Employee onboarding is, at its most basic level, the process of bringing a new hire into your organisation. This process involves the traditional legal agreement between the employer and employee, registering the employee with the organisation, the acceptance of legal documents, and a checklist of employee onboarding tasks to complete. Employee onboarding also involves engaging your new hires. The engagement side of onboarding requires soft skills, making new employees feel like part of the organisation. Employee engagement is about empowering new employees so they can become productive as soon as possible. Most HR experts are familiar with the compliance aspect of employee onboarding. Some are also familiar with the engagement side. An effective onboarding strategy includes both sides of the onboarding equation. Here’s an explanation of both the compliance and engagement sides of employee onboarding:

The compliance side of employee onboarding:

Compliance includes all the legal forms and documents your new hire needs to sign. These forms are both the legal government forms required to employe someone in your country and the internal forms that must be filled out before the new hire can become part of your organisation. Getting these forms out of the way before your new hire’s first day means more time is spent doing work and less time spent preparing for work, so it’s always better to get them to the new hire early. Compliance also includes provisioning for new hires. This encompasses providing all the tools new hires will need to complete their tasks at work, all the permissions they will need to access company information, and all the IT clearances they’ll need to get their work done. There’re few things more annoying than sitting around waiting for passwords and accounts to be set up from IT. Don’t put your new hires through that pain! Compliance also ties into the induction process. As a bare minimum, this includes showing the new hire areas of the workplace they need to know, from the tea and coffee facilities to the fire exits, but of course you can make your induction process much more interesting than just showing new employees where the toilets are.  

The engagement side of new hire onboarding:

what is employee onboarding

Source: Vicki Timman

Employee engagement involves making your new hire feel like part of your organisation. Remember, most new hires feel the most optimistic about their job when they first start, so you want to keep this optimism for as long as possible! Engagement in new hire onboarding is typically the harder side of employee onboarding to measure, but can also be the most valuable. Maintain this positive attitude to make your new hires productive faster, more likely to hit first year targets, and more likely to stay with your organisation in the long term. Employee engagement is making your new hire feel like part of something larger, that their contribution matters. Employees are at their most engaged when they start a new job. It is your role in HR to sustain this engagement and make the employee productive. Engagement in onboarding is about removing the ‘new guy’ feel from an employee as soon as possible. An employee can contribute to your organisation more when they feel like part of your organisation.

Put these elements together for the perfect onboarding experience.

The most engaging and comprehensive onboarding program master compliance and engagement. Your compliance side should be swift and simple. Your engagement side should be comprehensive and involved. Effective employee onboarding means your new hire is ready before Day 1. The only thing that should be on their mind when they sit at their chair is their new job. It’s your job to make sure all the hurdles to productivity have been removed before your employee starts. Get your new hires on the books fast. Make them feel like part of the organisation straight away. And get them on the path to productive work. Now you know what constitutes the onboarding process, read our post on how to improve your onboarding process to find out how to make it even more memorable.
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