Onboarding is the process of initiating new employees into your business to train them into loyal, dedicated and knowledgeable members of your workforce. Studies show that a successful onboarding process can increase productivity, employee engagement and create a strong work ethic based on shared company objectives.
Having an effective plan for employee development is crucial, as high turnover rates can prove demoralising and financially crippling for a business. The estimated cost of replacing a top professional in your organisation can be as high as 50% of their annual salary.
Why then do some businesses fail to provide a proper induction for new employees and dismiss it as unnecessary admin? We have sought to answer this question by investigating some of the pros and cons behind providing a thorough onboarding procedure.
Con – It’s Expensive
One major reason companies do not provide onboarding is that it is expensive to equip employees with the training and materials they need to be successful in a new role.
Onboarding procedures vary greatly depending on the size of the business but most often they involve presentations, workshops with senior management, company literary material, social events and regular performance reviews, all which cost money.
However, it is a mistake to assume by scrimping on training you can save yourself money. In the long run, if employees are not equipped to deal with the tasks they are being assigned, they are far more likely to make mistakes which can be far costlier in the long run.
Con – It’s Time Consuming
Time is another precious resource that causes employers to ignore proper induction procedures.
Thorough onboarding can last up to a year per individual, and time needs to be allocated to checking references, filling out paperwork (on both sides), assigning shadowing time with a knowledgeable mentor, follow up sessions, team introduction meals, monitoring employee satisfaction and formal training programmes.
Investing time into new recruits does pay off however as it will result in them feeling and acting like a valued team member, and will significantly increase levels of job satisfaction and efficiency.
Pro – It Improves Retention Rates
An improved rate of retention is the number one benefit of providing a proper onboarding for new recruits.
The job market is continually evolving, and while many employees previously strived to obtain a ‘job for life’ 50 years ago, now an average Brit will have more than six different jobs during their lifetime.
Retaining top talent has never been more important, and the investment you put into new joiners has a direct influence on how likely people are to remain with your company. A recent study showed that new hires are 69% more likely to stay at a company for three years or more if they participated in a well thought out onboarding program.
Pro – It Ensures Your Employees are Productive
Another major benefit is employee productivity rates. It is an inarguable fact that employees are more productive when they are well informed about the job they are completing.
By giving new hires the best training and immersing them in all aspects of the company culture, businesses can expect an increase of productivity rates of up to 70%.
A good tip for successful onboarding is to pair new hires with existing top performers in your firm. This will mean they can learn by example early on what the role, and the company is all about.
Pro – It Creates Brand Ambassadors
Onboarding does more than just provide employees with technical expertise. It also helps to build a company culture.
Employee values and business objectives are the cornerstones of company culture, and it is within the best interest of a CEO to ensure all employees within his company are a part of this.
By reiterating the company values during the first six months of a new joiner’s employment contract, they will quickly be assimilated into your businesses’ way of thinking. This results in the creation of ‘brand ambassadors’ – employees who are willing to share the fantastic benefits of working for your company. Which in turn generates interest and new business leads.
Pro – It Encourages Communication
Another, perhaps less obvious, advantage of providing onboarding lies in the relationships employees cultivate with one another.
If you have more than one hire starting at the same time, they are likely to forge strong professional relationships during the onboarding process due to shared experiences.
In larger organisations, onboarding can be a great way for employees to get to know key stakeholders and colleagues in other departments. Good communication is so important for any business as it helps to break down barriers between employees and expand the pool of new ideas.
Therefore, it is definitively clear that providing a strong onboarding process provides extensive benefits for a company and its employees, and should not be dismissed as unnecessary admin. For every company, onboarding will look slightly different, but you should certainly provide one to ensure you remain ahead of the curve.