Did you know that great employee onboarding can increase employee retention rates by as much as 82 percent?

This onboarding statistic alone shows why it is important for businesses to get onboarding right. 

Onboarding employees the right way can result in:

  • A better employee experience
  • Increased productivity 
  • Stronger company culture 
  • Easier to attract talent 
  • Improved employee retention
  • Higher levels of employee engagement 

To achieve all of the benefits mentioned above, you need to put together an effective onboarding process. Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses that are getting this wrong.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the different steps you should take to optimize your onboarding process for new hires:

  1. Make the most of automated onboarding 

There is only one place to begin when optimizing your onboarding process for new hires, and this is by automating the onboarding process.

Many different tools are available to help with automated onboarding. These solutions give you the ability to get new hires inside your business before their first day. You can manage forms, streamline the document management process, and ensure your new employees are excited about their roles. 

Before Day One, you can send forms, collect all documents, and send documents to be signed. You can also collaborate with managers, your HR team, and your IT team to make sure all requirements and tasks are done for the new hire to ensure the first day is a smooth one.

Ultimately, onboarding tools are there to make sure that new employees are brought into the team with ease. You can track tasks and automatically assign different jobs to HR, IT, admin, or anyone else at your business.

You can even manage the offboarding process with most of these tools. The software will ensure employees are removed automatically after their termination date so that there are not any risks here. 

  1. Help new employees understand what will make them successful

Another way to make your onboarding process as effective as possible is by creating a structured approach to reveal your new hire’s objectives. 

According to research from GHRR (Global HR Research), the most important thing your new hire is going to be interested in when onboarding is learning about their new role and what will make them a success.

On your new hire’s first day, take the time to explain the key priorities, so they’re on the same page as you. This may seem overwhelming during the onboarding process, however, a brief overview can ensure that expectations for the role are solidified. New hires appreciate this because they know what you expect from them.

Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Show the new hire the goals and key performance indicators (KPI) for the entire team or department 
  • Show them their own individual KPIs 
  • Give them an overview of what their possible career path could look like – what’s the next level for them? What sort of promotions are available? What are the criteria for promotion? Do you offer resources to help them get there?
  • Have a conversation with them about any performance appraisal forms or bonus formulas
  • Have their manager talk to them about their managerial approach and style
  • Help them to get a better understanding of how the company goes about making high-level decisions 

All of the elements mentioned above ensure that you put together an effective and successful onboarding process for your new hires.

Put yourself in their shoes. If you were to walk into a new job, you would definitely want to know what is expected of you, right?

  1. Make the onboarding process interactive

Another effective way of ensuring the onboarding process is as successful as possible is by making it interactive. 

Gamification is currently a flourishing trend in the world of HR. Not only is it fun, but it ensures that your new hire is fully engaged throughout the entire process.

So, how can you make the onboarding process more interactive?

Utilize simulation

A lot of new employees will feel nervous and anxious about their first day in a new environment. It is only natural. 

One great cause of concern is what the environment is going to be like and how they are going to navigate it.

An excellent way of dealing with this is by offering your new hires a simulated experience, which you can create with an onboarding tool.

A simulation will give your new hires a virtual tour of your business premises. This will give them more confidence on their first day.

Use videos

For you to create a memorable onboarding experience, you should also consider interactive videos. Make sure your videos have a strong message, show your company culture, and are engaging. 

Make the most of gamification

You should also use gamification. This is a learning strategy that helps apply typical game-playing elements to online training. With this approach, you can quickly give your new hires an interactive and practical onboarding experience.

You can create interactive games and support them with quizzes. The essence of this approach is to evaluate their knowledge and fill any gaps they may have. 

One of the reasons why gamification is so effective is because it helps to engage and challenge new hires.

It is also beneficial in terms of increasing retention rates, as new hires can apply their knowledge to different job functions. 

  1. Make an effort to ease first-day anxieties 

As touched upon in the previous section, a lot of new hires feel very nervous on their first day at work. Therefore, make a dedicated effort to reduce stress and make the experience as pleasant as possible for them.

A little bit of effort can go a very long way in this regard. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Personally introduce them to the HR department and let them know that they can go here if there are any issues
  • Make an effort to ensure their workstation is set up before they arrive 
  • Order lunch in or go out for lunch together
  • Give them an introduction to their new job and the company
  • Encourage everyone in the office to introduce themselves before the new hire arrives
  • Provide them with a roster for the business, so they know who everyone is and how to get in contact with them
  • Personally introduce them to their team
  • Make sure they have everything they need to access the premises and all of the relevant work files and systems so that there is not any awkwardness on their first day
  • Ask the security guard or receptionist to greet the new hire warmly, and have someone escort them personally to your office so that they do not feel like a deer in headlights 

All of these little pieces of effort will make your new hire feel welcome and lower any anxieties they may have about their new job

  1. Do something special for your new employee

Last but not least, doing something special for your new hire is a great way of starting the new working relationship on the right foot. Not only do you want your new employee to feel lucky to be at a company like yours, but you want to let them know that you feel lucky to have them as well. 

There are lots of different ways that you can go about this. One of the best options is to put together a lovely gift hamper, which contains little items to help them in their new role and make them feel special.

You don’t have to go overboard. A hamper with some chocolate, coffee, a mug, some pens, a notebook, and personal messages from their team can be the perfect touch. This sort of thing can make a massive difference. It lets the new hire know that they are appreciated and that they have joined a company that is thoughtful and appreciates their employees. 

Boost retention and engagement with a great onboarding process

So there you have it: an insight into some of the different ways that you can optimize your onboarding process. 

From automating onboarding to helping new employees understand what will make them successful, if you follow the advice that we have provided above, you can create an effective onboarding process that enables your company to thrive.