How to Optimize Onboarding

Source: Dave Zielinski, HR Magazine, Vol. 64 no. 2, Summer 2019
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The right tools can make new hires more productive more quickly and save time for HR…

Good onboarding practices can reduce turnover and greatly improve new hires’ time to proficiency. But next-generation onboarding technologies can also eliminate much of the manual work, reduce the chance of problems or delays, and leave more time for HR and line managers to train and socialize new employees.

Using customized portals, today’s platforms allow new workers to complete essential digital forms, learn about teammates and begin developing short-term goals even before their first day on the job. Many also feature artificial intelligence (AI)-driven virtual agents to answer commonly asked questions. These portals can customize workflows to match an organization’s orientation needs and send automated reminders to ensure that all onboarding tasks are completed on time.

The stakes are high for choosing the right onboarding system, since nearly one-third of new hires grow dissatisfied and look for a new job within their first six months of employment, and those who stay take an average of eight months to reach acceptable levels of productivity, according to new research from Gartner. A recent Gallup study found that only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new hires…..

Making Onboarding More Effective
• Define your objectives. Determine the structure and content of your onboarding program. Give careful thought to what new hires need to know about the organization and their roles.
• Identify key players. Onboarding is more than an HR initiative. People throughout the organization need to take ownership of their part in the process by contributing content, serving as mentors and building connections with new hires.
• Stay engaged. Onboarding can last from a few weeks to more than a year. Develop timetables to ensure that new hires stay on track, and suggest resources to help them develop throughout their employment journey.
• Keep tweaking. Gather feedback from new hires about how the onboarding process worked for them and how it can be improved…..