Up to speed? A roundup of onboarding trends from the Top Employers Institute
‘The faster new hires feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, the faster they will be able to successfully contribute to the firm’s mission.’
According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), research and conventional wisdom both suggest that employees get about 90 days to prove themselves in a new job. After about 3 months, there is an expectation that you will be up to speed and making a significant contribution in role.
So the question we are asking in our blog today is: are you creating a meaningful onboarding experience for your new recruits, one that equips them adequately to make an impact in role?
A new report from the Top Employers Institute ‘OnBoarding – HR Insights Report’ says we need to seek out a thoughtful onboarding process with input from the top. It highlights 5 best practice trends from the research work they have conducted. We’re going to share them with you here.
- Top Employers start onboarding during recruitment phase and continue it as long as 12 months after joining. They focus on building internal connections too.
Common practices include post-recruitment assessment, assigning a ‘buddy’ and using internal social media to converse with employees. Just over half of companies hold a follow-up session with employees a year after joining.
Rather than an event or a series of events concentrated in the first few weeks, good practice onboarding is about a process that runs over time. It should cover role, HR policies and procedures and building internal connections.
- First impressions count. Make them holistic and multidimensional.
Cover the business focus and context in your onboarding process. Include how the individual role fits into the larger purpose and what contribution it makes to success.
The cultural context is also important. Don’t just provide a list of values. Explain how they are intended to shape what happens every day at work, as well as the work that the business does. That’s ‘living’ values.
- Let leaders lead and inspire.
Leaders should inspire new employees and cement the choice they made to work for your organisation. The percentage of executive managers meeting with new employees has increased 15% year on year in the UK. Does your top team make the effort? Do you facilitate that?
- Explore digital options.
Technology saves time, paper (for costs and our planet) and reduces errors. E-learning modules can be made available and social media can facilitate connection, chat, feedback and knowledge sharing in general. Data captured can be used for analysis and improvements. Good practice includes at least some digital practice. Walk the talk of the future.
Consider what’s working and what can be improved. Are employees equipped with the right resources for the job they must do, at each step of the way? Operational effectiveness of onboarding, retention stats and feedback on progress of employees is important.
SHR has produced a guide for onboarding called ‘Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success’. It is part of the SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series and you can access a PDF copy of it here.