them start up until their first day on the job. This prioritisation of consistent communication with new employees helps portray that the organisation wants to assist and support them with anything they require to make their integration into the role smooth. For example, as a new employee not knowing that your organisation has previously scheduled a reminder to contact you, wouldn’t it be nice to receive a quick call a few days prior, asking if you need anything from them for your first day? It really shows that the organisation cares and thinks about you as a part of their team already.
When it comes to onboarding a new employee on their first day, two essential aspects to consider are: resources and workplace introductions.
Starting a new job can be daunting, especially if you are unsure of what to do. Ensuring that your new hires have access to all the resources and tools they need to do their job effectively is extremely important. As with any employee, they want to start adding value to the organisation immediately. Making sure that everything is set up for the employee prior to their arrival is crucial to facilitating this. Providing them with the materials needed to do their job from the start will help eliminate worries about psychological security and make the new employee feel comfortable and supported.
Introductions to other employees during the onboarding phase really help new hires understand that “help is there if you need it”, “you are not alone”, and “we are nice”. These initial introductions will help instill that feeling of safety and confidence about the employee’s place in the organisation. In other words, it will make the new employee feel like they belong in the organisation as they realise they are part of something meaningful and important.
A key determinant of an effective onboarding process is a positive employee experience. With a positive employee experience often comes “word-of-mouth marketing”. If the onboarding process is smooth and makes the new hire feel valued and impressed, then it is likely that they will take that information home and tell others about their great experience, whether it be mum, dad, friends, partners, etc. It’ll help improve the organisational image and set the tone for a positive and productive work experience for the employee. That excitement and support will hopefully decrease any stress or concern that they may have in starting their new job. Additionally, that smooth integration by facilitating workplace introductions can help improve organisational culture, comfort with communication, and positive emotions within the new employee.
Remember, first impressions are powerful and can shape the entire working relationship. By paying close attention to the onboarding process, you can set the tone for a positive, productive, and welcoming work environment. Don’t forget: with onboarding, making new employees feel great about their new role in your organisation is just as important as signing the contracts. Take this opportunity to impress your new hires and exceed their expectations. Your organisation and employees will thank you for it!