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Six reasons why employee onboarding matters

Blogs Human Capital Management

Making a good first impression is often a concern of new hires starting their new jobs, but it is also something that employers should think about, too. As employees put their best foot forward to build good working relationships and pave the way for future promotion, organisations who have an effective employee onboarding program can also leave a positive and lasting impact to their new hires.

But onboarding is more than just making a good first impression on your new hire. Onboarding may be the most critical part of the employee experience, and investing in this is seen to be beneficial in the long-term performance of any organisation. Not convinced? Here are six important facts on why onboarding matters:

Most onboarding processes focus on the employee’s first week

Productivity doesn’t happen overnight—or a week, which is how long most onboarding programs run. Brandon Hall Group’s 2017 Evolution of Onboarding Study showed that majority of onboarding processes last an average of 1 week, regardless of company size. Understandably, managers would want to have their team members get started with work immediately, but this is not enough time to prepare the new employee for their new position. They might even have less work done, as some research suggests that it takes at least eight months for employees to reach their full productivity. A longer employee onboarding program, however, can help employees gain full proficiency 34% faster than those who only have one week.

58% of organisations focus on paperwork for their onboarding program

Hiring a new employee usually involve a lot of forms and paperwork, not just on the side of the new hire but for HR to process this, too. Human Capital Institute reports that most organisations focus on administrative tasks rather than the people, culture and performance aspects of onboarding. While paper and ink may not come with a significant cost, the time it takes to complete and process the paperwork does. Companies can save on this significantly by shifting to digital forms and automating the steps through an onboarding software, so your new hires need not write their details over and over again (which can be prone to mistakes). HR also need not to route hardcopy forms to different departments (which can be prone to loss, damage, or misinterpretation of data).

75% of employees worldwide do not feel connected to their company’s purpose75% of employees worldwide do not feel connected to their company’s purpose

With the short length of onboarding programs and the time spent on paperwork, it is no surprise, then, that majority of employees do not connect with the company’s culture. With onboarding, employees can get a shared understanding of the company’s culture, values and mission, all of which have a substantial influence on the quality of their work. When employees see the value of their role and contributions in the organisation’s overall goals, this gives them a sense of purpose and ensures their success and productivity, which in turn leads to the organisation’s growth and profitability.

Onboarding new employees improve their productivity by over 70%

When done right, all the efforts put in employee onboarding pays off well, particularly in an employee’s productivity. Research even shows that  77% of new hires who went through a formal onboarding program hit their first performance milestone faster, and have shown to have 62% higher time-to-productivity ratios, improving their overall performance and confidence in their jobs. When employees are productive, the organisation benefits, too–with their additional bandwidth, energy, ideas and skill, and up to a 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue.

20% of new hires are unlikely to refer the company to their contacts after a lousy onboarding experience20% of new hires are unlikely to refer the company to their contacts after a lousy onboarding experience

Employee referral programs are one of the top recruitment strategies in terms of efficiency, cost and retention. Onboarding sets the tone, and when done right, it makes your employees the company’s brand ambassadors for your other hiring requirements. Done wrong, however, it can cause ‘new hire remorse,’ low morale and high turnover.

69% of new hires are more likely to stay for at least three years after a good onboarding experience69% of new hires are more likely to stay for at least three years after a good onboarding experience

The first three to six months of an employee are critical time—up to 20% of turnover happens in the first 45 days, and 17% of new hires leave the company within the first three months. Meanwhile, with a good onboarding experience, employees were 18x more likely to feel committed to their employer and were even willing to stay for at least five years. The numbers do not lie. With the cost of employee turnover ranging from 100 to 300% of the replaced employee’s salary, it makes more sense to invest in an onboarding experience in the name of employee engagement and retention rather than deal with low employee morale and go through the whole recruitment process again.

Onboard your new employees the right way

The benefits of a good employee onboarding experience are numerous: it increases employee engagement, productivity and retention, improves their quality of work, makes your employees referenceable and ultimately gives you return on your investment. If you would like to learn more, contact us today and learn how Ascender OnBoarding software can help you create a memorable employee experience.