One of the most overlooked aspects of the recruitment process is the final step — employee onboarding. It’s also one of the most important. The onboarding process is your tool to bridge the gap between the recruitment stage and being a full-fledged team member.
Onboarding refers to how you train new hires in the skills and processes they need to excel in their role. The better your onboarding process, the faster your team members will be able to make a meaningful contribution to your company.
The benefits of onboarding don’t stop there. Onboarding is essential if you want the talent you’ve chosen to want to stay with your company. Over 20% of staff turnover takes place in the first 45 days of employment, and research shows that great onboarding processes can increase staff retention by 82%.
Recruitment lets you find and hire the talent you need to help your company grow. Onboarding gives that talent the training they need to thrive and lets you keep them for longer. With that in mind, it’s time to focus on how to improve the onboarding process.
6 ways to improve your onboarding process
Here are some tips to help you ensure that you’re ticking all of the onboarding boxes.
1. Start onboarding before their start date
The run-up to a new job can be nerve-wracking, and new hires can often be left wondering what to expect. For remote roles, this anxiety can be even greater. Set your employees’ minds at ease by telling them what to expect for their first few days.
This tip does come with a note of caution, however. Don’t expect your new hires to “work” before their official start date. Be clear that information is being offered for their benefit to demonstrate that you respect their free time.
2. Set up their workspace ahead of time
Nothing makes a new hire feel unwelcome faster than arriving for their first day at the office to find that they haven’t even been assigned a desk yet. Not being prepared for your employees gives the impression of being disorganized and not viewing them as a priority. Not a good look.
Instead, think about everything your new team member will need for their first day and ensure it’s all ready the day before. For office-based workers, this could include a physical desk, chair, ID, and even stationary.
Don’t neglect this step for remote workers, either. Prepare their login credentials ahead of time and schedule an email to automatically send an hour or so before they’re due online. If you’re supplying hardware, make sure that it arrives before their first day.
3. Curate your training resources
Most roles will require at least some degree of training. For many workers, the first few weeks of a new job will consist of training course after training course. That’s important and expected, but make sure you’re only prioritizing the training they truly need.
Some training, for example, explaining company policies on bullying and harassment, will be mandatory for everyone. Outside of these, think carefully about what your new hire needs to know to be able to start doing their job.
A tightly focused training plan shows your employees that you’ve thought about what they will need and how you can help meet that need. By personalizing the onboarding process in this way, you’re helping staff feel understood and valued.
4. Take a long-term approach to onboarding
Onboarding doesn’t have to be short-term — in fact, it shouldn’t be. The best onboarding processes merge seamlessly into ongoing staff development and training. Consider creating an onboarding plan for the first year of an employee’s time with you. What do you want them to learn?
One important way to show employees they matter is to invest in their personal and professional development. Having an onboarding plan for their entire first year with your company shows that you will provide consistent support and help them grow in their role.
A long-term onboarding process also helps to create a culture of learning and development within your organization. Employees are accustomed to learning new skills and become more self-motivated learners. This is especially powerful if your professional development resources use the same software as onboarding.
5. Have clear metrics
Keeping track of your employees’ progress through onboarding is essential for identifying potential problems early and evaluating the success of your processes. Use an onboarding system that makes it easy for you to evaluate what your staff have learned.
It might be helpful to include quizzes or tests to check understanding of critical information and to document the completion of specific onboarding tasks. Setting milestones or expected completion dates can help show your new hires that they’re on track.
Use this data to help improve your training materials and ensure that your staff receive the onboarding experience you want.
6. Listen to your employees
No matter how good your onboarding process is, there will always be room for improvement. Your recent hires are in the best position to give valuable feedback and highlight areas for improvement.
Make the onboarding process easier with the right LMS
It’s clear that getting your onboarding process right is essential for getting the most out of your team members. It can also look like a lot of effort. Luckily, improving your onboarding process is easy with the right learning management software (LMS).
A great LMS is adaptable and can be tailored precisely to your organization’s needs. You’ll be able to add or remove training assigned to specific staff and roles, track employee progress, and even collate feedback all in one simple system.
Moodle ticks all the right boxes to help you deliver your onboarding and achieve wider training and development goals. It even integrates with other systems like HR platforms and comes with dedicated technical support.