Plek blog

The three pitfalls of onboarding

A good start for a new employee, that's what everyone wants. But how do you do it exactly, and what do you have to pay attention to? We have listed the three biggest onboarding pitfalls for you. Avoid irritations and make the most out of it!

Pitfall 1: Not knowing what the organisation stands for

Research has shown that most new employees are hesitant during the first weeks of a new job. They actually expect the organisation to take the lead. A common pitfall is that this moment is not used to explain what the organisation stands for to new employees. During such an explanation, attention can be paid to, for example, the strategy, the product, the target group, important customers and the organisation's values. It helps to make clear how this is reflected in the daily activities. In this way, the new employee has a good picture of the organisation and, more importantly, their role. This ensures a connection with the organisation and ultimately a higher level of commitment.

Pitfall 2: Relying on technology

Did you know that one in three new employees expects an extensive familiarisation programme to be ready on the first day of work? More and more organisations are choosing to use a specially developed app or another form of technology for onboarding. Although this ensures that information is transferred, you cannot be sure that the new employee will adequately understand the content. The pitfall is that people think onboarding is a formality that needs to be ticked off before the real work begins. Our advice? Look at the needs of the new employee as well. Perhaps they lack a skill or a piece of professional knowledge that would enable them to understand documents properly. By checking this in advance, you not only increase knowledge but also productivity.

Pitfall 3: Lack of connection with colleagues

A new job can be overwhelming, but above all, it should be fun. The bond with your colleagues is therefore essential. Research has shown that no less than 36% of new employees are afraid of not connecting with teammates. Most organisations deal with this by pairing a new employee with an experienced employee, a buddy. However, you do not know whether the buddy has a personal click with your new employee, so do not fall into that pitfall. It is more convenient to pair up new and existing colleagues during the onboarding. Ask about the hobbies or interests of employees and put them side by side. That way, colleagues immediately have a common ground, promoting mutual contact much better compared to working together on a report.

Nobody is perfect; even the perfect onboarding does not exist. However, you can listen to the needs of (new) employees to make it almost perfect. One in five new employees already know within a week whether they want to continue working at their new job for a more extended period. This proves the importance of good onboarding. Also, realise that 1 out of 25 employees sees a bad first day as a reason to leave... If you had the choice, what would you do?

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