Human Resources, Onboarding

A Concise Guide to Onboarding

By Natasha Bowman, JD, SPHR

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and onboarding can be either an asset or a liability for companies seeking to hire and retain great talent. Today and tomorrow in the Training Daily Advisor, we present a concise guide to onboarding for employers from Natasha Bowman, JD, SPHR.

Whether you are leaving college and entering the world of employment or choosing to leave a negative job behind, starting in a new role is one of the most exciting experiences around. Despite this, over 15% of new employees choose to leave their job before the 1-year anniversary. Shockingly, a whopping 4% leave a new job after just 1 day in the role.

Nowadays, employees need to feel valued and this makes sense because we spend more waking time at work than anywhere else. As an employer, this means that you have a responsibility to make your employees feel as though work is a “second home.”

If you can do this, you will have a more engaged workforce and will reduce the cost associated with employee turnover. With this in mind, to avoid the common pitfalls usually associated with early turnover, a meaningful and thoughtful onboarding strategy should be created.

The Difference Between Onboarding and Orientation

Mistakenly, many people use these two terms as though they are interchangeable, but they are actually very different. Onboarding is the process of communication from the moment the candidate accepts the job offer right up until they reach 1 year in the role. Over the first year, a new employee will need to feel supported with tools and resources that are needed to obtain and develop the knowledge, skills, and the abilities required to become a successful member of the team.

On the other hand, orientation is a much smaller amount of time for which the new employee is welcomed to your organization. For example, it could be a 1- to 3-day event that gives employees an opportunity to get to know the culture of the business along with their colleagues.

During orientation, new employees will have the opportunity to grow bonds and relationships with the people they will spend the majority of their time with while at your organization. Additionally, orientation also allows new hires an opportunity to become inspired so they feel a real attachment to their work when they start completing real tasks. If employees are allowed this time period, they are more likely to value their work and stay beyond a week, a month, and even a year.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Bowman discusses several factors that make for successful onboarding.