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Richard Warren

Mar 18, 2022

6 Staff Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid (And How to Prevent Them)


First impressions: they're important, but just how important? When it comes to new employees, the beginning of their relationship with your company can determine if they'll stay working there for years down the road. Research shows that a great onboarding experience can have a huge impact on how long your employees want to stay with you!

Unfortunately, onboarding staff can be a difficult and time-consuming process. It's no surprise that many businesses see their turnover rate increasing, even after hiring candidates that seem like a great fit.

The truth is, it can take months before a new employee is fully comfortable.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to make your onboarding process as effective as possible. Below we'll explain the six critical onboarding mistakes to avoid at all costs.

1. Failing to Introduce the Company Culture

New employees often will not have a full understanding of the culture they're walking into. A proper employee onboarding process will help them find where they fit within the company and among the people they work with.

For instance, new hires could work on small challenges or projects with other team members to help them get adjusted to their new work environment. These projects would not necessarily have to be relevant to their position but would help them to learn about the culture within the company.

Employees should have a clear understanding of your company values from the start. For example, make sure to explain how your company communicates and what those communication expectations are.

Give them a framework for how your company culture operates, in taking on new tasks, tackling challenges, and leveraging new opportunities.

2. Waiting Until Their First Day

Employees should never walk in on the first day of a new position without clear tasks to do. It's crucial that your company takes time to plan the onboarding process before they set foot through the door.

First, consider what materials you can send over to employees before their first day so they can better understand your business. Remote onboarding will let them get started more quickly and save you time.

Do you have a written code of conduct and expectations they can familiarise themselves with? Maybe you'll want to send over a few of your past clients' cases so they're up to speed with your approach.

Also, think about ways you can streamline the onboarding process. For example, you may want to use Intuto's onboarding software to cover topics more quickly.

Automating onboarding can deliver key messages to new employees more effectively than a team member may be able to. In addition, onboarding software gives new hires the chance to complete training remotely in a familiar environment and at their own pace.

For instance, you could give your new hire your onboarding program as soon as you recruit them, weeks before they actually start their position. They can complete the training when it is convenient for them and arrive prepared on the first day.

3. Poor Mentorship Programs & Relationships

Relationships are crucial to employee satisfaction. We can see from the statistics why relationships are so valuable.

An article from CNBC says that of the 26% of workers who planned to leave their employers after the pandemic, 80% were leaving mainly because they were concerned about their career advancement. 72% of them were re-thinking their skill sets.

New hires are concerned about more than just succeeding in their current position. They want to see that working for your company will provide opportunities for them to advance in their careers.

And this is where relationships become crucial. Connecting team members with peers and mentors helps them to discover their paths and consider the next steps of their careers.

Setting up new employees with meaningful relationships will help them develop, while boosting collaboration in the workplace and building loyalty to your company. In an increasingly digital world, it's more important than ever to create opportunities to connect.

5. Lack of Performance Feedback & Support

New hires need to have consistent feedback and support in order to succeed in their new positions. Everyone appreciates helpful feedback and direction during a major time of transition.

However, you'll likely find many new employees who say they don't get enough feedback. Others will say that the quality of the feedback they do get is poor.

How can you ensure that new hires receive the high-quality feedback they want?

Schedule recurrent performance evaluations. During the first few weeks of employment, new hires will appreciate a chance to connect with a manager one on one. In the course of these meetings, managers should invite employees to share their thoughts. Then, they can provide feedback to help the employee continue to grow in their new position.

It can take a long time to adjust to a new position, often depending on the level of the role. However, a common time frame referred to throughout the business world is 90 days. How can you provide helpful performance reviews and support during these 90 days, so that the employee feels supported and satisfied? You'll be surprised at the long-term result.

6. Ignoring Suggestions

And the feedback that you give to new employees isn't the only important feedback during the onboarding process. New employees will be able to offer valuable insight into their onboarding experience.

You won't get better information about your programs than from someone who recently underwent the program themselves. Get your new hires involved by asking for feedback and suggestions at the end of your programs.

You'll likely be surprised at all the ideas you receive. Since they'll be arriving at your company with a fresh set of eyes, they'll bring a new perspective to gaps in your onboarding process.

There will be no lack of suggestions - 88% of employees say their employer doesn't do a good job of onboarding. Join the minority of companies by listening to the suggestions of your team.

Onboarding Staff Properly

Onboarding your staff properly results in major changes to your company's operations, from stronger company culture to a lower turnover rate.

We've discussed a few mistakes to avoid during the onboarding process. But what's on your onboarding checklist?

Make sure you're not missing anything by referring to our onboarding training software solutions resources or try our free onboarding course for managers. Learn best practices and avoid common onboarding pitfalls by trying out our course.

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