Mistakes Many Businesses Make When Onboarding Employees
Onboarding is an employee’s introduction to a business’s core values and culture, as well as their key responsibilities. Statistics show that over 45% of workers quit their jobs within the first year of employment. Two of the most common reasons are a lack of career development opportunities (20%) and declining well-being (9%). Usually, a problematic and unorganized working environment is evident from the very first day, and employees are able to detect it right away. Businesses make onboarding mistakes that cost them their workforce and put a strain on their resources. While it may be challenging to look back and pinpoint where the onboarding issues lie, corporations must adopt this behavior to retain top talent.
7 Onboarding Errors Organizations Must Avoid
1. Neglecting Cultural Adaptation
A study showed companies that focus on cultivating a healthy culture enjoy a 40% higher employee retention rate. When a new hire enters a workplace, they need to fit in and feel like an equal member of the team. An HR manager must paint a perfect picture of a company’s culture and explain how coworkers are expected to behave. This way, a new employee can relate to the core values and start contributing to the business’s mission and goals. Furthermore, a corporation that has a strong cultural identity is able to attract top talent that stays with them in the long run. A survey revealed that 56% of job seekers prioritize a good company culture over a high salary. As a result, employees who align with the company culture will strive to meet personal and corporate goals.
2. Not Providing Feedback
Every employee wants to be effective and helpful in their positions; feedback is a vehicle toward achieving that. Managers and mentors must maintain a close relationship with employees and foster open communication. They should encourage employees and mention their achievements and the areas that require improvement. If workers are facing struggles, managers must guide them and offer advice. Enforcing negative feedback discourages new hires, especially when they rarely get positive comments. Feedback should be tactful and give individuals a sense of freedom and accountability. At the same time, a corporation must be open to feedback from its employees.
3. Ending Onboarding Way Too Soon
One commonly repeated onboarding mistake is when onboarding concludes after only a few days. The first days or weeks at a new job can be daunting, as employees are faced with copious amounts of information. New knowledge and training are impossible to absorb all at once. Individuals need time to sleep on it and start putting theory into practice. During this process, they may require a mentor to be available in case they stumble upon problems. Onboarding should typically last 3–6 months. In some cases, businesses continue their onboarding practices for up to a year.
4. Overwhelming Employees With Reading Material
On the very first day of onboarding, many employers make the mistake of presenting stacks of reading material and online courses to their new hires. This will only make individuals feel overwhelmed instead of speeding up their onboarding process. Additionally, people tend to lose focus when reading long documents, so their training experience isn’t as effective. Alternatively, businesses must create sections and incorporate video and other forms of media to communicate their learning material better. In some cases, they can even add quizzes at the end of each section to test a learner’s knowledge. Many corporations ask their new employees to fill out all of the necessary administrative forms on their first days at work. While this is important, it can be spread out in the first few weeks so that your new recruits aren’t overwhelmed.
5. Not Providing The Necessary Equipment
Another onboarding mistake is failing to provide new employees with the necessary equipment to help them be productive. For traditional workplaces, setting up a functioning desk with a comfortable chair and a computer is mandatory. For remote workplaces, it’s important to send new hires their work laptops, phones, and any other tools. In both instances, the technological gadgets should include all the apps and software an employee will need to perform their daily tasks. The IT department must explain to employees how to use their equipment and inform them about their safety and security protocols. Setting up strong passwords, encryption, and two-factor authentication (2FA) are important topics of discussion.
6. Not Addressing Generational Differences
Five different generations coexist in today’s workforces around the globe. Instead of considering it a hurdle, employers should lean on the benefits of a multigenerational workplace. They must also take into account the different needs and learning abilities of each individual. For example, a Gen Zer might feel more comfortable accessing all the information digitally versus in printed form. But managers shouldn’t decide based solely on ageist stereotypes. It’s best to ask each hire about their preferred onboarding method.
7. Not Personalizing The Onboarding Process
Typically, organizations have standard onboarding processes that every employee goes through. But it’s necessary to make modifications to assist individuals based on their learning requirements. Not everyone learns the same way or at the same pace. Some people pick things up quicker and can work independently or with minimal supervision after a very short amount of time. On the other hand, some employees require extra assistance and guidance through the first weeks and months of onboarding. Therefore, individuals should not feel like they are left behind. They must be certain that someone is by their side for anything they need and that it’s perfectly fine if they take longer to complete a task. For example, instead of sending generic emails, arrange video calls and talk to employees face-to-face. Show them what their schedule for the next few months will look like and arrange weekly meetings.
Onboarding is often treated as a paper-filling activity and reading assignment that should be wrapped up as quickly as possible. However, the end goal should be to train each employee efficiently and introduce them to the corporate culture. Instead of stressing new hires with a heavy workload, businesses must ease them into their daily tasks and give them enough time to familiarize themselves. This may take them a bit longer to become fully productive, but it guarantees higher satisfaction rates and long-term collaboration.