Do you know that your employee onboarding process may directly impact your business success? If your current process is simply made up of filling in a couple of forms, you may be missing out on an opportunity to strengthen your company foundation. New employees may be less keen on sticking to your company if they feel the onboarding process was ‘thin’.
According to the 2017 Career Builder survey report, 36 percent of employers did not have a proper (structured) onboarding process. The survey also pointed out that weak employee onboarding lowers productivity, motivation and employee engagement. All these combined often leads to employees looking for a way out – you lose the training investments you made.
How to Improve your onboarding process
As an employer, your primary objective is to turn a job seeker into a job keeper. There are a different factors and steps that can convince an employee to stick around on the long run. Employee onboarding should NEVER be only about delegating or offloading tasks to a new team member.
When done correctly, employee onboarding can lower stress on new hires, which in turn translates to higher motivation and harmony in the workplace.
- The onboarding process should start before them employee joins
Put yourself in the shoes of your new employees: joining a company can be an exciting and stressful experience. It could be a fresh graduate stepping into the professional world or someone transitioning from another job to join you. They will be asking themselves questions about whether this new position would be a good fit for them or if this new situation will be of any good to them and their family.
You may try to dispel their anxiety by providing them information gradually before they join. The absence of information may often lead to new hires inventing unrealistic expectations on their own. It is very important to be in touch frequently, even before they join. A good way of doing things could be sending out some emails in the first few days explaining their future role thoroughly. Then, you could send out some paperwork to be completed after a few days, just to stay in touch and help them work over any nervousness.
While you do not have to be in contact with them every single day, it is a good idea to give out a call or an email once every few days until they actually start.
- First Impression Matters
As an employer, it is your responsibility to welcome a recruit with a warm personal greeting. Ensure that whatever equipment they would be using is ready-to-roll, be it their workstation, computers and tools. Scrambling for missing items while your new employee is standing around sends a subconscious warning that your company does not value their ability to be productive.
Ideally, you would want the first few days of a new hire to focus on interpersonal interactions with the team. Making someone feel welcomed is a key driver to making him stay longer. Interacting with colleagues can help tone down any stress and anxiety one may have. It also allows them to build meaningful connections with their role and new surroundings.
No one likes to sit down and fill out forms for hours and go through a 500 page-long employee handbook on their first day. Reading the employee manual is definitely necessary – but try to find a way to present this information to them so it does not feel bulky. Instead, you could try to spread out the paperwork into digestible chunks.
- Appoint mentors – NOT supervisors
Nothing is more frustrating than a supervisor over your shoulder constantly reminding you of your deadline for that super important task – especially during the first few days. Putting a new hire under pressure as soon as he joins may be stressful to him, hence making him question the reasons he joined your company in the first place.
Instead, you could appoint a mentor that would guide him through the daily routine and expectations. If your workforce permits, you could also appoint multiple mentors, so that a new employee has different options to go to in case he needs help. This can help increase recruit’s productivity and make them feel part of the team.
A good rule is to never take any knowledge for granted. While you and your long time-serving employees may deem certain things as routine and ordinary, to a new employee, these may be complete foreign. Hence, a mentor would bridge this gap and act as a facilitator. On the long run, this will translate to higher team spirit and enhanced productivity.
- Get Feedback from new employees
Gathering feedback from new employees should be an integral part of your onboarding process. This ensures they know they are free to share their ideas and that their input is appreciated. Getting feedback also encourages problem-solving for you and your team, which could lead to innovation.
While new hires may be uncomfortable sharing their feedback on the very first day, as time goes by, they will very likely have valuable insights for you. As an employer, you should encourage your employees to give their input; this would allow you to address any concern they may have, leading to higher engagement on their side.
Ultimately, collecting feedback from new hires will increase the effectiveness of your onboarding process. Instead of being stagnant, your employee onboarding process should be treated as an ongoing process that constantly needs to be revised and refined.
The rewards of proper employee onboarding
Think of employee onboarding as the foundation of your company. A consistent and effective process will greatly contribute to employee performance, motivation and commitment. The higher the job satisfaction level, the longer you will hold on to valuable employees.
When done correctly, employee onboarding will increase overall business productivity and team spirit. Employees will gradually become proud ambassadors of your business and your brand. This will encourage your team to keep a watch on their performance targets and potentially motivate them to set higher goals for themselves.
A PEO can help you with proper employee onboarding
A PEO can help you with onboarding your workers in Africa from a legal and administrative perspective so that you can focus on your talent and ensure a smooth onboarding process. Our professional employer of Record and Payroll outsourcing services provide an easy solution to onboard and pay your workers anywhere in Africa in a matter of weeks. We take care of the legal and compliance matters around contracts, taxes, social security costs and payroll processing.
If you are setting up a business in Africa, Africa HR Solutions can get you started in over 48 countries on the continent. With hundreds of businesses putting their trust in us, we can rightfully say we are the biggest and most respected PEO company in Africa. We offer a wide range of services for companies getting in Africa by providing tailor-made solutions to assist you on your venture.