How Good Is Your Company at Onboarding?

HR & Safety

These five tips will help

It’s important for new employees to make a good first impression, but many companies don’t realize they also need to put their best foot forward, recent research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests.

More than half (54%) of workers interviewed said they’ve experienced at least one mishap when starting a new job. For one-third (33%) of those surveyed, their computer, phone, or security access wasn’t properly set up when they arrived. Another 22% said necessary supplies were not provided at the outset.

Despite these first-day troubles, however, most human resources (HR) managers give their companies high marks when it comes to bringing new employees into the fold: Half of those polled felt their organization’s onboarding process is very effective, and 42% stated it’s somewhat effective.

Workers were asked, “Which of the following, if any, have you experienced when starting a new job?” Their responses*:

  • Technology (e.g., computer, phone, security access) wasn’t properly set up: 33%
  • Necessary supplies were not provided: 22%
  • Didn’t receive an overview of the company and policies: 16%
  • Didn’t get introduced to coworkers: 15%
  • Didn’t receive a tour of the office: 14%
  • I haven’t experienced any of these mishaps when starting a new job: 46%

*Multiple responses permitted.

HR managers were asked, “In your opinion, how effective is your company’s onboarding process for new employees?” Their responses:

  • Very effective: 50%
  • Somewhat effective: 42%
  • Not very effective: 6%
  • Not effective at all: 2%

“Many companies focus so much on information-sharing during an onboarding process that they may overlook basic practical needs, such as making sure that a workstation is up and running for the employee,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Every touchpoint during those first days adds to the new staff member’s perception of the organization, so the more you can do to ensure everything runs smoothly, the more positive that impression will be.”

Five Onboarding Tips

OfficeTeam offers five tips for getting new employees up to speed:

  1. Set up shop. Stock the workstation with essential supplies and equipment, such as pens, notebooks, a computer, and phone. Confirm network, voicemail and email functionality. Coordinate building security access, if necessary.
  2. Get acquainted. Send a welcome email to team members and alert the receptionist so everyone’s aware. On the first day, introduce the employee to coworkers around the office. Consider scheduling a lunch for the new hire to get to know colleagues. Assigning the worker a buddy or mentor can help ease his or her transition.
  3. Review the essentials. Provide a tour of the building. Schedule an orientation to review the employee handbook, company history, and policies. Allow time to complete any required HR paperwork.
  4. Focus on the job at hand. Set expectations early on by discussing the position’s goals and responsibilities. Organize training sessions on office equipment, software, and procedures necessary for the role.
  5. Keep it going. It can take a few months to fully onboard a worker. During that time, regularly check in with the employee and encourage him or her to ask questions.

View an infographic of the survey findings.

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