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How a Structured Onboarding Process Improves Productivity and Efficiency

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

How a Structured Onboarding Process Improves Productivity and Efficiency

Finding great talent takes extraordinary energy and onboarding new hires requires an extensive amount of upfront investment in getting them up to speed, ensuring that they have a full grasp of the job responsibilities that are associated with their new role, and making them feel like a part of the team.

It was found that 49% of new employees who don't undergo a structured employee onboarding process miss their first performance milestones. [1] This has significant implications for both employees and employers and makes a compelling business case about how a new hire's success hinges heavily on what they do as early as their first day.

A structured onboarding process can be defined as a standard program and process used by employers, HR professionals, and team leaders to properly introduce new hires to the company and how they focus on improving employee productivity and efficiency in the early weeks and months of the employee lifecycle.

An effective onboarding process provides guidance and assistance for each new hire, so they don't feel overwhelmed or left behind during the first days of their job. It's also designed to immediately make a new employee better understand their role and feel like a member of the team.

In this article, we will demonstrate that a structured onboarding program that is implemented correctly will have an undeniably positive impact on improving talent acquisition and boosting the efficiency and productivity of a new employee.

Set Expectations with Pre-boarding to Start the Onboarding Program

Structured onboarding includes the process of pre-boarding. This is the part of the onboarding process that happens immediately after the job offer and before the new hires even start at the company. Pre-boarding helps new hires learn more about their new role and job duties, the company's expectations, compliance requirements, and other important information before they even set foot on company premises.

The best part is that proper pre-boarding as a component of onboarding allows new hires to learn at their leisure before their first day instead of being jampacked with role requirements and compliance forms. Getting paperwork and other forms out of the way during pre-boarding helps your employees focus on their other important tasks when they begin with your company. This way the first few days are better dedicated to getting to know their team members and immediate superiors and getting more familiar with their role and job duties first hand.

With structured employee onboarding programs, HR managers can provide important information and clarity beforehand that helps a new hire get started on the right foot. An effective employee onboarding solution bolstered by smart technology can, for instance, provide an intuitive map for a new employee so they can find their way around without trouble. It also gives them opportunities to connect and ask questions to HR coordinators and hiring managers before arriving in the office.

Pre-boarding captures the enthusiasm of signing an offer letter and keeps that momentum going, allowing for a new hire to be confident and prepared before their first day. It reduces first-day anxiety, lessens the time spent to ‘learn the ropes',  and allows your employees to reach maximum productivity, faster.

Use the Onboarding Phase for Training

Technology-driven employee onboarding solutions enable organizations to offer microlearning modules and other short training programs that can educate new hires about their responsibilities, the corporate culture and company values, how to handle company systems, as well as which company policies and regulations they need to abide by.

With onboarding and engagement apps like Qualee, training is no longer limited to being conducted on-site. Available on iOS and Android, the Qualee App is designed to be mobile-first and allows an engagement experience only achievable through a native app. The advantage of delivering training content on a mobile device, is that learning and development can be done from virtually any location. It means that new hires can learn from the moment they have accepted an offer, employees can focus on development while commuting, and remote teams can continue to be educated while working from home.

Starting training early in the employee lifecycle has two benefits. The first is that it allows for staff to feel capable when it comes to performing their job which leads to higher work satisfaction and eventually higher retention rates. An Indeed survey found that 96% of employee respondents said they're more likely to stay at a company when they feel confident and happy with their work.

Secondly, that same survey found that nearly all respondents (98%) said they perform better when they feel confident [2]. This demonstrates that integrating training into a structured onboarding program not only helps start new hires off on the right foot it also helps increase productivity and retention.

Increase Commitment, Motivation, and Retention of All Employees

Today's workforce is dominated by millennials, who are more than willing to switch companies or look for alternative opportunities if they feel there isn't a good cultural fit with their current organization. This is why it's important to get every new hire started right, promote camaraderie and relationship building with co-workers,  and begin their career development as early as possible.

Studies show that millennials typically “job-hop” every three years, which is less than a third compared to the average tenure of baby boomers who stay with their employer for over ten years [3]. The millennial generation is also known to have more expectations when it comes to company culture and employee engagement. The first impression is crucial to these workers as it has the power to influence the motivation and commitment of an employee over the long term.

With a structured onboarding process, you have the chance to set the tone for the rest of an employee's tenure at your company. Offering a guided and interactive experience for new employees instills a sense of belonging leading to increased commitment and motivation across the board. It also benefits your organization from employee retention and improved attrition and employee turnover perspectives. Research conducted by Glassdoor shows that companies with strong, structured onboarding processes boost new hire retention by up to 82%! [4]

Employees that are genuinely motivated and feel like employers and leaders fully appreciate their talents are more likely to work harder, stay longer, and have better job satisfaction. These days, most HR professionals understand that if you want to boost productivity and success, you need happy, motivated staff – the best way to guarantee that from day one is to implement a structured onboarding program designed to create a good first impression on new employees at the very start of their career.

Creating a Company Culture Geared Towards Efficiency

Onboarding is traditionally a process with many requirements, typically accompanied by an extensive amount of paperwork. Organizations can significantly improve their efficiency and productivity by going paperless. This can be done by using digital forms and electronic signatures, which provide the enhanced security and privacy necessary not just to meet legal standards, but actually enhance compliance and legal durability.

Qualee has partnered with PandaDoc to introduce Forms Management & eSignatures. These features ensure all necessary documentation can be completed on an employee's mobile device and submitted on time, while the encrypted fingertip signing helps avoid mistakes and enhances security.

Digital forms completion and eSignatures can help new hires complete onboarding faster, and also give the sense that your company culture is forward-thinking and geared towards efficiency.

Structured Employee Onboarding Program and Employee Turnover

There are many reasons why an employee might leave their new job or why a candidate accepts a job offer from another company. While not all of them are controllable, onboarding helps significantly reduce the rate of employee turnover and improve long-term retention.

How Much Does Employee Turnover Cost?

Replacing an employee with a new team member can cost you anywhere from two months' salary to twice the annual salary of an employee.

A study conducted in 2012 found that the average cost of a turnover varies by job level. [2] In general, the cost of hiring new teammates are:

  • 16% of employee's annual salary for jobs earning under $30,000 annually
  • 20% of annual salary for jobs earning between $30,000 to $50,000
  • Over 200% of the annual salary for executive positions

The cost of having your hiring manager look for new employees includes:

  • New employee hiring expenses, such as advertising and interviewing
  • Onboarding new employees (new hire training and management)
  • Expenses caused by lost productivity
  • Reduced engagement, either because a staffer has left or loss of productivity among other team members due to high turnover
  • Expenses related to errors made by new employees
  • Experiences related to the training of new employees

At the end of the day, structured onboarding provides undeniable improvements to talent acquisition, employee performance, productivity, and efficiency. If you want your company to attract and retain the best workforce possible, the implementation of structured onboarding experiences is a must!

Qualee offers a cloud-based employee onboarding and engagement platform, designed to be informative and interactive. We make it simple for companies to create exciting employee experiences that will empower their talent and teams to be their very best.

Try the Starter Plan today and experience how our solution can help transform your onboarding process, leading to increased efficiency, better business success, and happier and more productive employees from their very first day.

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