What Drives a Successful Onboarding Process

There are only two days you really remember on any job—the first day and your last day. The first day impacts both employee retention and performance, whereby companies require a formal onboarding process.
What Drives a Sucessful Onboarding Process

Attracting and retaining talent is one of the most difficult tasks faced by companies today. When a new recruit leaves the company shortly after being hired, both the financial resources and time disposed of in the recruiting process are lost. Research shows that people decide if they want to stay at a company in the early months, once they have the opportunity to look at a job from the inside. Taking this into account the entry experience is essential and companies have started to notice the benefits/consequences of the first working day of an employee on their career development within the company.

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I believe the success of the first day of work is determined by how the company supports and encourages employees to (1) Demonstrate what they bring to the company, (2) Generate impact on their position from day one, and (3) Create social bonds within the company.

In order to focus on these three factors you must eliminate as much stress, paperwork, and bureaucracy on the first day as you can. Start by assigning the new recruit a contact within the company, ideally a co-worker, who he/she can contact prior to their official start day. They will help him/her to understand the company's culture and the future of his or her role within it. Everyone wants to make a good impression on their first day, and stress can be generated by basic questions such as: should I wear a tie? Paperwork is needed sooner or later, but the first day is not the right time. Companies such as Facebook send new hires key documents to complete before their start date. This helps them get started on all permits and access necessary for the fresh employee to be fully functional from their first day.

According to Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School "When we can stress the personal identity of people, and let them bring more of themselves at work; they are more satisfied with their job and have better performance." For example, Wipro Limited studied over 600 of their new employees and found that those who went through an orientation that focused on their individual strengths were up to 32% less likely to have quit than those who sat through a typical company-focused onboarding process.

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Autonomy, learning, and feeling productive all contributed to employee satisfaction. When employees have gone through an employee-centered orientation, are encouraged to demonstrate their strengths at work faster and are ready for action. Therefore, instead of following the typical new-hire orientations, try putting workers on the front lines on day one, as It helps them feel like they made an impact from the start.

Finally, you must help new employees to create social bonds. You must connect fresh workers with colleagues and mentors with complementary skills. (Do not assume these ties will naturally happen). According to research conducted by the University of Virginia, new workers stay on the job longer when they're plugged into a social group early on. Google recruited more than 5,000 people in 2012 and found that those who went through orientation groups of a dozen people felt more comfortable and created stronger social bonds than those put into larger groups.

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