Any program you implement needs to be engaging. The purpose of employee onboarding is to engage employees from the beginning. Onboarding is more than simple checklists; it engages new hires in the company culture and promotes a highly functioning team. When onboarding is done correctly, employees are more engaged and productive.
Trust and communication are essential to employee engagement. Both trust and communication need to be established from the beginning. A common mistake that companies make is to force days of information into a few hours during orientation. It is not humanly possible for people to take in everything, and it is boring. Long, dull orientations give the wrong impression. They imply that the employer is not capable of communicating information well.
Classic orientations also erode trust because employees are not treated like individuals, and those leading the orientation are not sincere. Orientations often have a disinterested HR employee simply read off information. There is no real connection with new hires, which does little to improve engagement.
The role of human resources will be unique to each organization. HR, however, has an important role in the onboarding process. HR representatives need to establish trust and communicate effectively with new hires.
Typical HR Roles:
Managers need to oversee the onboarding of new hires. They typically spend more time with employees than HR personnel, so it is important to establish a positive relationship from the beginning.
Typical Manager Roles:
There are certain characteristics that engaged employees share. As employees engage in the culture, they will exhibit these traits. Engagement is a sign that the onboarding program is successful and that new employees will stay for the long-term.
Basic Characteristics of Engagement:
The Good Song Company had a problem with retention. Employees seemed to leave shortly after they were trained. 50 percent left after the second year, and 20 percent left after the first year. Surveys showed that employees were not very engaged with the company. The basic orientation with HR lasted for four hours and consisted of reading the manual and signing documents. Managers were given the authority to onboard employees at their discretion. The onboarding process changed so that orientation with HR took place over a week. Managers turned in checklists every week. Over the next year, only 10 percent of the new hires left.