- Employee experience is critical
- Design a multi-stage onboarding journey
- Engage the entire team
- Select the right tools
4.5 min read
First impressions count, and onboarding is a critical process to get right to make sure your new starter is set up for success. Here are some tips for making sure your business nails it.
By the time you’ve hired your new team member, you’ve already invested significant time, resource and money advertising, interviewing, and offering the position. Add the time and effort spent on training and your investment has increased again.
Whether your business maximises its return on that upfront investment depends on how well you embed your new hire into your organisation over the short, medium and long term.
That’s where building the best possible onboarding experience comes in.
Design an employee experience that’s insight driven, team-focused, and changes as your employee grows, and you’ll be seeing the benefits on your bottom line.
From orientation to onboarding – think experience, not tick-boxes
Within the first three to six months, employees are still deciding whether to stick out their first year in a new job. Research shows that in Australia and New Zealand, 23 percent of workers intend on leaving within the first 12 months.
Ensuring your new hires stay requires an onboarding experience that delivers beyond basic orientation. So, while getting the employment contract signed, the equipment and IT sorted, and the first pay check out the door are all important tasks, they’re not enough.
Your business needs to think beyond basic orientation and design an onboarding journey that changes as your new employee progresses.
When designing your business’s employee onboarding experience, consider the following key phases.
Before Day One:
Don’t miss the boat; onboarding should start as soon as you post your job ad. Make sure the recruitment and hiring phase positions your organisation well and is easy to navigate.
Complete key administrative tasks like contract signing digitally, to speed things up.
Share onboarding packs with information about employee benefits, where to go on the first day, what to wear and who to contact for help.
For shift-based roles, make sure you share roster details.
In the background, set up meet and greets, organise any equipment they may need on their first day, and ensure that payroll has access to their details.
Focus on a warm welcome. Set up a team lunch or coffee, connect your new starter with their buddy, and let the broader team know to expect your new starter.
Show them around the building or site, and make sure they’re set up with any technology or equipment they might need.
Provide clarity on the role, responsibilities, performance objectives and key policies. Complete any mandatory compliance or training tasks.
Remember to phase the onboarding so that it’s manageable, with milestones spaced out. If there are any outstanding training sessions or new questions, regular check ins can help keep your new start on track.
First 3-6 months:
This is a great time to check in to make sure your new team member is engaged, happy and set up for success. You can provide feedback at this point, particularly on early achievements.
Check in on how the new starter’s support network is developing.
12 months in:
Depending on the role and organisation, this might be where you set up a development plan and discuss what career pathways are appropriate.
At this point you should have a view of your employee’s full effectiveness and your onboarding process should be winding down.
If you don’t have a permanent, longer-term talent retention program to hand over to, consider whether it makes sense for your business to create one.
For the long term:
Touch base with your people regularly and use their insights and feedback to shape a plan.
Design your employee experience with insights and data. Check in with your existing employees to gauge what they thought of their onboarding journey, what you did well and what you could improve.
Make sure you’re validating that your new onboarding strategy can be delivered — you may need to explore a technology solution to properly implement your plan or manage your back-office teams’ workload.
Consider a solution that can integrate with payroll and rostering to automate many of the tedious and manual tasks involved after a recruit is hired.
You’ll be able to deliver an excellent experience while reducing risk and effort for your existing teams.