Business Miscellaneous

The Low-Hanging Fruit in Employee Onboarding

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Onboarding has long been seen as a big internal checklist that needs to be completed. The importance of tasks and checklists can be denied, but employee onboarding and offboarding has grown to so much more. 

Research shows that a whopping 88 percent of businesses do not do a good job of onboarding new employees. 

We may reach a 100% checklist completion but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have successfully onboarded a new hire. The best onboarding processes are the kind that find a good balance between the practical moments, the company’s story and the employee’s needs. 

When looking at the employee onboarding process and the low hanging fruit, a good start can be revisiting what exists and thinking about the timing and length of the onboarding. 

There are a few easy steps to take in order to upgrade your onboarding process that are simple to implement and powerful. 

1.  Setting clear expectations

One of the most common mistakes companies and managers make when onboarding new employees is not taking the time to make their expectations clear. 

Taking the time and first revising the expectations for each role and then going through it with the new hire will generate great returns on the invested time. One of the most confusing things for a new hire is to understand what is expected and how their performance will be evaluated. Before the hire starts, spend time defining expectations, walking them through their job responsibilities and how they will be evaluated. 

It helps to give new hires a chance to set goals for themselves. This will enable them to take ownership and get into the mindset of setting goals and being evaluated against them.

2. Investing your time

It’s important not to rush the new hire onboarding process, either. Welcoming new hires takes time and it’s important to understand that you are investing in accelerating their time to productivity. 

You may be eager for them to jump in and start tackling their responsibilities, but keep in mind that it takes time to get accustomed to a new workplace and gain a full understanding of responsibilities. 

Make sure the onboarding process is continuous and long enough for new hires to learn the key aspects of their positions. Spending more time on this upfront will eliminate confusion and wasted time later on.

3. Bite sized learning

On the flip side, it’s also possible to have too much of an onboarding process. This can happen if you try to cram too much information in a too short time frame. Avoid making your onboarding process so rigorous that it intimidates or overwhelms new employees. 

You should certainly teach them the details and expectations of their new position, but provide the information in bite sized segments over a longer time period. Push more complex aspects later on in the process or together with information that isn’t essential for them in the beginning. 

Look for ways to personalize the onboarding process, since that will enable each new hire to learn their field even faster.

4. Not Seeking Feedback

The only way you’re going to be able to create a magical onboarding experience is by listening actively to those who have gone through it. Remember, your onboarding experience is a constant work in progress and should be revisited often, especially since things move quite quickly internally. 

Don’t just ask your new employees what they thought of onboarding procedures. Instead, once they’ve finished, have them take some time to fill out a survey or answer questions about their experience. 

This will give you more data to work with and provide you with the information you need to improve for the next batch of new hires. 

5. Creating a human connection

Starting a new job is usually a very emotional process. New hires will wonder if they will fit in, how things will be once they start and what their co-workers will be like when they start.

A great way to help a new hire overcome this hurdle is by creating touch-points where you have people from the organisation reaching out. 

This can be a manager that reaches out a few days before the new hire’s start date, an email from the company team, or a personal phone call. The importance of building a personal connection can’t be stressed enough. It’s essential for new hire integration.

About the author


Vedran Ismaili

Vedran Ismaili is the CEO & founder of Typelane, a platform that helps organizations change the way they onboard and say goodbye to their talent.