Following the leaders: Onboarding practices of 2017

By / February 14, 2017 / / 0 Comments

Few names in the business world carry as much weight as ‘Forbes’. Their flagship digital publication, Forbes.com, promotes the slogan ‘Home Page for the World’s Business Leaders’ and they continue to bring the best talent together, such as the invitation-only community, the Forbes Coaches Council.

Recently, members of this Council were interviewed to discuss the onboarding strategies that we’ll be seeing more of in 2017. It is a great read for businesses who are looking to improve employee engagement and retention, considering 90% of employees decide whether they’ll be staying with a company within the first six months of starting.

fast-employee-onboarding-process
Are they running in or running out?

At HROnboard, we work with over 100 companies across Australia and New Zealand and know of a number of different strategies that improve the employee onboarding experience. Having reviewed this list, here are the top three that we think HR Professionals can quickly implement to improve new hire experiences.

  • “Onboarding as a team sport”

Beyond HR, other employees, teams, and departments should also be involved in the onboarding process since they too have an impact on a new hire’s engagement. For example, the line manager may be an employee’s key point of contact, but it is likely that they will also benefit from access to the Human Resources department for company policy and payroll-related queries, and IT for access to the right tools and equipment. For this reason, it’s important that all internal contacts have proper access and transparency into the onboarding process, along with a clear outline of what their tasks are. It’s certainly a big ask for already-busy HR professionals, so consider automating task requests to various team members.

  • A more meaningful introduction into workplace culture

Clearly guiding your new hire through your company and its novel culture can contribute to a higher strategic priority, says Karima Mariama-Arthur of WordSmith Rapport. It can take some time for an employee to become familiar with the nuances of a specific workplace, not to be mistaken with the induction into the role itself, and they can quickly become overwhelmed by all the different moving parts. This is why it’s important to set up a structured, simplified program that will move your new hire through a series of activities that is befitting of the company culture, instead of a standard list of tasks for the first day. Cross-team collaboration through activities, missions, and meet-ups that are triggered by the completion of previous tasks will help them feel both empowered and welcomed into the organisation.

  • Setting clear goals and objectives

Stacy Feiner of BDO USA notes that clear goals and objectives can help set your new hires up for success right from the start. Once you know what you’d like your employees to accomplish within specific timeframes, and have ensured that they have the right tools and equipment to meet those goals and objectives, then the lines of communication need to be kept clear and consistent. Schedule key meeting dates right from the start, as opportunities to do this can be easily missed once someone has been onboarded into the organisation. If goals and objectives involve other team members, like HR and the new hire’s own department, schedule those tasks (and reminders) into the process which helps keep team members accountable and demonstrates a proactive approach that keeps your new hires engaged.

Keeping your employees engaged from the get-go is not an easy task, and one of the best opportunities to achieve this is within the onboarding process. Many companies are meeting the minimum requirements of getting their new hires access to computers, keys, and a stockpile of policies to be marked completed by the end of the first week, but do you really want your new hire’s first impression of the company to be ‘standard’? Take your employee engagement from ‘good’ to Forbes-level ‘great’ with these simple steps.


Don’t have time to implement these strategies?

HROnboard has developed powerful onboarding software to help organisations create great first impressions while reducing the strain on administrative resources. If you’d like to learn more on how HROnboard can help your business, watch this quick 2-minute video.