benefitexpress July 11, 2019 8 min read

5 Onboarding Tactics to Turn New Hires into Dedicated Employees

Employee onboarding best practices

Discovering qualified candidates and keeping positions filled is a top concern for even the most sought after companies. So, how can human resources professionals combat these issues for continued organizational growth? We recommend building an effective onboarding process for new employees.

An employee onboarding strategy is a key component in helping new hires acclimate to their positions and become valued members of the team. The question is, how do you craft an onboarding process that translates into employee satisfaction and retention?

While orientation and training are must-haves for any onboarding strategy, it goes much deeper than that. Give employee onboarding the attention it deserves with these employee onboarding best practices.

1. Start the onboarding process before hire

While this may seem overly ambitious, successful onboarding starts long before a candidate is on the job. Think about it—exposure to your company and its culture begins during the recruitment process. You never know which phone interview is going to turn into an all-star employee, so their first impression of you is just as important as yours of them. Take some time to reflect on your talent acquisition process. Does it align with your company culture? Are candidates kept in the loop about the status of their candidacy? Even when accepting an offer a new-hire may not forget that two-week communication gap during the interview process or informal interview experience.

2. Get the most out of orientation

A few introductions and simple tour of the office is not a solid orientation plan. Instead, take the time to prepare for a new hire's first day by prepping their work space in advance or mapping out an itinerary for the day. This may include meet and greets with various staff members and/or departments to give them a head start on company culture and dynamics. Better yet—why wait until a new hire's first day to start orientation? Prep your new hire by allowing them to complete paperwork, modules or training programs from home in the days leading up to their start date.

3. Execute a solid training program

We've all been there—you start a new position and are left wondering what you need to do on a day-to-basis and are questioning whether you're meeting the company's expectations. Don't let new hires fall under this category. Instead, implement a solid training program that helps them be equipped to perform their job.

In fact, all new hires should undergo an official training process, regardless of their experience, qualifications or skills. But don't think of training as a 'one-and-done' experience—it's an ongoing process that goes beyond 'day-to-day' expectations to clearly explain the role and responsibilities. A robust training program will also show new hires you're invested in their success and make them more likely to stay with the organization.

4. Extend the learning window

While many employees are eager to hit the ground running and impress their new employer, most will take several months (or longer) to be fully immersed in their position. Similar to employee training, communicating the time frame it may take new-hires to be up-to-speed will help them feel comfortable with their unique learning styles. One way to do this is by outlining goals and objectives within a tentative time frame. We know that new employees can't learn everything overnight, but having the conversation can lift some of the new-hire jitters. 

5. Communicate culture early and often

You've interviewed (a lot) and found your perfect new hire. Within months of starting their new position, they leave the company. What went wrong? If you carefully examined their experience during the interview process, chances are the fallout wasn't due to lack of skill. More likely, the change of heart had something to do with work habits and/or personality not meshing with the company culture. The solution? Communicate company culture early, including during the interview process. For example, refer candidates to the company culture page of your website, or make casual mentions of your work-from-home policy during the interview process.

BONUS: Introduce new hires to your employee benefits platform 

When it comes to choosing a career path, benefits are equally as important as salary. And not only for employees, but for their families, as well. In order for them to take advantage of these benefits, employees need to know how to access them and where to go for questions or support. Our advice? Get your employees acquainted with your benefits administration platform as soon as possible. A user-friendly system will keep employees in-the-know on their benefits offerings which, in turn, can result in increased employee satisfaction and retention.

Add benefits administration to your employee onboarding best practices by showing them:

  • Where and how to login
  • How to access decisions-support tools.
  • How to add life events or milestones (such as marriage or birth of a child).
  • How to select dependents or assign beneficiaries.

Whether your goal is to attract new hires, retain top talent or increase engagement among existing employees, onboarding is hugely beneficial for any organization. Stay tuned for next week as we discuss how to analyze your current onboarding program or design a new one from scratch.

Got onboarding tips of your own? Leave us a comment! Or download our white paper for more tips on employee satisfaction and retention!