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Lisa Collins

Jul 22, 2022

The Dos and Don'ts of New Employee Onboarding

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A recent survey showed that 42% of business owners have vacant roles that they can't fill. Now, if you're in charge of onboarding,  you know how essential first impressions are when attracting new employees. 

But getting people to stay at a company long term can't be guaranteed with free donuts and giveaway tote bags.

It's about creating an environment that is open, friendly, and welcoming so that new employees will never want to work anywhere else! 

So, if you're wondering what the common employee onboarding mistakes are and how to avoid them,  keep reading. You can't go wrong if you follow these tips. 

What Is Onboarding?

The onboarding process refers to the first stage of integrating new employees into a workplace. During this stage, the head of onboarding will introduce new hires to their desk setup, and they will meet other staff and learn about company values.

Now, you might be wondering, what is the importance of onboarding? And isn't it just the same as orientation? 

Confusing onboarding with orientation is common in company settings, as both stages occur during the beginning of a new job. However, orientation only lasts a day or so, whereas onboarding is a longer process.

During onboarding, you learn more about the working environment and the other people working with you. Plus, you are given more team-building tasks.

If the first phase of a new job is not successful, employees are more likely to leave the position. Therefore, learning how to onboard employees is essential for building a strong staff.

How to Do Onboarding Correctly 

So, here are some tips for onboarding employees to help you navigate this confusing part of the recruitment and keep your new hires happy at work. 

1. Less Is More 

We've all been in the position when we've just been hired for a new job, and feel completely overwhelmed by every little thing.

Besides learning about new work responsibilities, there's also a whole new group of people to get to know. The best way to keep things manageable for new staff is to create an onboarding checklist. 

Once you have an overview of the specific tasks to complete during the first few weeks, you'll eventually develop onboarding automation. After you've got a system that works, you can use the same approach again and again. 

But first, you need to break down onboarding into simple steps. For instance, you prioritize a few tasks the first week, and then give the new hires a break. After this, you can move on to the second part of onboarding.

Otherwise, if you don't make the process organized, the recruits will feel stressed and might not even make it past the first steps. So, just remember that less is more! 

2. Modernize Your System

The great thing about living in the modern world is you don't need to hand out piles of paperwork during onboarding. You can use onboarding software to present company videos and workplace vlogs, and conduct surveys.

There's no need for you to do it all offline and create a huge amount of work for yourself. Making the most of technology will provide a better onboarding experience for new hires and make the process more engaging. 

If you can show that your onboarding is fun and interactive, then it sets the right tone for working at the company. People will see that you're enthusiastic about your staff and it will inspire them to work harder. 

Without a doubt, modernizing your system is one of the best employee onboarding tips to learn from this year. 

3. Get Involved 

The last thing a new employee wants is to feel isolated and like an outsider. That's why the main focus of onboarding needs to be about including staff, sharing histories, and setting an example. 

When you organize team-building activities or company meetings, you should be sure to step up and get involved. That means, if you hand out free company t-shirts, then the whole staff should wear them! 

Plus, you can try recording vlogs in the office and show your new hires what a day in the life of an employee looks like. It can be a good idea to have a little fun and show your personality.

That way, it's not just the formal side of onboarding. 

After all, people like to bond and make friendships at work, so it's essential to make onboarding wholesome as well as informative. A big mistake you can make when planning onboarding is forgetting to have fun.

Common Mistakes With Onboarding  

In addition to onboarding being dull and too formal, there are other ways that the process can go wrong for your business. Let's take a look at the most common mistakes to avoid during onboarding.

Forgetting Your Objectives 

Even though sprinkling some excitement into the onboarding experience is a top priority for your business, that doesn't mean that you should lose track of your goals. 

That means you need to find the right balance between planning team-building activities and providing the right information about company expectations and work culture.

For instance, these are some examples of onboarding objectives to consider: 

  • Provide an impression of the work culture and the environment 
  • New employees should understand the role of HR
  • Make job duties and policies clear
  • Use individual skills to allocate jobs to people

These points should give you an indication of what to provide in your plan for onboarding, and what is vital for getting new staff settled in at your office. 

Not Planning Onboarding 

Not having your objectives outlined is just as bad as not having a concise plan for the process. Therefore, you need to be sure that your content and program are suited to a range of different learners. 

All your new hires come with their individual perspectives and have unique skills that they bring to the role. So you need to create a diverse plan.

However, it can be easy to overlook the learner during onboarding: there is so much key information to get through it can be hard to personalize the program.

Taking the time to implement small details here and there like visual infographics and data-based PowerPoints can help everyone understand what's happening during onboarding.

By the end of onboarding, you will hopefully have a roomful of people prepared and ready to tackle their first months on the job! 

Don’t Settle For Mediocre

Ultimately, the worst mistake you can make is creating an onboarding system that is generic and boring. Once you've welcomed the new team into the workplace, you don't want to just disappear after the first few days. 

The secret to success with onboarding is keeping the momentum up over time. New hires will notice if you suddenly lose interest in their opinions, don't communicate with them, or leave them to figure out things alone.

You must show your enthusiasm, but you also need to be authentic. Giving new staff a memorable experience and putting time and effort into preparing the details of the program will pay off in the long run. 

So, if you're thinking about rushing onboarding and getting new hires working as quickly as possible, then think again. Patience is key to winning at onboarding. 

The Power of Good Onboarding

Although to some people, onboarding seems like a necessary but tedious task to tick off their to-do list, in reality, it can be a powerful tool in the business world. 

Most of the time, as a company you're thinking about filling a position and finding a good candidate. However, if you want to keep that employee working for you in the long term, you need to approach it differently. 

Firstly, it's not just about hiring a new member of staff. It's about incorporating them into the wider company culture and showing that they can create an impact. 

If someone sees that their ideas are valued, their work ethic is appreciated, and their voices are heard, they are more likely to put in the extra work when they show up at the office. 

Therefore, if you're concerned about losing good employees, you need to improve your onboarding experience. And you need to take time to follow the right steps during the planning phase. 

However, if you need a little extra help learning about onboarding and want to get training to better your skills, then check out the onboarding resources Intuto offers. 

Improve The Onboarding Experience

Understanding how to succeed with onboarding is about realizing that it's not just an HR formality. The effort you put into onboarding new staff can have an impact on their future in the company. 

If you're someone who wants to be the best at onboarding and improve your skills, getting some training is the best way to make progress. 

Take a look at our free onboarding playbook for managers to learn more about onboarding best practice which you can incorporate into your own onboarding process.

Don't wait. Start learning today! 

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