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5 tips for successful onboarding

5 tips for successful onboarding

Posted by Benjamin Hermitte, on Wednesday 17 January 2024

Recruiting new talent is an important step in the growth of a company. But this process does not stop after the contract is signed. The integration of newcomers is an essential step to ensure that they are operational as quickly as possible, but also that they feel comfortable in the company and want to stay for a while.

This integration period following recruitment is called onboarding. It is crucial because recruitment has a cost for your company, estimated at between €5,000 and €8,000. And a newly recruited employee who leaves the company is as much money lost. According to a Cadremploi study carried out in 2019, 33% of executives say they have already resigned following a poor integration, 65% of them within 6 months of their arrival.

To avoid this, find out how to successfully onboard your new talent.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding comes from the expression “to get on board”. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear your colleagues say “welcome aboard” when you arrive at a new company or project.

Onboarding therefore corresponds to the integration phase of a new employee in a company, from the moment he or she learns of his or her hiring until he or she is operational in his or her duties. The aim is to facilitate their arrival and immerse them in the company’s culture through various actions.

In short, it is a question of welcoming the person, providing him or her with the tools and resources necessary to work in the best possible conditions, and integrating him or her into the team and the company. The duration of an onboarding process varies but it should be between three months and a year. And it can start even before the new employee has arrived in the company.

Why is onboarding important?

Onboarding is critical because it allows a new employee to form an initial impression of the company. As a result, you must do everything possible to ensure that this first impression is positive and makes them want to stay.

Today, unlike our parents, new generations of employees do not spend their entire career with the same company. People nowadays do not hesitate to leave a company if they do not feel at ease or if their assignments no longer suit them. A worker will change jobs between 5 and 13 times during his or her career, according to a 2019 Labour Statistics study, and the average time spent in the same job is about 5 years. According to Pôle Emploi, young workers will switch jobs 13 to 15 times.

However, as we have seen, for companies, recruiting new talent represents a real investment of money, time, and resources. It is therefore very frustrating to see an employee who has just been recruited and trained leave the company after six months or a year because he or she did not feel well integrated.

Onboarding is therefore essential to:

– build employee loyalty and reduce turnover

– strengthen the employer brand and attract new talent.

– Develop a sense of belonging, motivation, and commitment among employees.

– accelerate their integration and enable them to be effective and productive quickly.

5 tips for successful onboarding

Here are the key steps to a successful onboarding process.

1. Anticipate the arrival of the newcomer

The onboarding process starts before the employee arrives at the company. You should establish a bond with the newcomer as early as possible. To do so, regularly exchange e-mails or phone calls with the newcomer to check up on him/her. Inform them about the company’s dress code. Start talking about the tasks you want them to do. Tell them how their first day/week will go.

This also helps to reassure the new recruit and make them feel more relaxed on their first day.

2. Prepare for the job

As soon as you know the date your new employee will be joining the company, start taking steps to ensure that everything is ready when he or she starts work. This means having an office ready for them with a computer, telephone, and various office supplies (notebook, pens, stapler, etc.).

The day before they arrive, make sure they have an email address, a telephone number in their name and the access codes needed to use the various tools, software, and applications they will need to work with. Also anticipate the training they will need to attend to be operational as soon as possible.

Finally, don’t forget to announce their arrival to the whole company and their team by sending a short presentation of the new employee by e-mail. The aim is for everyone to give him or her a warm welcome.

3. Welcome them well on the day

On the day of arrival, give your new employee a proper welcome with a team breakfast, and why not a welcome banner with their name on it!

Give him/her a welcome kit which includes:

– a welcome booklet containing all the necessary information on the company, its mode of operation, its missions, and its values

– all the administrative documents.

– his or her company access badge

– access codes for the network and the various tools.

– the essential equipment needed to do the job.

– small welcome gifts in the company’s colours (key rings, pens, mugs, etc.).

Organise an information meeting to present the company, explain how it works and discuss the various administrative aspects (signing of the employment contract, internal rules, IT charter, health insurance, works council, etc.).

Plan a team lunch during which the newcomer can get to know his or her new colleagues. Then take him/her on a tour of the premises and make introductions to the various teams.

4. Assign a mentor

When a new employee starts at your company, he or she will have a lot of questions. Assigning him/her a mentor, a sponsor, or a reference who will accompany him/her during the first few weeks of his/her integration process and who will be available to answer all of his/her questions is therefore advised.

5. Follow up on the integration process

Monitoring your new employee’s integration is critical to the success of onboarding. Conduct a review with him/her after the first week to find out how he/she feels and to better meet his/her expectations. Inquire about how they feel, what they are missing, if they have any remaining questions, if they feel well supported, if they see themselves continuing in the company, and so on.

Finally, you can make use of their fresh perspectives by asking them for a surprise report, or a summary of their impressions of the business, how it operates, any surprises they had, suggestions for improvement, etc.

To integrate new hires, share the company culture, promote employee wellbeing, and foster loyalty, onboarding is crucial. Be imaginative and creative to make your new hire feel welcomed and anticipated.

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