The concept of onboarding is one used in the context of business and human resources that refers to the process of orienting new employees in a manner that aids in overall retention. It goes beyond what we’ve come to know as orientation. This process focuses on helping employees to become acclimated to their new workplace in a timely fashion and bringing them “on board” with regard to company culture, understanding of job function and overall comfort level. Continue reading this article to learn more about the ways in which companies are making new hire training and orientation more comprehensive and some best practices that are being implemented across industries.

Overview and Purpose

Employers and recruiters are beginning to see that a quick introduction to the job is not an effective way to achieve employee competence and understanding. In order to cultivate a workplace in which staff members understand every aspect of their positions, perform their jobs well, feel valued among their co-workers and possess adequate job satisfaction is to invest in an introduction program that meets a variety of needs. A good program, by most standards, helps new employees to feel welcome on the job and minimizes the time it takes for recent hires to become productive in their positions. The ultimate goal of such comprehensive development activities is to achieve improved retention rates, limiting the cost and hassle of high turn over.

Outcomes and Objectives

Making new personnel feel welcome in the workplace accomplishes a few things. It helps them to achieve an understanding for the ways in which things are done there. It also provides an understanding of the values and characteristics that are important to the corporate culture. Thus, new employees are better able to assimilate with their colleagues and feel a part of things more quickly. The transition is smoother and also leads to the employee feeling a sense of purpose and belonging. An emphasis on expectations is provided during onboarding, as well as thorough job training. This combination gives new staff members a sense of competency and confidence. It lessens misunderstandings that can lead to frustration and resentment, which are issues that frequently cause hires to resign early on.

Components of Successful Programs

In order to build a successful new hire program, there are certain components that should be included. A thorough introduction to the company and the specific department comes first. This step provides an overview of the company mission, the values of their department, a presentation of key players and their role in the big picture of things. There should also be inclusion of the policies and procedures that apply to the company at large and to the employee specifically. Sharing important points such as compensation plans, affirmative action, hostile work environment and complaint resolution process is a good start toward ensuring hires are aware and that they feel their rights are valued. Finally, don’t neglect to include those administrative items that can sometimes become pesky afterthoughts. Examples include such details as communication processes for handling things like inclement weather, overtime pay structure and important contact numbers, as well as obtaining critical information from the employee like emergency contacts.

These guidelines are a start for creating your own workplace development process, as it should be tailored to the needs of your organization. Onboarding has proven to be an effective means of improving employee satisfaction and retention.

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